Dog Training Basics – Potty Training

There are many different way to potty train a dog. For instance, you may remember when you were a kid your parents would rub its nose in the “poo” and then give it a little pat on the butt and say “no!” This method may work but not everyone may want to do it this way.

One school of thought regarding potty training involves four key aspects:

Confinement-Usually a young putty who is not aware of the “rights and wrongs” of knowing where to eliminate its bowels is put in a smaller space. Ideally, the puppy should be placed in a crate or cage temporarily. There should be enough room in this cage (or kennel rather) for the puppy to move around and lay down to sleep.

Some people might put newspapers or blankets in the puppy’s kennel but it is risky as the young dog is not trained yet. The reason for placing the puppy in such tight quarters for the time being is because a dog is not likely to want to eliminate feces where it sleeps.

Training-Often the best way to get a dog to go outside and go potty instead of doing it in the house is using repetitious words and phrases. For instance, over and over again you should say a phrase to your dog like, “Go outside? Go potty?” The key is to say this a few times.

Eventually every time your dog wants to go outside they will associate this or similar phrase. You are likely to see your dog wagging its tail if it wants to go out.

Timing-If you are using the confinement technique as described above, you can time the dog’s need to run free just right. For instance, if a dog successfully eliminates outside (either urine or feces) then you can reward your pet by allowing it to be out of the cage. The best time to allow a young puppy this freedom would be immediately after elimination. This would send a positive message to the puppy without (hopefully) having to punish the dog for doing wrong.

Praise-Of course you should make sure you tell your puppy “good job” and give it a hug or kiss. The praise given to a dog of course would be similar to that which you would give a young child. This form of verbal praise is best done while your dog is going potty and not just afterwards. It is helpful to encourage your dog after the fact too.

Additional Tips

As far as using the confinement technique, the amount of time confined in the cage relates to how old the puppy is. Usually the number of hours left in the cage without a potty break is equivalent to how many months old the puppy is. For instance, a two-month old putty would stay in the cage for two hours at a time and the four-month old putty would stay in the case for four hours at a time.