A significant percentage of dogs wind up in animal shelters due to potty training problems and about a quarter of behavior-related visits to vets also involve housetraining issues.
Some of the many main reasons housetraining fails are because dog parents have a tendency to look at their canine companions as four-legged humans. So dog parents view their pet accidents the same way they would view a human who had done it.
Rules for potty training your dog
- Never leave an un-housetrained dog unattended.
It’s very important to not give your dog the opportunity to fail at potty training
- Feed on a consistent daily schedule (no free-feeding)
If you leave food out or don’t stay on a schedule your dog will need to poop at unpredictable times
- Reward your dog for good behavior
In quiet, loving, calm tones immediately after your dog goes they will pick up on those loving cues for reinforcing good behavior
- Do no punish mistakes.
No shouting or physical contact and never rub your dog’s nose in his or her mess.
It is beneficial to establish verbal cues during housetraining so that no matter where you are, you can give your dog the cue to relieve him/herself. New puppies can be expected to relieve themselves whenever and wherever the urge strikes until they are either old enough to control it and appropriately motivated to go number 1 or number 2 outdoors.
There are 3 very important things that ensure success in housetraining your dog:
Consistency. Positive reinforcement. Patience
The ideal time to house train your puppy is 8.5 weeks. Any dog at any age can be housetrained as long as you as a trainer are consistent, positive and patient.
First step: Find an outdoor grassy space you can consistently take your puppy to when it’s potty time. Your puppy/dog will begin to associate the smell and surface of their potty spot and make mental connections to be able to better control when and where they relieve themselves.
Potty training your puppy is a two-fold process. Once your puppy learns to relieve themselves in the designated spot then they must learn to hold their urine and feces until they’re in that spot.
A young puppy needs to be taken to his potty spot about every hour especially after eating, playing or sleeping. It’s important to watch out for the “I gotta go” signals. The older your dog gets the less often they’ll need to go. But no dog should be expected to last eight or 10 hours without a potty break, especially not a puppy.
Establishing Verbal Cues for Potty training:
When taking out your dog grab some treats, put on their leash and take them to a specific spot each time. If your dog doesn’t do its business in about 5 minutes take them back to their crate and close the door. They most likely have a full bladder and colon and you don’t want them roaming loose in your house. That’s a set up for them to fail. In 10 to 15 minutes, grab the treats, take them back outside to their spot and let them try again.
*Be sure your crate is the correct size. Wire crates come with a moveable partition so you can buy the size you will need when she is full grown and use the wall to adjust it to the right size as she is growing.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that if they don’t relieve themselves the first time that they don’t need to go. When they go mark their behavior with a verbal cue like “go potty” or “go poo”. You’re making your dog associate your reassuring tone to get the behavior you want.
Remember to reward your dog with treats before you go inside. Don’t wait until your back because you’ll teach your dog to associate coming back indoors with treats rather than relieving herself outside.
House training a two year old:
There are several ways to go about it if you would like a pee pad to train with. What we typically recommend is that you capture some of your dogs pee from a spot she did pee in on a paper towel and then put that paper toweling on that pee pad. So in essence trying to create that scent on the pee pad so your dog knows that’s where to go potty.
If you have a fenced yard:
If you have a fenced and safe backyard you can just simply let your puppy out on their own to relieve themselves. However, I don’t recommend you do this in the beginning. We recommend keeping the dog on a leash until after they have relieved themselves and then can play in the yard.
It’s important to monitor what your puppy is doing. Their poop in particular to check for any signs of stomach problems or ingestion of tree bark, rocks or sticks. It’s also impossible to establish a verbal cue if you’re inside and they’re outside. Finally you also can’t give them a food reward within three seconds if you’re in different places.
Certain dogs and certain breeds seem to understand from a very young age to do their business outside. Some other dogs don’t get it initially and take a little longer to potty train. Keep in mind there is no breed or type of dog that absolutely cannot be housetrained. It just takes certain breeds and certain puppies with slower cognitive development a bit longer to understand that basic ground rules of housetraining.