Most dog parents love to talk about their pups. We discuss their latest tricks, how cute they look when they sleep, and that adorable thing they did this morning to try and stop you from leaving the house.
What we don’t often talk about to our friends is their potty training. Nobody really wants to discuss poop over coffee, but it’s an important part of any dog’s training. Not just puppies, either – you may find yourself with an adult dog who needs to be potty trained.
Learning how to do it right can save you plenty of frustration. If you’re potty training your dog, here’s how.
Puppy Potty Training
House training your puppy might seem like a mammoth task, but they learn very quickly if you do it the right way! You should start working on house training at around 12 weeks of age.
Create A Schedule
You may be surprised to learn that dogs are creatures of habit. If you start them off with a routine from an early age, it’s likely to stick.
Begin with regular feeding times, scheduled playtime, and naps. Take them outside immediately after every one of these activities, to the same spot every time.
Pick A Potty Spot
Choose a particular potty spot not too far from the door and take your pup there every time. He’ll soon begin to associate the spot with doing his thing.
If your puppy has to spend a lot of time alone indoors, create a “puppy pad spot” as well as an outdoor spot. It’s a good idea to use a small crate for this purpose.
Reward & Reinforce
Once your puppy has finished his business (and only once he’s fully done) reward him with a treat or plenty of love, or both.
Adult Dog Potty Training
Dogs are naturally clean animals. They don’t want to be living in a poop and urine-soaked house any more than you do!
If you find yourself with a completely untrained adult dog, follow the same procedure as you would for a puppy.
Adults can be a little more complicated. They may be going in the house due to separation anxiety, marking territory, or because there’s urine you can’t see and they think it’s their potty spot.
Tips & Tricks
- Puppies can hold it in for one hour per month of age – ie. a 6-month old pup can hold it for about 6 hours.
- Pick up the water bowl an hour or two before bed.
- Don’t leave food out in between meals.
- Supervise your puppy indoors whenever you can.
- Signs that your pup needs to go include door scratching, restlessness, sniffing around, and “circling”.
Potty training your dog doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated! Do it the right way, and they’ll learn quicker than you think. Be patient – it can take 4 to 6 months. If you really struggle, you could get some professional help.
Just be sure to give positive reinforcement, and whatever you do with your dog, do it with love, treats, and cuddles!
Mike Powell is a dog dad who loves sharing his knowledge on how to feed, exercise, train, and love your dog the right way. He’s a proud pup parent and when he’s not walking, playing with, or cleaning up after his canine buddies, he writes helpful blog posts over at Dog Embassy.