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 Outside
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.
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.
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!
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.