3 Free Potty Training Tips

Would you like to be able to TRUST that your dog won’t piss all over your house?

Have you tried scolding him, or rubbing your dog’s nose in his own pee when you catch him… and it just doesn’t seem to be working?

If that sounds like you, then you’re going to LOVE these 3 FREE potty training tips that you can use to fix your dog’s potty training problems once and for all.

Each of these tips are crucial to follow if you ever want your dog to be TRULY potty trained.

Make Your Dog EARN Room Rights

Dogs have a natural instinct and desire to NOT piss on themselves or their territory.  This is why you see so many dog trainers talk about why you should crate train your dog.

I call this desire to not eliminate on themselves or their territory, the “Rental Car” mindset.  The “Rental Car Mindset states that we always treat things we consider to be our own, better then we treat things that we are merely renting, or don’t consider to be our own.

This certainly is a simple way to think about whether your dog is potty trained, or is NOT potty trained.  If he’s potty trained, then you’ve effectively shown him that your home is his territory and, if you haven’t potty trained your dog, you’ll want to follow the exercises below to help teach him to respect his territory.

A very simple example of the Rental Car Mindset at work is when you see dog trainers talk about crate training.

Crate training a doghow to potty train a puppy, how to potty train a dog forces the dog to live in a space for a long period of time without peeing in it, because dogs don’t like peeing on themselves.  And when a dog lives in a space long enough without peeing in it, and is also shown WHERE to pee once he leaves “his” space, you end up with a dog who understands where he can and can NOT pee.

But most experts who teach you this technique are leaving out a big part of the story.

What Do You Do After
Your Dog Is Crate Trained?

Simply crate training your dog is NOT enough to effectively potty train your dog.

In order to effectively potty train your dog you need to take the same concept that crate training uses to teach the dog that a crate is his OWN space, and apply it to larger rooms of your house.

This is where the concept of Earning Room Rights comes into play.

When I say Earning Room Rights, I’m talking about a process of confining an un-potty trained dog to one small room, and helping him understand that that particular room is not to be eliminated in until he fully grasps that concept.

Once the dog has fully mastered the art of holding his bladder in this first room that room is now Pee Proof, then and only then do we slowly give the dog the opportunities to earn the rights to additional rooms.

Thus the name, Earning Room Rights 🙂

3 Tips To Pee Proofing A Room

Most of my clients who struggle potty training their dogs are making one of these 3 Pee Proofing mistakes.

Mistake #1: Focusing on more then one room, or one space at a time

Never forget that potty training dogs is done one room at a time.

Start teaching your dog how to be potty trained by picking one room of your home and confining your dog to that space with gates.  I personally like to pick a heavily trafficked room that has a door leading outside

how to potty train a puppy, how to potty train a dog

Pee Odors Are Harder To Remove From Carpet. Start potty training in rooms with harder surfaces.

To some dogs carpet is a bulls-eye just waiting to be shot at.  So to help make your potty training job easier, just avoid carpet altogether if you can.

Mistake #2: Failure to do Temptation Testing

If your dog seems to be holding his bladder in his one isolated room for hours at a time, even when you leave him unsupervised, don’t think your work is done.

As I mentioned before, many dogs have certain surfaces that they prefer to pee on, or certain objects like stuffed animals.

When I was potty training my Golden Retriever, Bauer, he would behave perfectly on linoleum, but had a hard time resisting the urge to go on the carpet.

So I felt that before Bauer had earned the right to have access to carpeted rooms, he needed to undergo some carpet Tempatation Testing.

Temptation Testing is simply taking the types of surfaces, or objects that your dog likes to pee on and puting them into the gated off room that you’ve been Pee Proofing.

how to potty train a puppy, how to potty train a dog

Tempt your dog to pee on slabs of carpet before introducing to carpeted rooms

In the case of my Golden Retriever, I noticed that if I left him unsupervised with a slab of carpet in his room, he would pee on it.

Knowing he couldn’t pass this Temptation Test saved me lots of messy clean ups, because if my dog couldn’t resist the urge to pee on one single slab of carpet in an entirely linoleum covered room, then he hadn’t Earned The Rights to carpeted rooms.

If your dog has the same kind of problem, this is the point where you want to train him that if he has to go, there is an EASIER and more rewarding way to go to the bathroom INSTEAD of peeing on the carpet.

This is the point that I like to teach people the “Jingle Bell” technique, which is a technique for teaching your dog to TELL you when he needs to go potty, and earning rewards for doing so.

If you’d like to learn more about the Jingle Bell technique, along with dozens of other potty training strategies, you can find them inside my “Hands Off” dog training course here:

Hands Off Dog Training Course

In short, just make sure your dog can pass the Temptations to pee on different objects before you expose him to a new room.

Mistake #3: Only give Partial access to new rooms

how to potty train a puppy, how to potty train a dog

Allow dogs to lay on small sections of carpet before giving full access to new room

This technique is pretty straightforward, but ignored by many.

Too many people get their dog’s to stop pissing in one room, and then start thinking their dog is completely potty trained and ready for the whole house.

That ain’t necessarily so 😉

When you’ve successfully Pee Proofed the first room of your home, and your dog is passing his Temptation Tests don’t just give complete access to a 2nd room of your home.

This new room, hasn’t been lived in by your dog, and is not yet considered his.

In the case of my own dog, when he’d earn the right to gain access to a second room in our home, instead of opening up the entire room to him, I adjusted the baby gates that had previously locked him in our kitchen with , so that they allowed Bauer enough space to come lay down in the second room, but nothing more.

This meant I only allowed him to walk two or three additional feet into this second room.

This process allows him to be further tempted by the carpeted surface I was letting him onto, as well as slowly spread his scent into that room and start to think of it as his own as well.

As I noticed him continuing to do well, I would slowly open up more and more of the room to him.  By the time he had access to the whole room, he’d already filled the room with his scent and taken ownership of it.

If you’ll follow this process, you’ll notice that each additional room your dog earns the right to live in becomes easier and easier to Pee Proof.  Just try to resist the urge to give your dog access to the whole house and you’ll find potty training a MUCH simpler process.

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  1. Geoff says:

    Great article! So much information on what is such an important topic! I recently bought a dog crate to crate train my 3 year old dog who was tearing my blinds down when I left home for work during the day. He was getting so frantic that he would try and jump out the windows and in the process pull all of my expensive blinds down! It took a while but I can honestly say that buying a crate and teaching my dog to use it was the best investment I ever made. Now everyday when i come home from work he is well behaved and waiting for me in his crate. I found heaps of good crate training information at http://petdogcrates.com — hopefully this info can help some others. Thanks again for the great article!


    Elaine Reply:

    Oh, Geoff, my dog has separation anxiety too and tears the blinds down hoping to get out the window. The crate is the only way I can come home to a whole house. Crating has not solved her anxiety tho, she tears up her pillows, blankets and bounces on the walls trying to get out. I know this because her crate is in a different spot when I get home. She is a rescue dog and I have had her only one year (she is 6) and perfect in every other behavior. It really bothers me to go off and know she is suffering. Thanks for any ideas to help her!


    Minette Reply:

    Try music to keep her from hearing everything around her.

    When she hears you leave and cars buzz by and the mail man come it can add to her fear and frustration.

    Music helps drown out the noise and fears she is hearing, especially if you normally live in a busy loud house.

    The TV or my music is almost always playing during the day at my house. My house is almost never completely quiet… But when we leave… we always leave our dogs in complete silence.

    I would also ask your vet about medications that may help her and possibly put her crate somewhere dark so she gets less stimulation to feed her fears.

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/claustrophobia-terror-dogs-tail/


  2. shepherd says:

    dear sir
    i liked the way you train the dogs i have seen the video it is very grate and nice
    thanking you


  3. Paulette says:

    We have three older dogs. They are very spoiled and set in their ways. I have been the latest edition to this family. I want to know if there is a way to house break these dogs. One dog is approx. 10 yrs. old. He is blind and deaf. The next is 7 years. She’s the worst. She will sneak around and go in other rooms. The last is 5 years. She is the littlest and gets a lot of sympathy from her owner.
    I am at my wits end. I am about to have new carpet laid in my home. Can you help me?
    Sincerely, Paulette


  4. Carole Coleman says:

    My husband & I recently (30 days) got 2 shelter dogs. They are small dogs of mixed breed, litter mates, female 2 yrs old. The maltese mix is perfectly housebroken. BUT her sister is not. We are tryng the clicker & treats when she goes outside to pee. Her name is Pepper & we will have 5-6 days when she doesn’t go in the house & then she goes inside. There is a doggie door but she simply goes outside to look around & doesn’t relate that to going to the bathroom outside. She also doesn’t like the grass. We are in Arizona and there is gravel in the yard so we take her to that,but I think her prefernce is the concrete patio. I call her my peepot, when we try and brag on her when she goes outside, it is like she doesn’t relate the action to what she did (therefore the clicker) How long can this take? Forever?


  5. I taught my dog to pee and poop on newspaper. That’s why when he sees a newspaper, he always pees or poop on them. So I always see to it that newspapers are always in place. I really like the first picture anyway.


  6. Cindy says:

    My dog must have been the easiest dog in the world to house train. We got him when he was 8 weeks old, and he had lived outside his whole life. I was lucky to not be employed at the time, so I was able to keep my eye on him for signs of needing a pee break. Every time he started sniffing the floor, i took him outside. He only peed in the house a couple times, and once recently in the bathroom, but he hit the toilet. 🙂


    gramagracie Reply:

    hit the toilet!! Wow! I want my puppy to do that!


  7. We adopted an 8lb. Pom mix 2 years ago from the shelter. She instantly bonded with my husband and is pretty indifferent to me. She was around 9 yo. when we got her. She doesn’t respond to food treats and doesn’t seem to know how to play. She goes outside to pee and poop every few hours but often comes in and pees inside. She knows we want her to pee outside, but doesn’t seem to really care. Originally, I tried crating her but she got hysterical and peed and pooped all over the crate. Since then we leave peepee pads in specific places and have her gated in the bedroom area when we go out. Sometimes she uses all 6 of them and sometimes she goes right next to them. We think she is also untraining our other dog, but since she’s 17, we don’t blame her. She has a forever home with us and we love her, but its pretty frustrating and prevents us from traveling with her or having company over. Is there anything we can do?


    Minette Reply:

    First I am sure it is not that she knows you want her to pee outside and is refusing, she probably is used to peeing everywhere!

    And, if that it the case you need to keep her with you.

    I’d use a leash and when she starts to pee inside just say “ahhh” and take her outside.

    It is harder to change a conditioned behavior but it is possible, it is just a lot of work!


  8. Elizabeth says:

    I adopted a 18mth old pom X foxie, since bringing her home at first she would go and do her business on the grass or my gardens which I liked, then she started doing in on our tiles as it had rained that night and now she is doing it on the tiles all the time. I have washed them down with vinegar but this still hasn’t detered her from doing her business. She seems to always do it at night when we are asleep.
    How do you stop this from occuring.


    Minette Reply:

    Put her in a crate at night.


  9. Margaret says:


    I have a client who owns a female spayed cocker that came from a puppy mill as a brood bitch she was 5yr when they adopted her. She never learned to play and is not super demonstrative toward owners but they knew what to expect as wife worked at a humane society for a few years. Wife states cocker is very nervous at home is easily frightened by noises. In the exam room it looked bored and quiet on owners lap.
    Then they adopted a large Pomeranian female spayed dog a year or so later. The cocker let the pom know she was boss and pom accepted the relationship. Recently, however, the pom is now 3 years old it has started marking on the cocker’s bed, the couch, and other objects in the house like a male dog. This started in March but has been increasing in frequency so they brought her in to eliminate a physical cause. This dog has always marked like a male when taken for walks.
    The Urinalysis was normal as was physical. Dog is very attention seeking, very friendly. Cocker is older and somewhat aloof. I suggested that the pom was beginning to test the cocker’s dominant
    position. I suggested going back to basic potty training, using the crate when unsupervised, constant supervision when out of crate, praise potty outdoors. Try adaptil collar and spray for areas pom consistently marks. Also gave some info. on clomicalm. Do you have any suggestions I missed? I said there may be something that has made the cocker seem less dominant, and the pom is at the age that she is recognizing her power over the owners! This was very apparent in the exam room.
    Wife does not believe this dominant/submissive behavior as she believes the cocker spaniel is abnormal due to how raised and doesn’t exhibit normal dog signals!! Although she was the first to explain how cocker put pom in her place when it first arrived home. I disagreed politely, and said it is true they don’t develop same type of relationships with people if they had not experienced good human socialization, however she spoke dog very well! I have a little human problem here more than a Pomeranian that is not trainable as it was very responsive in exam room! I also suggested consultation with board certified behaviorist as I felt she wasn’t happy with any of my reasons or suggestions. Need help with different ideas for cocker/pom relationship, but more so help communicating problem and fixes to wife. I would appreciate any help. Thank you for your time in advance if you decide to answer me.


    Margaret Berry DVM


    Minette Reply:

    I would agree with the things that you have said.

    I always wonder about the mindset and the health of the “alpha” dog when challenged by a “beta” that has been around for a while. Often you can see this when dogs have diseases like cancer or have a change in their mental state. I know you being a vet, have examined the dogs and found nothing; however sometimes I think dogs can sense things that we can see. It may just be that the dog has less of a desire for conflict as it ages.

    I too would restrict the marking Pom and keep it on a leash etc. to control her environment.

    I would also make sure to spend plenty of time with this dog; sometimes dogs mark and change their behaviors because they don’t feel like their needs or desires are being met… so a one on one walk or training session a day or more can help change the dynamics of how the other dog feels.

    And, then it is all about monitoring the relationship between the two of them to make sure things are not changing or escalating to aggression.

    I like adding obedience to the regiment of both dogs so the owner can control a problem if it begins.

    They can try walking and socializing and playing with them together as well so that they are learning to have fun together, however for some dogs this creates jealousy and makes problems worse… that will depend on the relationship of the dogs.

    But obedience is never a bad thing!


  10. nicki says:

    hi, i have a 7 month old rottweiler pup. I take him out around 7 to eight times a dat, but he still continues to do his bussiness in the house. I am getting him a creat to see if it helps. Is there anything else i can do to help him.


    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/9-week-puppy-potty-trained/


  11. Linda Waggoner says:

    July 14, 2014

    We are getting a 9 week old Icelandic Sheepdog puppy the first week in August. I paid for the dog training secret hands off training and have been reviewing some of the videos. I am focusing on potty training. I work from home and will be able to watch the puppy. I understand what to do when I am home, but this house has a very nice dog door that leads to an area of the yard where the dog can go to the bathroom. The dog door is in the utility room and I am wondering if after I teach the puppy to go outside when I am home, can I leave the puppy in the utility room and teach him to go out the dog door when I have to be away. I also have a crate, but would like to eventually utilize this dog door. Also do I need to take the dog to this fenced area in the back where the dog door is every time he pees when I am home??

    Thank you, Linda Waggoner reply to lindawaggoner@gmail.com


    Minette Reply:

    One thing at a time. People often expect too much too quickly.

    If you want the dog potty trained in the home you need to work on potty training, crate training and going outside with the puppy basically until he is fully potty trained.

    Once he is fully potty trained you can begin to tackle the idea of teaching him about his dog door.

    But all of these concepts at once is likely to be confusing and is not teaching him to hold his bladder.


  12. Sheila McKee says:

    Our 6 month old lab is crated during the day while we are gone to work and also at night when we go to bed. Is there anything that we can do to calm her happy pee when she is almost outside? Our entryway and front porch take the brunt of the happy pee, but That’s not the air freshener we prefer.


    Minette Reply:

    Try and get her out faster with no pauses. Maybe open the door so that you don’t have to pause in the entry way to greet or touch or stop the dog.


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