Potty training is one of the most frustrating tasks that a dog owner will need to deal with. Some dogs potty train in just a few weeks, while it takes others months to become fully housebroken. All dogs learn differently, but these best potty training tricks for dogs are sure to make your potty training sessions smoother and more effective.
While these tips are effective, they aren't going to help if you aren't consistent and patient with your pet. House training a puppy won't happen overnight. For the most stubborn puppies, it may take months of training before they are 100% potty trained.
Consistency is the key to dog training, and this is especially true when toilet training your pooch. Whether you have a young puppy or an older dog that hasn't been properly trained in the past, you can teach Fido to do his business outside if you're consistent and patient.
5 Best Potty Training Tricks for Dogs
Puppies have small bladders. They can only hold it for so long before they have an accident. What I'm trying to say is that accidents are inevitable when toilet training a dog.
Creating a regular schedule will help to prevent as many accidents as possible. You need to expect that your dog will need to go outside to do their business:
- About once an hour in the beginning of the toilet training process
- Within half an hour after meal
- After playtime or exercise
- After waking up in the morning or after a nap
Feeding your dog on a regular schedule will ensure that his bathroom schedule is regular too. Dogs usually need to go to the bathroom within 30-60 minutes after eating. Plan your schedule accordingly.
2. Reward the good, and NEVER punish
One of the best potty training tricks for dogs is to never punish the dog for having an accident. Dog trainers and experts in the pet industry used to tell owners to “rub their dog's nose in it” if they had an accident inside. Not only is this cruel, but research shows that yelling does little to teach your dog right from wrong.
Dogs learn best from positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement only teaches them what not to do and that you can’t be trusted. Think about how difficult it would be for you to know what you were supposed to do if you were only being punished for doing the wrong thing – dogs will react similarly.
3. Crate training
When done properly, crate training provides a safe, comfortable space for your dog to be when you can't keep an eye on him. You can use a crate to secure your dog so that he doesn't have the opportunity to have accidents when you’re not looking.
Dogs will not go to the bathroom where they sleep. If you crate train your pup properly, his crate will become his sanctuary. He won't want to pee or poop there, which will motivate him to hold it until he gets a bathroom break outside.
A dog’s crate should be tall enough for him to stand up and large enough for him to turn around. Keeping a crate to this size (not larger) ensures your dog's comfort, but also keeps him from going to the bathroom inside.
Unless a dog has a medical condition or an upset stomach, he will not go potty where they sleep. Larger crates allow your dog a sleeping area AND an area where he can go to the bathroom with room in between for the mess to be avoided.
4. Be patient and don't blame the dog
House breaking a dog will take time, and the process itself might potentially get frustrating and annoying, but you must stay consistent. If progress is slow and accidents are frequent, it can be tempting to change your training plan part-way through.
Be patient. Many variables will effect how quickly your dog learns to use the bathroom outside, but all dogs will eventually learn with consistency and positive reinforcement.
Accidents (potty and otherwise) happen when a dog is not being monitored. If you can’t keep a close eye on your dog, put him in his crate. Do not get angry at your dog for having an accident while you are preoccupied. It's not his fault that you were too busy to notice he needed a bathroom break.
5. Have a designated “potty spot”
I saved the best potty training tricks for dogs for last. In my opinion, having a designated “potty spot” outside is the most important trick to house training your pet. Take your dog to the same spot outdoors when you take him out to potty.
The smell of urine in the area will prompt Fido to go again in the exact same spot. There are thousands of smells outside, which can be distracting for a dog. The urine smell will entice your dog to use the bathroom in the beginning, and eventually he will get used to the routine.