CRAP Happens: 4 (easy) Tips To Potty Train your Dog
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
Who are you training?
Big dog, tiny dog, old dog, young dog, new-to-the-family dog, or used-to-living-outside dog; I believe it can be taught to urinate in a designated area, meaning NOT in your house.
Young, small, old or anxious dogs all have different needs and we can work with that. Most healthy dogs can go 8-10 hours between potty breaks. 8-10 hours is too long for a puppy or senior dog and may even be too long for your dog…
Smaller dogs, for instance, have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms, so they’ll need to urinate more frequently.
Puppy bodies are not as well developed, so their urinary system will need at least 14 weeks of growing before they can even think about bladder control. Puppies also become more easily excited, and they have lots to remember! So, give them more frequent potty breaks.
If you’ve worked with a dog, then you know that consistency is a key part of training because it helps the dog figure out what you want. This is why dogs like routines. Tackle potty training like any other training, by acting consistently and rewarding desired behavior. Here are the 4 CRAP tips to Potty Train your Dog:
Accidents happen (less with regularly scheduled potty breaks)
Pee often and with excitement!
Crate train your dog before or during potty training. Most dogs will resist peeing where they lay and sleep. Crating when done properly and within a realistic time frame is not only humane, but can also become a safe, comfortable den. You may even find that your pup crates himself when he wants a little alone time. We believe in crate training all our dogs at Wynley Park, even the livestock guardians (LGDs are amazing dogs worthy of their own topic, so more about them and why we crate train them later).
Set your dog up for success by peeing often and with excitement! Start potty training when you have two or more days in a row to devote to her. Give her so many breaks that she can't help but pee in the right spot. Every time she pees where you want her to pee, let her know you're thrilled! Reward your smart wonderful dog with your happy voice, a
good dog pat and/or a small healthy treat.
Keep rewarding that good behavior by planning for it. Take your dog out first thing in the morning, before and after meals, any time he’s drunk lots of water and before his bedtime. After the first few days, you’ll start to be able to predict when your dog wants to potty, and can start working toward a schedule that will work for both of you. Gradually expand the amount of time your pup’s in his crate before going back outside. Keep rewarding that good behavior! You know your pup best, so you’ll figure out what’s a reasonable schedule. Every dog I’ve ever lived with has wanted to pee right after waking up so out we go the same time every morning.
Accidents happen, especially when mastering a new behavior, but planning for plenty of time to teach your dog to pee outside will prepare him for success. When you do catch him mid-stream in the house (and you will), move him outside quickly (accidents happen, after all). Move him gently, no yelling, no babying. He’ll appreciate you not making a big deal out of it and will want to please you even more.
Your CRAP knowledge will result in a happy, housebroken dog within a few months IF YOU commit to the training and stick to a reasonable schedule. Your dog has an uncanny ability to tell time shadowed only by her desire to please you. She can learn when and where to potty.
If potty-training isn’t working or if a housetrained dog starts to have accidents, ask yourself what’s changed. You may need a vet exam to rule out illness or maybe you need to adjust the schedule. Contact me if you have questions about housetraining.