Owning a dog is awful, but that can only happen when your dog doesn’t meet your expectations. Bringing home a dog means bringing home new challenges. One big challenge that you may face is to potty train a dog. Some dogs will learn this trick quickly, while others may struggle for a while. House soiling is the top reason why dogs lose their homes or end up in shelters.
The process of training a dog to learn the appropriate time and place to discharge is called Potty Training. Positive Reinforcement is the key to successful potty training instead of punishment. Therefore, during this training period, always be patient, calm, and consistent.
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How Long Will it Take to Potty Train a Dog?
On average, it takes approximately 4 to 6 months to potty train a dog. However, it may take a bit longer if you are a novice owner, as you need to get used to your new puppy and her potty routine.
There are other parameters when potty training could prolong or shorten the amount of time it takes to get your dog accident-free. Like,
- If you’ve already potty trained a dog in the past, it will be easier this time too. But, remember, every dog is different, and your current pup may take longer than your previous one.
- Patience, Persistence, and Consistency are crucial when training your dog. The better you stick to these 3 practices of potty training, the quicker he will learn.
- Establishing good routines with your dog will help them learn more quickly.
- Find sufficient time to train your dog—less time to train means slower learning.
- Having multiple people to train your dog slows the process. Try to involve every family member on the same side when training your dog. However, even when everyone learns what to do, we all do it conversely, making it more challenging for your dog to learn.
Tools Required to Potty Train a Dog
Steps to How to Potty Train a Dog?
- Introduce Your Dog to Everything
Introduce your dog to his new home, humans, and their role. Be it a puppy or older dog, when your dog is new to a place; he may be bursting with curiosity, excitement, fear, or joy. Laying out a proper foundation in the early stages of your dog’s life will lead to a good and pleasant relationship with your pet.
- Keep Your Dog Closed
- You can start the training by showing your pet the areas where they are allowed to be. Initially, do not allow your pet to roam and explore independently, especially if you don’t want them to do their business there. For example, if the bedrooms are restricted, close them off and do not allow your dog to explore there.
- Look out for an area that is large enough for the dog to play in but small enough for you to observe it at all times. A small room or sectioned-off area of a room is ideal.
- Ensure to pick an area that has quick and easy access to the outdoors.
- You will notice accidents in the early stages of training, so picking an easy-to-clean area is also a good idea.
- Understand Your Dog’s Particular Breed Behavior and Needs
Examine your dog’s breed traits or any behavior that you should be aware of and look out for. For example, If your dog is a small breed, their bladder will be small. They will need to urinate more frequently; accidents will happen even if they are appropriately trained.
Although most dogs are brilliant, they don’t think as humans do. Therefore, it is often a problem when we expect them to understand simple command words or tell you that they need to pee or poop. For this reason, you must be prepared to know how they communicate with you and study the clues they give and get from you.
- Keep an Eye on Your Dog
Constantly monitor your dog and understand his actions, as this will allow you to look for early signs that it needs to go and help prevent accidents. Signs, such as circling, scratching, and sniffing, indicate that your dog is ready to eliminate. Some of the other signs to look for include whining, barking, or any sudden behavior change. When you see any of these signs in your dog, take him outside immediately.
- Interrupt Accidents
- Clap, and say the word “NO” if you find your dog in any act of urinating or defecating indoors and quickly take them outside. The intent here is to get immediate attention and know that you disapprove of soiling indoors and not scare your dog. Also, be consistent, using the same command and/or clap each time.
- Most dogs will not stop defecating indoors even after doing so. But, it would help if you continue doing the same thing as part of the training process.
- Never punish your dog for accidents as he doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong acts. Also, do not force your dog to smell or keep reminding them of their actions. They will not remember and could become frightened of you.
- When you punish your dog while defecating indoors, it can confuse them and even worsens the situation. Your dog concludes that you get angry when you see him potty. As a result, he will hide at places that are hard for you to reach.
- Pick a Potty Area
- It would be best to pick a specific area outside and take your dog to that place every time. Remember to pick a spot not visited by other pets, is quick to reach, and is also easy to clean up because your dog will detect his urine smell and start to connect the area as its “bathroom.”
- Avoid the areas where other dogs go or have recently gone until your dog has had its third set of vaccines.
- Always take your dog outdoors on a leash so that you can teach him to discharge in a specific location. It can also help you to easily keep an eye on the dog when it is done.
- Choose a Specific Command
Every time you take your dog outside to their potty area, use the word “GO” or pick another command. This will teach him to discharge in that specific location. Your dog will begin to recognize the command and understand what you want him to do. By doing so, your canine will learn when and where to urinate or defecate. Remember to use that command only when you want your dog to discharge, to avoid confusion.
- Praise and Treat for Successes
Always praise your dog and reward him with treats whenever you see him go in the appropriate area. Use a cheerful, happy voice that lets the dog understand it has pleased you. Being consistent this way will motivate them to do their business in the right place.
- Clean up the Accidents Right Away
- When your dog has accidentally discharged inside, it is good to clean the area thoroughly to prevent the dog from wanting to go again in the same place. Use an enzymatic cleaner, not one that contains ammonia, to get rid of the odor and the dog’s attraction to the area.
- Urine’s strong smell of ammonia attracts dogs to smell and mark with their own. For the latter, training pads are sprayed with ammonia to foster a dog to go there. You can also use white vinegar to neutralize the smell of ammonia.
- Crate Your Dog When You Aren’t Monitoring
When you are leaving home or not monitoring your dog, it is suggested to crate your dog. By doing so, your dog will assume his crate as his home and will be unwilling to soil there. If the crate is large enough, it will help your dog use half of its part to rest and the other half as a bathroom. Ensure to limit your dog into the crate for less than 4 hours.
- Establish a Routine
Being consistent is the solution to successful potty training. For example, when taking your dog outside, it is beneficial to use the same door, same spot, and same command to help your dog associate the area with the proper action.
- Take your dog outside, first thing in the morning and after every meal. Take your dog outside anytime you come home, after playing or drinking water, after napping, and just before bedtime.
- With puppies in the early stages of training, you can also try taking them out for 20 to 30-minute daily walks. This will avoid accidents and also give you more possibilities to praise your dog for going to the right place.
Figure out how often your dog needs to go. For example, pay close attention to how frequently your dog needs to urinate to learn his routine and predict when your dog needs a trip outside.
Maintaining a regular feeding schedule will cooperate with a regular potty schedule. However, puppies will usually need to go immediately after eating.
Videos on Potty Train a Dog
Pro-Tips to Potty Train a Dog
- Do not go inside till the dog does his job. Going inside too early will show the dog that it doesn’t matter where they use the bathroom.
- Monitor your dog when you let him out for discharge. Offer a treat when he uses the right area to reinforce your dog’s behavior.
- In the initial stages of the potty-training process, there may not be much of a recognizable routine, especially with very young puppies. During this time, you may find your dog discharging in the wrong place. In these situations, you need to be patient and consistent to see progress in the training.
- Use potty training pads to give a dog a place to go inside as they are usually scented to attract dogs to urinate on them. Potty training pads can be an aid during the training and may seem necessary depending on your situation. However, it can also cause a few problems, such as prolonging the training period and confusing the dog into thinking that he can go inside.
- If you find your dog accidentally eliminating inside the house after many days of doing the job properly, do not praise or punish him. Instead, take him outside immediately and let him go. After entering the home, act disappointed for a few minutes to make your dog understand that he has made a mistake.
Don’ts of Potty Training a Dog
- Keeping a dog tied to a leash without any purpose can be dangerous.
- Dogs with several medical issues like urinary tract infection (UTI) will frequently urinate in small amounts and will not have much control. You may also observe excessive licking of their genital region. If you see a change in the texture of their stool, it could be a gastrointestinal issue. Some common problems in puppies are intestinal parasites caused by eating something apart from their regular diet or a sudden food change. If you plan to change your dog’s food, do it gradually for one week. If you suspect any of these issues causing a severe problem, you should consult with your veterinarian.
- You can stop your dog’s behavioral issues with successful training. When you are away, your puppy may have accidents inside due to separation anxiety. Some dogs become nervous or upset when their owners are away. Other dogs have a submissive or excitement urination problem which causes them to urinate during certain activities spontaneously. Discuss these incidents with your veterinarian or trainer if you’re not getting positive results.
- Skipping your dog’s regular potty breaks could confuse him and may take time longer than usual for your dog to learn.
Potty training is a perfect technique to reinforce your dog’s ideology and obedience. It is recommended to train a dog in the early stages as it would be challenging to teach them when they grow older. Patience, persistence, and consistency are the significant assets to train your dog as a well-mannered pooch.