Dogs are a huge responsibility. They require a lot of time and attention, and potty training your dog is one of the most important aspects of dog ownership. This blog post will teach you everything you need to know for potty training your dog. We’ll discuss the basics of potty training and share some tips to help make the process easier for you and your furry friend.
Potty Training Your Dog
Potty training your dog is one of the most challenging things about owning a dog. House soiling is one of the top reasons dogs lose their homes or end up in shelters. This is because very few people are willing to put up with a dog who destroys rugs and flooring or who leaves a stinky mess that you have to clean after a hard day at work. Potty training your dog can seem impossible, but with persistence and patience, we promise it’s not!
Do's & Don'ts of Potty Training Your Puppy
Potty training your dog is an important part of being a responsible dog owner. Establishing good habits now will set your pup up for success in the future. In this section, we’ll cover the do’s and don’ts of potty training a young puppy, so you can be sure your pup learns how to use the bathroom where it’s appropriate.
To effectively potty train your dog, it’s essential to form a routine for both you and your pup. Additionally, utilize the same phrase each time when taking them outside – “bathroom” or “potty,” for example- so that they quickly recognize the command. To ensure success in housebreaking, your furry best friend, here are some tips on what to do—and not do!
Do: Take Your Puppy Out Frequently
When potty training your dog, the most important thing to remember is that puppies must go outside frequently. Young puppies, especially those under 12 weeks old, should be taken outdoors every one to two hours. Before they reach the age of twelve weeks, these little tykes are still working on developing their muscles and learning how to retain their bladder and bowel control. Because of this, your pup should be taken out after waking up from a nap, after they are done playing or exercising, and before bedtime.
Do: Stick to a Feeding Schedule
Most puppies get fed two meals a day, and most dogs will naturally eliminate shortly after they are done eating. Because of this, feeding your dog a meal at the same time every day is essential. This will help your pup learn to regulate their elimination and make it easier for you to determine when they need to go out.
Do: Use Crate Training to Aid Potty Training
Crate training is one of the most effective tools in potty training your pup. Dogs have an instinctual need to keep their sleeping area clean, so they are less likely to go to the bathroom while inside the crate. When used correctly, crates can provide a safe and secure place for your pup and help them learn where it’s appropriate to go to the bathroom.
Do: Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is an excellent tool for potty training your dog. Every time they go to the bathroom in the right place, it’s important to praise them and give them treats or other rewards. This will help reinforce good behavior and teach your pup that going potty outside is a good thing.
Do: Understand the Signs That Your Puppy Needs to Go Out
Puppies will often give you subtle cues when they need to go to the bathroom. Common signs include pacing, sniffing around, and circling. It’s important to watch for these signs and take your pup outside as soon as possible.
Don't: Use Potty Pads While Crate Training
Many pet owners use potty pads while they are crate training their puppy. However, this can often cause more confusion for your pup and can make it harder to train them in the future. Instead of using potty pads, focus on taking your pup outside frequently.
Don't: Use Punishment Instead of Positive Reinforcement
It’s important to remember that punishing your pup for having an accident in the house will not help them learn. Instead of scolding or yelling at your dog when they make a mess, focus on praising them when they go potty outside and rewarding them with treats.
Don't: Not Follow a Schedule
Creating a routine and sticking to it is essential for potty training your dog. If you don’t stick to a schedule, your pup won’t learn how to regulate their bladder and bowel control and will likely have more accidents in the house. With proper training, patience, and love, even the most stubborn puppy can be taught good potty habits.
Do's & Don'ts of Potty Training an Adult Dog
If you have adopted an older dog that hasn’t been house-trained, don’t worry! You can teach an old dog new tricks! In fact, potty training an adult dog can be very similar to potty training a puppy, depending on the circumstances! Regardless, potty training your dog will be worthwhile in the long run.
Do: Stick to a Schedule
Just like with puppies, it’s important to stick to a regular schedule when potty training your dog. Adult dogs need consistency and routine just as much as puppies do in order to learn where they should go to the bathroom and when.
Do: Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is just as necessary with an adult dog as it is with a puppy. Every time they go to the bathroom outside, be sure to praise them and reward them with treats or other rewards. This will help reinforce good behavior and teach your pup that going potty outside is a good thing.
Do: Limit Your Dog's Space While Potty Training
Limiting your space while potty training your dog is a great way to help them learn good habits. Keeping your pup in a small area, such as a crate or room, can help reduce the chances of accidents indoors and make it easier for them to learn where to go when they need to eliminate. Each time your dog eliminates outside without accidents in the house, you can gradually increase the amount of space that they have access to.
Do: Use Crate Training to Help With Potty Training Your Dog
Crate training can be a great tool for potty training your dog. The crate provides a safe and secure space for your pup while also helping them learn where it’s appropriate to go to the bathroom. When used correctly, crates can help speed up the potty training process and make it easier for you and your pup.
Do: Recognize When Your Dog Needs to Go Out
Just like with puppies, adult dogs will give you signs when they need to go out. Common signs include sniffing around and circling, so it’s important to watch for these cues and take your pup outside as soon as possible.
Do: Walk Your Dog on a Leash Instead of Having Them Wander the Yard
Walking your dog on a leash can be helpful for potty training an adult dog. This will help them learn where it’s appropriate to go to the bathroom and teach them that going potty in certain areas of your yard is not allowed. This also ensures you will be close by to reward their good behavior. After giving a positive reward, remember to play with your dog outside for a few minutes to avoid creating a negative connection between eliminating and returning inside.
Don't: Mix Pads and Crate Training
Mixing pads and crate training can be counterproductive when trying to house-train an adult dog. If you’re using puppy pads in the house, your pup may start associating going to the bathroom inside as a good thing. It’s best to stick to one potty training method and not mix them up.
Don't: Use Punishment Instead of Positive Reinforcement
Punishing your dog for having accidents in the house can only make things worse. This will create a negative association with going to the bathroom, and your pup may start to go potty in secret or even avoid eliminating altogether out of fear. Positive reinforcement is much more effective than punishment when potty training your dog.
Don't: Keep an Inconsistent Schedule
It’s important to stick with a schedule and not deviate from it too much. An inconsistent schedule can confuse your pup and make potty training more difficult.
Don't: Get Discouraged
Potty training an adult dog can take longer than potty training a puppy, so be patient. If you’re feeling frustrated, take a break and try again later. With patience and consistency, you will eventually reach your goal of successful potty training.
Potty training your dog can be a difficult task regardless of what age they are. However, with patience and consistency, it is possible. Establish a routine and use positive reinforcement to help teach them the correct behaviors. Be sure to recognize when they need to go out and reward them for going potty in the right spot. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t go as planned! With a little time and effort, you can successfully potty train your pup Good luck!