Potty training your dog should be one of the first things you think about after bringing it home, right after letting your dog know its name. If you took over or adopted an adult dog from another owner, then you can skip this section, but if you just bought a new dog, take note. This is probably the section you need to focus on.
You need to remember that training your dog is not a race. Teaching your dog good habits early on is the main way to avoid accidents; however, no matter how much attention you pay to your dog, accidents can happen at any time, and if they do, be sure to clean the area thoroughly and make sure there is not a trace of odour left. A good rule of thumb to fully understand your dog’s ability to tolerate poop is to determine this time by your dog’s age; adding one hour to the number of months is how long your dog can tolerate it. So, if your dog is three months old, then he can hold it for four hours. Always keep this time in mind and plan your work and sleep schedules to avoid midnight accidents.
The first thing you need to do is to choose a place outside where your dog can defecate. Have him integrate this location with the use of the toilet. When you and your dog are not together, make sure your dog is confined to a den-like space. Dogs generally keep their litter clean, so this is an available advantage in potty training them. When you can’t care for your dog, you can use a crate to keep him in, as I will explain further in the next sections. Every hour or so, take your dog on a leash to your pre-determined convenience area, and when you arrive, walk around the area while repeating a command for your dog to go to the bathroom. A word like “hurry up,” or you can choose one of your own, as long as it is used consistently. If your dog starts to poop, repeat the word until he finishes. Remember to praise him when he’s done, so he knows you’re happy with what he’s done. You can play games with him for a while before he finishes and goes back to the den.
However, if you stay in the toilet area for five minutes but your dog shows no signs of convenience, take him back indoors to his den and try again in twenty minutes.
Follow through with the above training routine until your dog associates this outdoor location and your command with going to the bathroom. The main goal of this routine is to prevent your dog from having repeated accidents as he develops good habits. Be sure to take your dog outside after meals as well. When you’re not home or can’t take your dog out for a convenient trip, and your dog can’t last too long without going potty, you should always set up a temporary dog toilet in your home. When you return, be sure to clean up the temporary toilet immediately and continue the routine of going to the outdoor toilet.
Don’t feed your dog before bedtime, and remember to take away his water before you go to bed. This will reduce the number of times you have to get up at night. When your dog is young, you will need to take him outside to potty once or twice a night, but as he gets a little older, you can reduce this frequency to once or zero times. When you return from taking your dog outside to potty at night, you’ll want to make sure he goes straight back to sleep in his own den.
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