How To Potty Train
- By Mike Strawbridge
Dogs have two natural instincts that you can use to
your advantage when potty training them. One is that
they prefer not to pee or poop where they sleep. They
will move to another area if given the chance. Two is
that they will pee or poop where there is already the
residual smell of a previous pee or poop.
When potty training a dog there are basically two
options to use - Indoors or outdoors.
Indoor potty training:
To train your dog to go indoors, you will need to set
up an area in your home where you want him to learn
to do his business and give him free access to that
area. Make sure it is not the area where he sleeps.
Put some newspaper down on the floor of the area
where you want him to go. Carefully observe your dog
and the moment you see him starting to urinate or
defecate, immediately take him to the papered area.
You may leave a trail in the way but get him to the
Praise your dog once he is in the correct area. As
you are cleaning up, leave a small trace of the pee
or poop on the paper in the area you want him to use.
Remember your dog has much keener sense of smell than
you do. Just a trace is all he needs to find his way
back to the spot.
Now you must carefully and completely clean up any
material that may have been deposited elsewhere. You
must leave no smell trace that your dog can find on
any other part of the house or your dog may return
there and think he is doing just what he is supposed
to do. Remember again that your dogs nose is
much more powerful than yours is. Many pet supply
stores have cleaning sprays that help to mask the
odor for dogs.
The idea is to use your dogs natural instinct
to return to his previous safe spot for each
subsequent deposit. Also, to make sure that one and
only one spot is made so inviting.
After a couple of weeks, your dog should get the hang
of where you want him to go and you will no longer
have to save a portion of each deposit to carry the
Outdoor potty training:
To train your dog to go outdoors, you will have to
develop a communication method so that you and your
dog know when it is time to go outside. The frequency
is highly variable among breeds and dog size and is
also affected by diet.
Just like indoor training you will need to establish
a safe spot outside where you want your dog to go.
Take him there often so he gets used to the place.
Make it as far from his sleep or play area as
If you catch him in the act of going in the house,
immediately scoop him up and take him to the outdoor
spot. It does not matter if you leave a trail, just
get him to the spot. Praise him once he uses the
Leave a small amount of the fecal matter in his safe
spot as a scent trace for him to find later. Be sure
to thoroughly clean up any indoor traces so that
there is not scent trace left.
If your dog is trained to go outdoors, you must be
consistent. Make sure that you are available often
enough so that he can hold it between trips outside.
You can also hang a bell on a string at the door and
ring it each time you take the dog out to potty.
Teach the dog to nudge the bell when he needs to go
out. This makes a simple and effective communication
tool that wont be confused with other behavior.
Dont teach him to scratch on the door unless
you wanted to buy a new door anyway.
Whichever method you choose be consistent. Dont
try to mix indoor and outdoor training, as you will
only confuse your dog.
Work with your dogs natural instincts to make this
training go much smoother.
To learn more dog training tips and tricks see Mike's
Mike Strawbridge is a contributor to the Potty
Training Site where he shares information on potty
training human toddlers. www.pottytrainingsite.com
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