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By Barbara Garcia

5 easy tips to potty training your puppy successfully

Since I was a little girl, I could remember wanting to have a puppy of my very own. The thought of being able to name it, sleep with it and take it everywhere filled my heart with joy and pure excitement. Unfortunately, my mom did not share the same excitement. I promised her that if I had one, I would love it, feed it, walk it and take care of it, but she was not convinced.

One day, I came across a classified ad in the newspaper that read "Puppies for sale." The puppies were at a mall about 30 miles away from our home so I begged my mom to take my brother and me to see the puppies and she did. My life was changed forever that day. I fell in love with a white and gray Havanese puppy and my mom let us take her home. We later named her Daisy and it was now time to fulfill my promise. Here are five easy tips you will enjoy using to potty train your puppy.

1. Choose key words

Choose a word or phrase you will be using when it is time to go potty. It should be something your puppy can easily understand and one to three words at the most. For example, here are just a few to give you an idea; "tinkle time," "potty time" or "pee-pee time" will suffice. Be sure to use the same word or phrase every time you are about to head out with your puppy.

2. Use training bells

Hang a set of jingly bells on the doorknob of the door you will use every time you take your puppy to potty. Remember to use your potty phrase and shake the bells a little. These bells are also known as potty training bells and can be purchased at your local pet store or made at home.

3. Reward

It is very important to reward your puppy with praise and/or treats for completing the task. Once your puppy has finished, praise him with "good boy" or "good girl," in a happy tone of voice while rubbing his/her back or belly. This will positively reinforce them to repeat the good behavior. If you like, you can also use the same method and provide a treat as well.

4. Be consistent

Every day during the first year of having my puppy, I made sure to take her out to potty thtrr times a day. In my case, I chose to take her out before school, after school, and after dinner. I did this every day, same time, same place, three times a day. I also made sure to consistently say the key words "Pee-pee time," ring the bells and reward her when finished.

5. TLC

Providing your puppy with tender love and care during the potty training process plays a huge role in the success. Your puppy looks up to you, looks forward to spending time with you and cherishes your company.

It is imperative to make your puppy feel special too by showing him/her that the feeling is mutual. Lastly, have patience, keep a happy heart and a positive attitude during time spent together and rest assured that he/she will make you incredibly proud.

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