Dog Training: Potty Training a Puppy Or Dog – You Are the Key!

  Potty training or house training your dog can be somewhat difficult if your dog or puppy is left inside all day while everyone is gone. It can be done however, if you are consistent with your dog training. If you are having a hard time potty training or house training take a step back, take a deep breath and do these simple things to set your dog or puppy up to be successful at potty training. Not only is pottying inside the house unsanitary, but it can also cause many other problems such as damaged furniture and rugs and it makes your house smell like a kennel! You can stop the behavior, but you must work on stopping the behavior every day, not sporadically. While not every dog responds the same to training, there are some simple ideas you can try.

What you really desire is for your dog to let you know when he needs to go potty. Dogs don’t like to soil the area where they eat and sleep. You have to help them learn what actions to take that are appropriate. As with children, train and teach your dog or puppy good behavior. Your dog wants to potty outdoors, but he doesn’t know how to tell you. You need to train your dog to tell you when he needs to go potty. Some dogs communicate well, others don’t. If your pet is pacing back and forth or barks at the door, he is telling you he wants to go outside. One method many people use to train their dog or puppy to tell them they need to go outside, is the bell method. It’s petty simple and usually very effective.

If your dog isn’t able to communicate with you that he needs to go out, consider using this method. Take a long piece of string and tie a small bell to one end. Tie the other end of the string around the doorknob or handle of the door that you use to let the dog or puppy go outside. Now, take your pet’s paw and swipe the bell so that it jingles. When it jingles, immediately open the door and let the dog outside. Praise your dog or puppy in a happy approving tone by saying “good boy”. A standing ovation would be nice also. It may take a few practice rounds, but soon your dog will ring the bell when he needs to go outside to potty. Each and every time he rings the bell, praise him and open the door to let him out. It won’t be any time at all before your pet will be trained and will stop pottying indoors. When you’re away from home you may need to crate your puppy or dog until you know that they are old enough and “proven” enough to wait until you get home to go outside. Most older dogs if let outside before you leave can easily hold it for most of the day. Let them out the minute you get home.

Now, here’s one exception. Some dogs potty in the house, not because they don’t know better, but because they are marking territory. Marking of territory is usually caused by these things: lack of leadership on the part of the owner, lack of structure and insecurities of the dog. You need to take a step back and look at how your behavior is contributing to your dog’s behavior. Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

3 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Renee – for the older dog IF it is not a medical issue than I would say she is marking due to stress or anxiety. The 7 month old you need to have on a leash
    as I explained in your earlier post. You also need to help the 7 month old understand that going outside WITH you is the best thing since sliced bread

  2. Renee' Arnold
    Renee' Arnold says:

    Can you shed light on this scenario? We have a 7 month old puppy we somewhat successfully crate trained. She can go all night without an accident and all day (pottying in between of course), if she is on a hard floor surface. But, if carpet is available, she will go there when she needs to. We keep the carpeted living room and bedroom blocked off by baby gates, but we’d like to leave our rooms open.

    Also, we have a 7 year old dog who has essentially been potty trained for a very long time. However, in the past few years she has taken to pottying on the bathroom rug or the carpeted closet floor when she chooses. Again, she could hold it. If she only had a hard surface floor, she would not go. And she only seems to do it in the dark corners which makes me think she know she shouldn’t

  3. Jonathan
    Jonathan says:

    Your posts show extreme knowledge of dog care in general and especially the post on “Not only is pottying inside the house unsanitary, but it can also cause many other problems such as damaged furniture and rugs and it makes your house smell like a kennel!” Dogs in Australia know just what you are talking about-hope more people read this post-Jonathan

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