We love our dogs, but we don’t always love their messes. Dogs are often abandoned or surrendered if they make continual messes, but often it just comes down to a lack of training. Here are some potty training for dogs tips.
Things to Keep in Mind
Learning is a process. Your dog is likely to make some mistakes along the way and regress in their training. That’s okay. Keep at it and push forward because your dog will learn eventually. Before 16 weeks, a puppy can’t control their bladder to hold it for later, so there are bound to be mistakes.
Every Breed and Puppy is Different
Smaller breeds have smaller bladders and go to the bathroom much more often. Even dogs of the same breed can learn at different rates, so don’t judge your new dog if it is a little slower than a previous one.
As with any sort of dog training, the more supervision the better. Animal training is often about reinforcing and rewarding certain behaviors. If you aren’t there to reinforce these behaviors, the dog will not learn as well. If you have to leave for more than a few hours every day, consider getting a dogsitter or neighbor to reinforce your dog’s training. It could go a long way!
It’s important to keep in mind that dogs learn best through consistent repetition and routine. Pay attention to the signs that your dog needs to go and remember which if they usually need to go when they wake up or after they play. Additionally, feed your puppy on a schedule as much as you can. This will help standardize when they need to go.
This also goes with supervision. A dog may set their own routine if you’re not supervising them such as peeing in one spot on your carpet. You’ll want to clear the scent by scheduling a deep cleaning and continue training to break the habit.
For all these training methods you are going to need dog treats or food to reward your dog. Luckily, that’s the most fun part! Whenever your dog does what you want them to do, reward them. For crate training, that means going into the crate. For potty training, that means rewarding them for urinating outside. At the end of day consistency with rewards is going to lead to correct behavior.
Crate training and potty training go hand in hand. Dogs instinctually feel at home in small dens and especially if you train them as a puppy, they will view the dog crate as a safe haven and home. This comes into play for potty training because dogs will not eliminate where they sleep, so they can keep it clean.
You should get a crate big enough for the dog to be able to turn around and move a bit, but not much larger than that. If the cage is too big, the dog will sleep in one corner and leave its waste on the other side of the crate, which obviously won’t help the dog learn where to eliminate.
Ideally, you want your dog to go outside, so try to take frequent trips when you sense that your dog needs to go. Encourage the dog with treats every time that she or he goes bathroom correctly. Pay attention to the signs your dog needs to go and take them outside. It can be helpful to train your dog on a signal that they need to go, such as sitting next to the door or barking.
This is a great option if you can’t supervise your dog throughout the day. Confine them to a small area like a bathroom. Cover the floor with potty pads. After a while, they will pick a particular area where they like to go and you can remove some of the unused pads. Eventually, you’ll want to open up more of your home to your dog and you can put the potty pad by the door and eventually train them to go outside, perhaps through a doggie door, once they are old enough to do so safely.