Whether you’re a new dog parent or someone who’s been through the grind, you’d know that potty training your dogs is a daunting and stressful task. For the most part, it could be rather tedious, but here are some ways to help ease the difficulty of instilling good habits in your dog.
Stick to a routine
Dog learn best when there is a routine for them to follow. The best times to bring them outside would be after meals, after a nap, or after play time. Remember to bring along poop bags to pick up after them -Earth Ratedhave great ones that are scented and bio-degrable too! If you’re focusing on housetraining, create a space in the house where their ‘restroom’ would be. Place pee pads coupled with pee trays for easier recognition.
Pee pads as an intermediary step
Whether your goal with potty training is for your pup to be house-trained or completely outside-trained, pee pads act as a critical stepping stone to help you achieve the end goal. Teach your dog to build an association between the pads and their designated potty area. If your goal is to be free of the pee pads, slowly move the pads nearer to the door until they’re able to link the door to going out for potty time. Otherwise, pair a pee tray with one of the best odour absorbing charcoal pee pads likeHoney Care’s for the ultimate potty training duo pack.
Teach your dog potty commands the same way you would teach him basic commands. You can do this by saying simple commands such as “do your business” while he starts to do his business. He’ll eventually learn to associate these words with potty time, which will make it easier to house train as well.
Always reward good behaviour
During any form of training, integrate as much positive reinforcement into the process as possible. This will accelerate the training progress as your dog learns that peeing at the right spot equates to good behaviour. Praise lavishly - treats are optional!
Look out for signals
Learn the signals your dog give off when he needs to do his business. Dogs exhibit signs of needing to use the toilet, so pick up on that and lead them to the right spot to relieve themselves. Take note that different dogs show different signs, but common signals include: barking, circling, and sniffing at the door.
Timing is critical when teaching your dog what the right behaviour is. Dogs associate good and bad behaviour within seconds of committing the act - so praise or discipline accordingly. Once the teaching window has passed, any yelling will only confuse and instill fear in your pup. Swallow your anger and show no emotions when cleaning up the area. However, if you’re able to catch your dog in the act, follow a loud “no” with a redirection to the right potty spot, and reward him once he finishes his business.
It’s important to get rid of the scent left behind after anaccident as much as possible. The idea is to eliminate all traces from the soiled area to prevent repeated incidents as dogs will regard that area as their go-to bathroom if not cleaned properly. Natural cleaning products with enzymes (such asRichard’s Organics) work best to neutralise odours and break down stains.
Potty training can seem like an ultimate test of your patience, but it’s important to understand that dogs take time to learn - especially puppies. Be forgiving, stay consistent and stick with the routine throughout and your pup will progress soon enough!
Kim is an avid dog lover, serial guac and chips eater, and thrill seeker - all in one body. Currently chillin’ with her dogs.