How to Potty Train YOURSELF, The Truth About Potty Training
Okay so most of you who are reading this are probably already potty trained. The heading sounds ridiculous, but I want you to “re-think” everything you know about potty training your puppy or dog. The problem is that we think it is “the dog’s problem”.
- He isn’t potty trained yet
- Or he has accidents
- Or he sneaks off at night and urinates or defecates
- Or he has accidents when you are gone
- It feels like you have tried EVERYTHING (you have no idea how often I hear this statement).
But The Truth is You are Looking At It ALL WRONG
Your dog or puppy having “accidents in the house” is more about YOU than it is about anyone else. You see, it is your job to teach your dog and make sure he doesn’t have accidents.
Tiny puppies are like “tiny babies” they all gain bladder and bowel control at a different rate.
Some puppies show extreme control at 8 weeks and are able to go several hours without the need to urinate or defecate in their space. Other puppies gain this control at an older age.
I have owned them both. I have had puppies that at 9 weeks were basically potty trained. I had one pup, that was fully potty trained and had full access to the house (only utilizing the crate for training) when he was 16 weeks old.
And, I have had “dirty puppies” the ones that seem to urinate on themselves and in their crates for weeks. For more on dirty puppies click here But there is one thing that remains the same no matter which puppy “hand” you get dealt.
It is up to YOU to do the work.
Puppies don’t pop out of the womb knowing anything about potty training.
And, depending on the mother and the breeder and environment depends on how clean your puppy has a desire to be. Some puppies want to be clean, and others have no problem laying in their own poop.
But it is our job as the humans in their lives or their human parents to make sure we are giving them the training that they need to be successful members of our families. And, for most of us that means being and keeping clean!
What Must YOU Do?
Set your alarm!
Puppies need to go out every hour or two to make sure they are emptying their bladders.
They also need to go out after exercise, naps, and eating or drinking.
Think of their tiny bladders and bowels and think about how little space there is in there after they eat and drink!
That may help to remind you how often they need to go outside!
Watch your puppies or even your adult dogs that need potty training like a hawk hunting prey.
Don't let them wander the house, put them in a play pen or even let them play outside without keeping an eye on them.
YOU must get used to their schedule and notice if they haven't pottied appropriately.
Go outside with them.
It doesn’t matter if it is 50 below zero, or raining cats and dogs ;) you must accompany a dog that is in the dire straits of potty training!
If you don’t go with them and watch them how will you know if they have relieved themselves or if they still need more time or are more likely to sneak off and poop or pee in the house?
It starts with getting them outside regularly and following them around outside, getting used to their schedule and recognizing when a “pee” didn’t last as long as it usually does, or a “poop” doesn’t look as big as usual (signifying they weren’t done ;)
For instance, I know exactly when each of my dog normally poops (one of them poops at 4:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. the other at noon)
Now this is important Pay Attention You MUST follow them around INSIDE your house.
I don't use puppy pads because they encourage my dogs to go potty inside, which, in my opinion is counter productive to what I want!
In my experience, when a puppy or a dog sneaks out of the room or is suddenly missing they are getting into trouble. My dogs choose to stay in the room I am in, unless of course they are attempting to steal something off the counter, chew something they shouldn’t, or have an “accident” inside.
Do My Dogs Make Mistakes?
They did! They were all “new” or puppies at some point.
The Difference Is
I keep mine on leash or follow their every move until I can trust them (which is usually several weeks or a few months) If I can’t watch them they go into crates until I can!
At my house you don’t get privileges until you EARN them; and BTW I still keep an eye on them ;) Because, after all, I am the human and it is my responsibility to make sure my dogs are properly trained, maintained, and that I don't have to waste time cleaning up messes!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.