Do you have a new puppy or dog at home? You're not alone. There are so many of us who love our pets but can't seem to get them potty trained! I'm here to help.
This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about potty training your dog and how it can be done in these easy tips.
Potty training your dog is a very important process. If you fail to train or housebreak your dog, there will be several problems that may arise over time. These problems include: urine soaked carpets, furniture, and even clothing. How embarrassing!
Please do not give up so easily on potty training your dog and use these tips to help you work through your potty training efforts with your pup!
Decide How you Will Potty Train Your Pup
First and foremost you need to decide whether you will potty train your dog by taking them outside or setting up potty pads in the house. There are pros and cons to both and it's up to you to decide which one is best for you.
Potty Training with Potty Pads Inside
You may opt to train your dog with potty pads for a numbers of reasons: you live in the city and don't have much outdoor space, small dogs have small bladders, work long hours and can't take your new pup outside often.
Potty pads are great for getting started with a new puppy or dog, because they make it easy for them to train. These potty pads give a dog the option of relieving herself in an approved potty area at home.
Reinforce Potty Pads by placing peanut butter or treats on it. This will create a good association with the pee pad. The dog will learn to pee on the pads and you can keep them in convenient locations for access.
After the dog matures (if it's a young puppy), you can then work on having the dog do her business outdoors all the time.
Dogs Need Time Outside to Potty Train
Potty training a dog means that they must have access to an outside area at all times. Anything less than this presents a problem as dogs instinctively need to go outside regularly.
Do not take your dog out to potty train her if you don't have time. Take her out at sensible times and especially after having a meal.
If you have a puppy puppy (6 months or younger) it may be tough with a work schedule to start this direction of training from the start. I recommend starting with pee pads unless you work from home or can run home frequently.
Set Your Dog’s Potty Training Schedule
For puppies, keep in mind that a good rule of thumb is that your pup can hold its bladder for 1 hour per month old he or she is. If your pup is 6 months old, then it is reasonable to expect he or she can hold the bladder for 6 hours.
If you can't take your dog out during the day, it is a good idea to get up in the middle of the night to let your dog outside.
It's important to understand that dogs don't need to go out as often as you might be thinking. How many times do you use the bathroom... each day?
Monitor your pup's daily habits when setting up a potty training schedule. With very young puppies, you should expect to take the puppy or newly adopted rescue dog out:
First thing in the morning
Last thing at night
After playing indoors
After spending time in a crate
After waking up from a nap
Use Your Dog Crate to Reinforce Potty Training
While we aren't going to dive into how to crate train your pup, you can read about our 7 steps to crate train your rescue. Now, let's talk about how we use crate training to potty train your chonker. The crate should be just big enough for your puppy to comfortably turn around and lie down, but not much larger. This room in the crate allows your dog stretch out a little, but they can’t potty in the corner and then snooze comfortably in another corner.
When they do need to “go” while in their crate, it sends them a clear message that they have gone potty where they are not supposed to.
Things You Can Control During Potty Training
While you cannot control your pups bladder and what causes him or her to tinkle, there are things you can do to influence their potty habits. We've already talked about setting a good schedule and using crate training, but let's talk about the other important, yet overlooked, things you can do.
Diet and Eating Schedule
Setting and strictly following an eating schedule with your dog is very important. How often your dog eats will directly affect how often he or she needs to go outside. How much they eat and the type of food will also have a profound effect on this.
A puppy who is fed too many treats and other snack foods may not be able to control their bladder very well, while a pup that only eats twice per day in small amounts (one meal at breakfast time and one later at dinner) may have an easier timeliness holding it for longer periods of time.
However, don't allow them to become so hungry that they drink excessive amounts of water just before going to bed. If you do feed your dog multiple times throughout the day be sure to leave enough hours between meals for his body to digest the food.
This helps teach your puppy or dog of their feeding schedule and identify queues with going potty as well.
Praise and Reward for Good Behavior
Show your dog how proud you are when they potty when and where they are supposed to. A simple word of praise will make them happy and encourage good behavior. Even a treat and a pet will do wonders in motivating your pup.
The key is to positive reinforcement while neutrally ignoring negative actions (ie; if they do not potty when expected). It is extremely important to not punish your puppy or dog for negative behavior.
How to Potty Train Your Dog If your dog doesn't listen, ignore him until he does. How long? How much time depends on what you have scheduled for that period of time. Is it a half an hour? An hour? Two hours?
If so then refuse to acknowledge his presence until he uses the bathroom or otherwise provides the appropriate behavior.
Setting a schedule, using the crate, rewarding for good behavior, and anything you do means nothing without maintaining consistency. You cannot par from the course until the good habits are formed.
Once you figure out the schedule, praise, and everything else, make sure you always follow it. It will help motivate the dog to aim for good behavior and build expectation around when and where to go potty.
How Long Will it Take to Potty Train Your Dog?
The goal for potty training is to instill good habits and build an amazing bond with your dog. How long it takes will depend on the dog, but generally it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a year with short bursts of training sessions.
How fast your dog picks up the new behavior depends on how much time you devote to them and consistency in following your routine.
The training process typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, and some puppies may even take up to a year. Some dogs learn right away while others may take weeks or longer.
If your adult rescue dog has never had an issue, they should pick up even faster than younger puppies because they can hold their bladder longer and may have even been house trained prior.
Just remember, accidents in the house will happen in the process. Just remember to stay positive and stay the course. In the process, you will an amazing bond with your pup!