9 Tips for Potty Training a Dog

The number one thing you want your dog to communicate with you is when they want a potty break. No one wants their dog to have a poop and a pee accident in the house.

It is not easy or pleasant to clean dog poop. Most times, the stink and stain don’t entirely go away. Allowing this kind of behavior will inadvertently encourage the dog to develop bad habits.

How do you handle a dog’s potty training if he does not ask to go? There are two scenarios, one the dog asks to go, but you don’t understand, and you misread the communication.

The second one is you unintentionally allowed the dog to poop and pee in your house. So how do you know your dog is asking to go out?

Dogs are very attentive and watch your every move, but you are not usually that attentive to them. If they are not standing in front of us tap dancing or crossing their legs, you will most likely not know what they are communicating. There are different ways to understand when your dog is asking to go to the toilet.

Below are some hints:

  1. Sniffing
  2. Pacing
  3. Circling
  4. Whining
  5. Moving into a distant part of the room you are in or to the corner.
  6. Coming to you and starts whining, staring at you, and wagging
  7. Scratching the floor
  8. Approaching upright objects and sniffing them or standing as if to lift a leg.
  9. Standing by the door.

If you witness any of the above signs, quickly take your dog out or to the designated potty area. After the dog goes to the toilet, calmly but heartily praise them and give them a treat immediately they finish.

Also, take note of the behavior they show right before they poop or pee for future reference.
There are three methods that will help potty train your dog. These are:

  1. The ring a bell method
  2. The speak/ bark method
  3. The leash method.

The ringing a bell method

This is a method that will teach your dog to ring a bell wherever they want to go to the toilet. Start by buying a bell and tying it on the door handle.

You can also tie the bell near the door where the dog can easily reach it with his mouth. As soon as he reaches for the bell and it makes some sounds give reward him by giving him a treat.

The second step is to take him to the bells wherever you are taking him to out. You can train him to knock over the bell wherever you are taking him out by holding a treat over the bell. When he hits the bell, and it makes a sound give him the treat.

Be consistent with this for a couple of days. You will notice that he will start ringing the bell every time you are taking him out in anticipation of the reward. He will likely be using the bell over and over in repeat behavior.

After a week or two, give him a chance to go to the bell alone when he needs to go out. Be patient with him, and once he has mastered this behavior, lose the treats. You will notice he will knock the bells as a signal to go to the toilet now.

The speak/bark method

The bark method is when you train him to bark when they want to go out. Teach him to bark wherever he wants to go out. But first, observe him determine when he barks and what actions cause him to bark.

When you think he is going to bark, issue him with a ‘speak or bark’ command. When he barks at your command, reward him with delicious treats.

Now start giving him the command even when he is not in barking prompting situations. If he barks, reward him and keep practicing 10-20 minutes per day. If he doesn’t bark, don’t stop issuing the command in barking inducing situations until it becomes a habit.

The third step is to always issue a barking command just before you allow him to go out or to the potty designated area and issue a treat when he barks. It will become a habit, and the di will soon associate barking with the toilet.

The last step is waiting. Take him to the door and make him wait, don’t open the door until he barks at you to do so. Once he starts barking on his own accord, you can give him a treat. If it does not work, go back to previous steps for a foe more days

The leash method

The leash method pertains to training your dog to hold a leash in his mouth and bring it to you when he wants to go out. You can start by putting a leash in his mouth before you take him to the toilet and rewarding him with praise and treats.

Do this for a couple of days till he grasps the concept. After a while, place it in his mouth and take a few steps away from him. Encourage him to come to you and when he does reward him. Repeat this for a few days or a week while increasing the distance each time.

After a while, place the leash in his mouth and leave the room the call him to come to you. When he does praise him and give him a treat. You are now slowly teaching him to bring the leash to you wherever you will be.

Whenever it is toilet time, put the leash in his mouth and leave the room, then call him to you. When he comes, give him a treat and immediately take him out. He will start connecting the leash to potty time. Remember to reward him every time.

After two or three weeks, when he finally starts bringing you the strap without your help, take away the reward. He will understand what the leash means at this point. If you notice, he stops bringing the rope to take a step back, be patient, and train him some more.

From the first day, you bring a dog home either as a puppy or a grown dog, be sure to show them where the potty spot is.

Also, make sure to start rewarding them for using it. Allowing a dog to go to the toilet in the house before he is entirely potty trained gives him openings to make the same mistakes in the future.

But if you are doing everything right and he still has these accidents in the house, it is time to consider seeking guidance from a veterinarian most especially if this behavior comes unexpectedly or it is new. Sometimes the dog has health complications that he is trying to communicate to you about.

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