Something That Just Might be Ruining Your Potty Training!

Potty training is one of the biggest problems among dog owners.

And, I find that it is the least understood.

Somehow we accept that tiny humans have accidents until they are 4 or 5 or even older in some cases; after all not all kids are totally potty trained when they go to kindergarten but we expect our puppies to come home at 6 to 8 weeks and never have an accident.

I totally don’t understand this phenomenon.

I probably get a dozen questions a week about an 8 week old puppy having accidents.

I suppose I understand that not all humans that have puppies have had babies… but I am pretty certain any full grown human being understands that babies are not fully potty trained at 8 weeks.

Give your puppy a chance to be a baby, trust me it won’t last long and you will have an adult dog!

So First Off

So first off, puppies are going to have accidents.

And, if you quickly clean them up and work on training, that is all that they are!

Just like any other training.

If you avoid training, or completely cleaning it up; you are going to create a habit.

Most Habits are Bad

Actually that is not true.

I shower every morning, you can set your clock by it.

I also brush my teeth and have other great habits.

But most people don’t think of those as actual habits.

We tend to think of bad things as “habits” like smoking, or chewing tobacco, or coffee and caffeine (some people like those habits!)

No Matter How You Look at It

But no matter how you look at it, habits are hard to break.

I could have a fever of 105, with a head cold that makes it difficult to move; yet I still have a strong desire to shower and brush my teeth and stick to my “habits”.

Some habits are more compulsive and addictive; but the definition of a habit a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

This is why it is SOOOO critical that we don’t let potty training “accidents” become actual habits!

Because once this bad behavior becomes a habit is it so much more difficult to break for more about why it is even more difficult for dogs, click here bad habits are hard to break.

I Think We Can Agree on That!

Now!  Let’s Break Down Leaving Your Dog Outsideoutside dog potty training, Potty Training, potty training success, dog potty training tips

Now that we have established that habits are very difficult to break.

And, because dogs can’t make a conscious choice to break their own habits (like we can with smoking or eating healthy etc.) because they don’t have that ability to rationalize or even understand “bad behavior”; let’s understand why leaving your dog outside is bad for his potty training.

So you Leave Your Dog Outside

So you leave your dog outside, because you are frustrated and you are tired of potty training.

It seems easier!

I know a lot of people to boot puppies or dogs outside all day or for hours at a time.

But this only teaches your dog to relieve himself WHENEVER HE WANTS.

Your puppy or dog gets the urge, he squats or poops whenever he desires.

Some dogs are more oriented to cleanliness and they will only poop and pee in a certain area of the yard.  But the truth is these dogs are fairly few and far in between.

Dogs don’t want to lay in or near their own excrement, but otherwise they aren’t horribly bothered by it.

So your dog is never actually developing the desire to hold his bladder and bowels.  He goes whenever he feels the urge.

I Love Comparisons

Any of you who are familiar with me or my writing knows, I love comparing; many people don’t understand dogs… but they do understand humans and a comparison between the two makes it easier for humans to understand dogs.

But I can’t even come close to making a comparison here.

I guess it would be like never potty training or diapering your child and releasing them outside.

Ridiculous, right?

That is kind of how I feel when people complain that the dog is out all day, has never been truly potty trained and still comes in and has accidents.

Of course!  Of course the dog does, he has never been taught the value or skill of holding his bladder and bowels, he has just been left to his own devices outside.

Potty training is an actual SKILL.outside dog potty training, Potty Training, potty training success, dog potty training tips

And, probably one of the most important skill!  More dogs are taken to shelters and euthanized because they can’t “potty train”.

If You Want a Potty Trained Dog

If you want an indoor dog, and you want that dog potty trained, you actually have to spend the time and effort training.  For more help, here are many articles and resources for you HERE

Remember most puppies will have accidents while they are young and learning.

Also remember if you leave your puppy outside for a few hours, he is likely to come inside and have an accident because mostly likely he went potty fairly promptly after going outside!

Anything worth having takes time, effort and training!

Don’t avoid it.

Don’t put it off!

Don’t blame the dog!

And, please don’t let your puppy or dog develop bad potty habits!

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  1. Steve says:

    We have an outside dog. He seems to hold it when he is in the truck or when I let him in the house for a few minutes. When in the truck he will wine a little to let me know it is time. When in the house, I let him in for just a few minutes then take him back out. Each time he is in the house, I let him stay a few minutes more then take him out. My hope is I will find that moment when he wines or gives a signal that it is time. What do you think about this method?


  2. Janet Gay says:

    Our German Shepherd, Mauser, was potty trained just fine but now he poops in the house even if we leave him for just a few minutes. He is 5 years old. Ex: My husband took me to work (about 2 miles away from our house) and then went back home. During that short time period he pooped on the floor. This happens just about every time we leave him. We now have to put him in a kennel all day while we work and we really hate to do that. Can he be trained by using your methods at his age?? I’m very interested in your training techniques and wish I had seen this when he was a puppy.

    Thanks for your response.


    Minette Reply:

    Get him to a vet. Any new behavior with an adult dog should be diagnosed by a vet first. He might be sick


  3. Lacy says:

    I have a five year old Lhasa Apso female who is trained to potty on a pad. Recently she developed a urinary track infection we took her to the vet and got it under control. During that time she had several accidents and now will sometimes pee on the floor and other times on her potty pad. I am so frustrated. I have tried rewarding her for when she uses her pad and scolding her for going on the floor. I could really use some advice.

    Thank You


  4. Barb says:

    My dog uses a potty pad and urinates only on the pad it works great but she will poop anywhere in the house she wants. She is 5 yrs old and I don’t know what to do. She’s a little dog and the potty pad works really well and she never urinates anywhere else except outside when we go for walks. She used to do both on the pad and then she just stopped pooping on the pad I need help


    Minette Reply:

    Again, I would point out that potty pads aren’t working and recommend the indoor potty stations.

    working 50% of the time is not working at all!


  5. Shelley Huber says:

    Just got a new miniature dachshund. She is three months old. I just want you to tell me how you potty train a puppy. Please write down the method and EMAIL ME A.S.A.P. at


  6. Cheryl Mansfield says:

    I have a 5 month old rescue terrier/ lab mix. She sleeps all night in her crate ( her choice). Faithful about going out to pee in the morning, but will poop in the house after I feed her. I have changed this routine to feeding her first then taking her out to pee and poop. This has worked well for the first poop of the day but, then will poop in the same area of the house later in the morning. Sometimes she will bark AFTER the incident. Or, will try to eat poop (Yuck) to cover it up. Very good about barking to go out to pee, but she is very easily distracted outside, so it takes forever. Does she really have to pee or just wants to go out? She is a great dog, but I am struggling with this behavior. Please help


  7. what are potty stations? My rat-cha is 3, I got her at 1yr. old. She spent most her life in a kennel due to the people being gone all day long. She will pee on her pads,sometimes poop on them but if she gets angry with me because I had to put her in the kennel to go to an appointment she is extremely tied to me. If I leave her out of her kennel she will claw the rug by the door to get to me.


    Minette Reply:

    usually a pad of fake grass you can find them at any large pet food store


  8. Irene McWatt says:

    Some years ago a friend of mine got a puppy spaniel bitch. She wanted to train her dog to go behind the shed in the garden, and do her business there, but didn’t know how. I told her: “Next time you take her out, bring a tissue in a plastic bag. After a pee, drape this tissue over the fluid and soak up as much of her own urine as you can. Put this very quickly back into the plastic bag (handle with gloves if need be). When you get home shake out the wet tissue in the place where you want her to go. Once she gets used to her own smell in a certain place she’ll use that spot.” My friend took my advice, and had no more ‘potty’ problems.


  9. Irina says:

    My puppi is 15 weeks old she is not potty trained. We got her in February it was very cold outside and we try pads. Now we going outside for putty. We walk for hours and she just sniffing and not go putty. We told her “go potty” and she just eat grass. What shoul we do?


  10. Sandra says:

    I have a 4 month old German shepherd puppy. At 8 weeks she was going outside at night by herself to potty, no accidents in the house at all! We leave the door cracked so she can get out and the porch light on. One night, all that stopped, there was a skunk at the bottom of the steps. she has not gone out at night since and she pees on a pad and poops at least 4 times during the night and eats about a third of it. the door is open and the outside light is on. she is kenneled during the day for 9 hours and my husband refuses to kennel her at night because of that. Help!


  11. Joanne Howarth says:

    We have a 13 week Shih Tzu and I’m struggling to house train her. We have the training pads and I take them outside which has had some success. We can go for a walk and she might hold on until we get home before she goes for a wee and has never pooped on a walk. She peed on our walk today and pooped on the pad while outside. The pads are mostly successful indoors but we want her to hold on for outside. How do we make the transition between training pads where we reward for a hit and peeing and pooping for a reward?


  12. Juanita Clark says:

    We have a lab/mountain cur mix. He is very smart but will be outside then come inside get up on my bed and pee. Do you have any suggestions.


  13. Sally says:

    We have 2 working cocker spaniel’s and they are 14 weeks old. We are having a terrible time training them to pee and poo outside plus they have got into the habit of eating there poo.yuk… can we stop this. Thanks


  14. Janice says:

    I got a Pomeranian and Yorkie mixed. I will take her outside and as soon as we come back in the house, she will pee or poop in tge house. No matter what lenght of time Im outside with her she comes in and does her business!!! Help SHE’S DRIVING ME CRAZY. SHE IS 12 WEEKS OLD!!!


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