Potty training a dog requires consistency and patience from the owner. It can take weeks to months for puppies to be fully housetrained, and adult dogs may take just as long, depending on their past experiences and training.
Here are summarized 5 tips for potty training a dog, shared by by Karen Weir-Jimerson, a writer and editor and reviewed by Irith Bloom, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant.
- Set up a confinement area and come up with a strict hourly schedule. Take the dog out every 30 to 60 minutes when you are home and awake (at night you can usually wait until the dog wakes you up).
- Don’t talk to the dog or urge the dog when you are outside. Stay in the same spot and don’t let the dog wander. If the dog potties within five minutes, praise and feed a treat. Then, give the dog some supervised free time. If he does not potty within five minutes, put him back into his confinement area, wait 10 to 15 minutes, and try again.
- Take puppies outside for potty breaks right after eating, drinking, sleeping, playing, and exercising because they often need to pee or poop soon after.
- Most dogs will have a general pattern for pottying, so keeping a log of what happens will help you establish that pattern and reduce the number of potty breaks over time.
- Remember that accidents will happen, so it’s important to be patient and consistent with your training. Potty training can be a frustrating process, but it’s important to stay calm and positive with your dog.
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