Potty Training your puppy is the #1 thing you need to start with when you first bring your new puppy or rescue into your home. Follow this guide from day one and you can potty train your puppy in 1 week!
You must be consistent with rewarding your dog for using the bathroom outside instead of focusing on punishing your dog for using the bathroom inside.
In order to teach your dog not to “go” in your house you have to teach your dog that “going” outside is more rewarding.
That is your challenge. Teach your dog to hold it and not let it go inside and preferably to “go” in a certain area and on cue.
The trick is to make your dog think that “going” outside is the best thing that ever happened to them. And that isn’t done with praise.
PREPARING FOR POTTY BREAKS -
#1) This is VERY IMPORTANT - You need to figure out that treat, that your dog goes absolutely bonkers over. No guessing. And if it’s been a while since you have tried some foods then try some new ones.
- These are the foods that I have found to be the most effective for potty training.
- Steak - Cook it without seasoning or cut off the fat from your steak and save it.
- Lamb or Veal- these smell really really gamy and dogs love stuff that smells like wild animal. These will be a winner for most dogs. Cook it without seasoning and cut it into small pieces.
- String Cheese - Great for cutting up into perfect little training treats
- Cheddar or Swiss cheese. These smell really strong and remember it is all about the smell with dogs.
- Find what your dog loves by trying new VET APPROVED foods.
Dogs can like something one day and hate it the next three weeks. Keep looking for the next best treat for training. Keep it, use it sparingly and don’t give it out for mediocre behaviors.
#2) Pre cut all of your treats into pea sized pieces and place them in 2 plastic containers. 1 container will hold 3-5 days worth and the other container will hold enough for one day. Put the one day container by the front door so you don’t forget them when your dog has to go. Trust me you will save about 40% of potty mistakes by having this one thing in place…Put your treats in a container by the front door.
UNTIL YOUR DOG IS POTTY TRAINED, KEEP YOUR DOG IN YOUR SITE AT ALL TIMES.
8 activities your dog does that provokes using the bathroom
- Drinking Water
- Eating Food
- Playing, Exercising, running around
- Getting up from Resting
- After Car rides
- Getting out of the crate from a long nap or resting
- After bathing
If you know the things that provoke “going” then you can better prevent accidents inside. It’s all about being proactive and preventing rather than waiting for the accident to happen and then correcting the dog for going inside. That is how you would teach a human. A dog will react negatively to that and you will end up with more going inside.
How to start
Basically, you need to wake up in the morning and take your dog out immediately to use the bathroom, this is the most important one because your dog has been holding it so long. Never forget the treats on this one. Your dog should go outside about 10 times a day (more, if you are home all day) but, think about it. If you are able to reinforce this behavior 10 times a day, you can have a potty trained dog in 8-10 days.
Put your dog on leash and physically Take your dog outside and go to the same spot every day and stand still. Dont’ move around to different spots UNLESS THAT IS YOUR DOGS HABIT AND THAT IS HOW THEY WILL GO. It’s always better if you can have a designated spot for your dog to go to. This spot will smell more like urine to your dog than other spots and your dog will go there more often and it will make the process easier and quicker.
While waiting fo your dog to “go”
Do not tell them to go or hurry up or go pee pee. Say nothing and do nothing and when they finally go make sure not to disturb them while they are going.
When your dog goes outside
As soon as your dog finishes peeing or pooping, Click Your Clicker or Say “yes” (don’t elongate the word. Say it short and quick) You have to MARK the act of going so the dog knows WHY it is earning a reward. This is how you get your dog to understand much quicker that using the bathroom is what you want them to do. It is what earned the treat. Therefore, the dog WANTs to repeat that again and again. Dont mark while peeing. Mark the instant they stop “going”
After your dog “goes”
Some dogs are weird and they view going inside right after using the bathroom as a punishment. I’ll explain; They don’t want to go back in right? So to them that is something that is negative. So when your dog uses the bathroom and then you immediately rush them back inside, SOME dogs will end up prolonging the bathroom break and it will fool you, you will take them back inside thinking they didn’t have to go and boom, they go on the carpet. If you notice this happening, try playing tug for 5 TIMED minutes after your dog goes and you mark and treat it. Then play tug. Then go inside. If you are doing this with your dog 3-5 times a day, you will have a potty trained dog in 7 days.
KEEP THIS IN MIND
Most dogs will pee 10 times a day and poop 3-5 times a day. If your dog is not doing at least half of those numbers then your dog is not going enough….
Puppies under 6 months need to go out every 15-30 minutes. Literally. If they aren't they are holding it. Dogs go to the bathroom about 4X the amount a human does so don't compare how long you can hold it with your dog. Imagine having an overactive bladder at all times of the day and you can never really relieve yourself when you want to. This can create a lot of stress for dogs.
Jeff Causby, CTDI, ABCDT, AKC CGC Evaluator
April Schrader, CPDT-KA