If you’re anything like me, your dog is part of the family and it’s a major bummer when they don’t know how to use the toilet. However, potty training can be done with some patience and consistency, and I’m going to tell you how in eight easy steps! This article will walk you through these 8 steps
Step 1: Take it slow
If you’re a first-time dog owner, it can be intimidating. The dog is going to have a hard time understanding what you want if they haven’t gone through potty training before. This can lead to some unwanted accidents in your home or on your walks. If you move too quickly, dogs get confused, making potty training take even longer than necessary. It takes time and patience to potty train any dog, so don’t rush them through it.
Step 2: Choose the right training method
potty training your dog should be a relatively easy process, especially if you have already taught him/her basic commands like sit and stay. There are many different methods of potty training your dog, from crate-training to positive reinforcement—you can choose whichever one works best for you. As long as you stick with it!
Step 3: Stay consistent
Consistency is key for potty training, especially when you’re trying to teach your pup where exactly he should be going. If he goes potty inside on accident, don’t punish him—clean it up and make a big deal out of it: Good boy! You went potty in the right place! You deserve a treat! This will help reinforce what you want him to do.
Step 4: Praise early and often
It’s important not to get mad or punish your pup when it makes a mistake. When you catch him peeing inside, simply take him outside right away and reward him when he goes there. And don’t forget to praise him before his accident—it will help teach your dog that pottying outside is good, while doing it anywhere else isn’t as rewarding. Ideally, you want your dog to learn faster and faster each time she goes outside.
Step 5: Start small when possible
Make sure your dog only pees on pee pads, or on grass outside if you’re training it in an area where it can control its bowels as well. If you start small and then gradually expand your dog’s zone of acceptable bathroom locations, it will be much easier for them to understand what is expected of them.
Step 6: Build a positive relationship with praise
Dogs respond best to praise and treats, but if you offer treats too often, your dog will quickly learn to do anything just for a treat. So instead of rewarding each potty trip with a piece of kibble, wait until your dog has gone #1 or #2, give him lots of praise and then reward him with one small treat. That way, he’ll associate pooping outside as a pleasant experience that comes with something good.
Step 7: Keep things positive
Don’t give your dog a negative association with potty training. If you scold your dog after accidents, it will get discouraged and avoid future attempts at going outside. Reinforce good behavior by praising her as soon as she accomplishes something or makes an attempt at doing so. Make sure not to accidentally praise her immediately before she urinates or defecates; that might confuse her and lead her to believe that you like when she does these things.
Step 8: Make potty training fun for everyone!
This can be hard if your pup is doing something you’re trying to discourage, like peeing on a rug. The key here is counterconditioning, which basically means changing your dog’s associations.