House-Training You Dog or Puppy
Training your dog or puppy to eliminate outside rather than inside the house is a very important and fundamental lesson in every dog’s life. Below are some basic steps for completing this important training.
Potty Training Your Dog – The Basics
- Take your pup outside on leash approximately every hour (when not crated). Set an alarm to remind yourself if necessary.
- Leave a couple of stools in the potty area for the first couple of months for him to sniff.
- Take your pup out immediately after meals, after waking up from sleep, before going to sleep, after coming out of the crate, and after stimulating play.
- One sure sign your pup is thinking about eliminating is urgently sniffing around the perimeter of the room. Don’t wait for an accident, hustle him out the door on leash saying, “let’s go outside” so he begins to make the association.
- Accompany your dog outside on leash until he reliably eliminates in the yard immediately. Puppies and young dogs are easily distracted, so you must accompany them to keep them on task and try to limit distractions. Go to the same location and follow the instructions (below) for teaching him to eliminate on command.
- Some pups need to eliminate multiple times before they’re really done. If your pup eliminates soon after returning inside, wait longer on subsequent outdoor trips to give him time to go multiple times. If your pup only urinates a little each time, he may be marking or, if he’s straining he may have an infection.
- If your pup eliminates in the crate, consistently has accidents, or suddenly regresses in his potty training, have him checked by a vet first, then back up in your training routine.
- Complete all accident clean-ups by soaking the soiled area with an enzyme-activated cleaner (Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution)
- Until you are 100% sure your pup understands potty training (signals when he has to go out, has been successfully interrupted in the house & hasn’t had an accident for at least a month straight), he should be either supervised or crated. Hook his leash to your belt loop and close off some rooms of the house.
- Limit/monitor the amount of water your pup drinks prior to being crated for an extended period of time. Unless it’s extremely hot/humid, your pup doesn’t need unlimited access to water.
- Keep track of what time and how much your pup eats and drinks and when he poops/pees using a tracking chart. That way, you can spot patterns when an accident occurs and make adjustments in your routine to help him be successful.
Teaching Your Dog to Eliminate Outside
While we can help you deal with this problem in any of our training programs, quite honestly, we’d prefer to leave this dirty work to you. Potty training a dog really is a pet owner rite of passage that we would be remiss to deny you the opportunity to experience.
In addition, if it’s your only dog behavior problem you can save a boatload of money addressing it yourself. Trainers charge top-dollar to help people with this very basic, but particularly unappealing, issue.
Please note, I am continually updating, adding to, and improving these “I Need Help With…” pages as I have time to do so in between training dogs and helping people offline. If you don’t see helpful information regarding this topic today, please check back again later. Or contact me so I can provide some recommendations and resources. Thanks!