Dog Potty Training
An old dog can be taught new tricks and thankfully dog potty training is one of them. Ideally when you bring home your new dog from the pound or offer to dog sit for one of your friends, that dog’s potty training has already been completed so you are not left with the clean up. The unfortunate reality is a majority of people do not have their dog potty trained.
A major mistake some dog owners make when starting the dog potty training process is the jump right into it without teaching their dog anything else.
I believe in a process called shaping that teaches your dog to think for itself and solve problems on his own. If this is done I promise the rest of these dog training instructions will be a walk in the park!
Dog Potty Training Step #1
It’s important you establish a spot while potty training that your dog knows is where he needs to perform his duties. You must take them there every time except of course when you are away from home. This is extremely important in the dog potty training process. Pigs actually learn this on their own but we have to teach our furry friends.
On a side note, a puppies mother can actually do a lot of the potty training for your dog. I know of several reputable breeders who tell me that the mother dog trains their pups not to eliminate in their beds and makes them follow her outside… so with a bit of luck, hopefully you got your dog from a breeder who teaches these techniques.
When you suspect your dog is ready to go take him to the potty spot. The signs are usually pretty clear. They’ll start sniffing around or walking a little funny. If it’s been a couple hours it’s probably best to just take them out.
When he starts to go at the potty spot say your command whatever it’s going to be. We’ll use “go potty.” After he eliminates give him large amounts of praise and a special treat. You could also use your clicker here if you’re using one. Your dog lives for your praise so needless to say it’s important in dog potty training as well.
Dog Potty Training Step #2
Here’s one thing we’ve found that works really well, especially for people who will be taking their dog with them over to others peoples house and don’t want to be embarrassed when Fido eliminates on the carpet. Get a bell and attach it to a rope or something so it can be hung around the doorknob. Then through the shaping process teach your dog when he bumps the bell with his nose he goes outside.
The process is fairly simple as every time the door opens the bell is going to clang which will lead to the dog figuring out the bell means the door is opening. Then you show him when he bumps the bell with his nose he gets rewarded. Once you get that far the final step in the bell process is teaching him the reward only comes when he goes potty after ringing the bell and going outside.
It’s one of those trained behaviors that’s SUPER simple to teach any dog, but really impresses your guests. But more importantly, it gives your dog a way to actually tell you he REALLY needs to go potty. This comes in VERY handy when you don’t happen to be in the same room with your dog when nature calls… but with the ringing of the bell, you can hear your dog asking to go outside from any room in your house!
That’s pretty cool when you think about it. You can pick up a dog potty training bell here.
Dog Potty Training Step #3
One thing to realize in the dog potty training process is there are going to be accidents. What you do when your dog has an accident is very important. Yes I know that nobody likes cleaning up after the fact but if you react negatively your dog will start to associate your anger or frustration with him going to the bathroom and will be afraid to eliminate around you. I would say this is the biggest mistake people make while dog potty training.
So instead of reacting negatively by yelling or even rubbing their nose in it concentrate more on heavily rewarding the good behavior. Now your family has a potty trained dog they can enjoy in the house or if you’re dog sitting you can return the dog fully potty trained to the owner with of course a small bill!