1. When I go outside, my dog doesn’t want to potty
If setting potty reminders doesn’t work, you can try another strategy. Bring your dog outside 5 – 10 minutes after those activities:
Also, make sure when you are outside that it is very boring to your dog: stand still, have them on a short leash, and don’t talk or play with your dog so they focus on the job.
If your dog is still not willing to go potty, you can try changing the location where your dog usually goes potty. Dogs can be particular about where they go, so try taking your dog to a different area, such as a park or a wooded area. If that doesn’t work, try changing the time of day you take your dog out. Some dogs are more comfortable going potty in the early morning or at night when it’s quiet and there are fewer distractions.
2. My dog is hiding to potty inside the house
Have you punished your dog for doing it inside? If yes, this might be a reason why your dog wants to hide away from you to do their thing. Always reward outside and never punish inside is the motto!
3. Outside, my puppy only wants to play
Make it a ritual! When you go outside for potty, it’s the only purpose. You put on a leash, go out, stay quiet, and don’t interact too much with the pup. Once the dog is done, reward, but do not throw a party, or the dog will switch into play mode. Act differently when going out for a walk or playtime. Your dog is intelligent and will be able to distinguish when it’s time to have fun and when it’s time for business.
Consistency is key when it comes to potty training your puppy. It’s important to maintain a routine, so your dog knows when it’s time to go potty and when it’s time to play. If your puppy only wants to play when you take them outside, try using a specific command, like “go potty” or “do your business,” to signal that it’s time to go potty. Use the same command every time you take your dog outside, and eventually, they will associate the command with the task at hand. To make the process more enjoyable, try giving your dog a treat or a toy after they go potty, but make sure to keep the celebration low-key so that your dog doesn’t get too excited and forget why they went outside in the first place.
4. My dog is good during the day, but not at night
Maybe the dog is not ready to hold for that long? Set the alarm during the night and take your dog out. After one or two weeks, set the alarm later until you have a clean night!
5. My puppy will never get clean. I’m losing hope
You will get there. It’s a normal puppy phase; some dogs learn it earlier, and others need more time. Remember, your puppy doesn’t do it to make your life difficult; they do it because they haven’t learned yet. For a few weeks, try to go out more often, and to prevent any accidents, you will be encouraged by the success and see more clearly the learning curve. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it!
Ensure you supervise your dog throughout the date and don’t allow them to roam free around the house. If you cannot supervise your dog, build a puppy pen for them when they are alone. Make sure that the floor is easy to clean. When your dog is with you, constantly monitor and take the dog outside often.
Most dogs aren’t clean before they reach 5 months, even after that. A lot of pet parents are working on it, so don’t give up. Start a diary and write when your dog had an accident, how long they were without a break, and where they pee/poop. This way, it will be easier to find patterns and prevent accidents.
Potty training can be a frustrating experience for both you and your puppy, but it’s essential to stay patient and consistent. If you’re overwhelmed, try breaking the training into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, focus on getting your dog to potty in a specific area before moving on to more extended periods without accidents. And remember, accidents will happen, so it’s essential to clean up any messes promptly and thoroughly to discourage your dog from going to the same spot again.
6. My dog was clean, and now they aren’t anymore
It’s time for a vet check! A quick behavior change can be linked to some health issues.
7. My dog pees if too excited
This is a different issue. If your dog pees out of excitement, the dog might have trouble dealing with excitement level changes. Work on calm behavior or hire a trainer to figure out the best thing to do when it happens.
Most Common Mistakes
1. Punishing the dog for doing it inside
Even though we are frustrated with the dog, punishing them is counter-productive. The dog will recognize that you are angry and might get scared of you, but your pup won’t exactly know why. The last thing we want is to affect the relationship with our dog at this early stage. If it happens, say nothing to the dog, clean it and make sure the odor doesn’t stay. Reward every time the dog does it outside. You’ll get there!
2. Not rewarding the dog or rewarding at the wrong time
If we want to teach our dog to potty outside, we must reward them for doing so! That’s how the dog will know they did the right thing. Reward 1-2 seconds after your dog peed or pooed, so the association with the behavior will be clear! Do not reward while the dog is peeing as it could prevent them from emptying the bladder.
3. Using pee pads
While it’s a great tool for people living in apartments, it usually looks like a carpet or curtains, and your dog might think it’s a giant pee pad (oops!). Also, if you reward potty inside and outside, it will always stay that way. So, if your goal is that your dog only potty outside, don’t use a pee pad, or your training will take longer. If not, make sure your pee pads are easily accessible and not too close to similar textures. Finally, always reward while your dog goes on it and not beside it.