Toilet training – aka housetraining – a dog is a pretty straightforward thing. It can be done by anyone. Keep reading to learn how.
The most important thing to remember is that toilet training your dog is your responsibility. Until your dog is fully trained, it is up to you to make sure the dog isn’t left alone somewhere he shouldn’t use as a bathroom.
Because you cannot watch a dog 24 hours a day this is where good crate training comes into play. Once your dog considers his crate home, his toilet habits will change.
Dogs are going to use the bathroom at least three times a day, often more, so it’s your job to make sure they learn WHERE they can go.
The best (and fastest) way to do this is:
1. Consistently reward and praise your dog each and every time is uses the bathroom in the correct location. Yes – every time. It might seem weird at first but it lets your dog know exactly what you expect from it.
2. Crate the dog when are not watching it.
3. Take your dog out multiple times a day to the desired spot. Be consistent with the times also – after a meal, after sleeping, etc. If they don’t use the bathroom after a reasonable amount of time take them inside.
4. Should you catch your dog going inside, stop them immediately by clapping or making another loud noise. Then IMMEDIATELY take them outside – don’t clean it up first if it’s just you at home. (Yes, that sounds gross but the “damage” is already done.)
Does the dog finish outside? If so reward it with lots of praise and treats. While you might be fuming inside don’t take it out on the dog. The positive reinforcement and inside interruption will go along way.
5. Do not punish the dog for accidents. Actions like rubbing it’s face in the urine, yelling at it, etc are ineffective at best – and can cause your dog to not trust you. This is even more true if your actions take place hours after the dog already peed on your carpet.
6. This rule is super-important – keep an eye on your dog when it is loose. Once you pick up it’s signs, take it outside to go. A few times of that combined with crate training and positive rewards will go a long way to having potty training success.
7. Always remember – you CAN do this! By combining crate training with positive reinforcement you are using the two strongest methods for training your puppy. Don’t despair!
Just stick with it. Consistency is the key here.