If you’re a new Lab puppy parent, then one of the questions that you may be asking right now is how to potty train a Labrador Retriever puppy.
Potty training is one of the first major hurdles that all canine parents should know in owning a Labrador (or any dog for that matter).
When you bring home your Labrador puppy, it’s an exciting (and sometimes stressful) experience.
On one hand, you get to spend time and enjoy playing with a cute and cuddly puppy. But on the other, there is a lot of maintenance to be done.
Potty training is one of the first things that any Labrador puppy has to go through.
Some people may call this “house training” or use other terms to describe this type of training, but essentially, this means that your Lab knows not to relieve themselves in inappropriate places.
Training a puppy can take some time. It won’t be an overnight process, and your Lab will not wake up one day understanding automatically what you mean.
Dogs’ brains are not hard-wired that way.
It takes a meaningful dedication to actually train your dog every day to get a well-trained puppy even in just a few weeks.
Granted, training a puppy can take a lot of time and effort, especially during the first few days.
But along the line, you will be grateful that you chose to learn more about how to potty train your Labrador puppy and push through with their potty training at a very early age.
So, why is it important to know how to potty train a Labrador Retriever puppy?
The reasons why you should know how to potty train a Lab puppy are pretty obvious.
You want your Labrador to behave properly inside the house as much as possible.
Moreover, you want to set boundaries so that caring for them will be easier both for you and for your pet.
But apart from the more obvious reasons, potty training is important in Lab puppies because the younger they are, the less control they have over themselves.
They could be peeing everywhere if left unattended. Plus, Labrador Retriever puppies don’t really have large bladders and will probably pee more than once in an hour.
Furthermore, dogs have a habit of peeing where they have peed before.
To prevent that habit from building at all in your puppy, it’s best to start as early as possible. From the moment they walk into your home, the training should begin.
Where to potty
The first thing you have to consider before you start with your Lab puppy potty training is where you eventually want your little Labrador to relieve themselves.
This area has to be something that you define early on because you will be centering your training on trying to focus on that area as a potty place for your Labrador Retriever.
Where this area is, is completely up to you. If you live in a house where space is your own, and you can easily lead your Lab outside without any problems, then an outside potty area is the best choice.
That way, you won’t have to deal with the smell of Lab poop and pee.
But, there are also Lab owners who live in high-rise buildings that make it difficult for their Lab to go outside immediately.
If you are one of these high-rise building residents, then you would benefit most from setting a designated potty area inside.
As previously stated, the location of this potty area is completely up to you. As a pet owner, you need to gauge which choice your Lab will be most comfortable in and how you can meet that level of comfort.
What is needed in Lab puppy potty training?
Potty training is something that you can do with the aid of tools.
Today, there are tons of available tools on the market that make potty training just a bit more bearable. These materials can range from indoor potty pads to dog crates.
Take a look at these things that we recommend you stock up on in the early days of your Lab puppy potty training:
1. Cleaning agents
Before you start potty training a Lab puppy, be sure that you are ready for any accidents along the way.
The potty training journey will be far from perfect! And if you want to save your furniture and carpets, you need to be ready for clean-up at all times.
2. Puppy pads
These pads work similarly to paper. They concentrate the mess in one area so you don’t have a lot of stuff to clean.
Puppy pads are often scented a certain way in order to attract puppies to pee or poo in that specific area.
3. Pooper scooper/bags
Like their name implies, pooper scoopers are used to clean up poop.
Mistakes are inevitable, so you have to prepare for them in ways you can.
Plus, if ever you’re walking outside with your pup, poo bags are easy ways to clean up after them on the go.
A cheap alternative to puppy pads is paper. Newspapers will usually do the trick.
The purpose of the paper is for your Lab to understand that this area is designated specifically just for relieving themselves.
To reward good behavior, treats should also be part of potty training.
However, be wary. You should not depend on compensation so much when potty training your Labrador puppy.
An established routine will do the trick as well as giving them treats does.
What’s the best way to potty train your Labrador puppy?
Just like with every other aspect of training, there are a lot of approaches and methods that you can take with potty training.
Whichever approach you choose is highly dependent on what you are comfortable with and what your lifestyle is.
Make sure that you choose a method that allows you to get maximum efficiency from the entire Labrador puppy potty training process.
Overseeing your Labrador puppy
One of the ways that you can effectively potty train your Lab puppy is to pay constant attention to them at home.
You have to know when they are likely to pee or poo so that you can lead them outside.
Take note that in younger puppies, the time that their bladder takes to fill up is not that long.
You need to carefully observe and take note when they went outside to pee and how many minutes have passed.
Generally, a very young puppy will have to go at least once an hour, if not more.
The biggest con to this method is that it won’t work if you are too busy to pay attention.
So, if you’re quite a busy person and don’t have the time needed to pay close heed to your puppy, then you might as well go for other options.
How to potty train a Labrador Retriever puppy: Crate Training
Though it might sound intimidating at first, crate training is actually a very effective way on how to train your Labrador puppy to potty.
A dog’s instinct is not to soil their sleeping area, and with crate training, you’re essentially taking advantage of that instinct.
This way, your Lab pup will learn how to hold their bladders while they wait for you to let them out.
Take note, though, that crate training is not a form of punishment.
Labrador Retriever puppies should only be left there for a few hours at most. Also, only keep them there if you are too busy to pay them attention properly.
The size of the crate is also very important as it could determine whether or not your pup treats the entire place as bed space or allocates a portion of it to be a peeing space.
Whenever they need to potty, all you have to do is let them out of the crate and into their designated potty area.
How to potty train a Labrador Retriever puppy: Paper Training
Paper training is quite simple.
You merely teach your puppy to only relieve themselves in a certain section of the house where the paper is laid down on.
Then, over time, you shrink the space covered by paper and slowly move it until you get to the actual designated potty area.
It will take some time and patience before your puppy gets it right, so you have to give it your best effort.
Eventually, though, they’ll understand that there is a designated potty space outside.
Things to remember for how to potty train your Labrador puppy:
1. Be patient.
It will not be an overnight process.
Be patient and considerate with your Lab. Remember that they do not think in the same way that you do.
They will not be able to process your instructions quickly the way you think, so understanding that is key for better results from your Labrador puppy potty training.
2. Punishments are counterintuitive.
Punishing your puppy for not getting the steps to Labrador puppy potty training right is more of a problem than a solution.
When you punish your puppy for not being responsive to the tips you got on how to train a Labrador puppy to potty, you’re not actually teaching them that relieving themselves in a certain area is bad.
You’re teaching them that relieving themselves when you’re around is bad.
The objective of potty training is for the mutual benefit of the dog and owner, and for the most part, it should be about your dog’s comfort.
This study on dog-human relationships stated that rewards-based training is more dog-centric than the traditional way of training.
3. Don’t go overboard on the treats.
Don’t let your Labrador become too dependent on treats.
Though they are helpful for a bit, they shouldn’t be necessary for instilling proper potty habits in your puppy.
4. Establish a routine that will help you train your Lab puppy to potty.
Most of all, establishing a routine is imperative in potty training.
Because it takes time for a puppy to understand that this is what they are supposed to do, a routine is incredibly helpful in the process.
How to train your Labrador Retriever puppy to potty is one of the many questions that Lab parents often ask themselves.
Luckily, there are a lot of tools and materials available today that you can use to help you with your Labrador puppy potty training.
We have also enumerated a number of suggestions above to help you potty train your Labrador puppy.