This part two of Potty Training… Read Part 1 Here
So, it is time to take your dog outside to do his business. This often requires patience because dogs don’t always go right away. Depending on the weather and how much time you have both factor in to how long you want to be out there with them. I do recommend going out there with them and not just watching them through the window so you can be really sure they have gone. For the dogs who just think it is time to play when they are out there, it may be helpful to put them on a leash so they can stay focused and walk them around the perimeter of your yard. The exercise he or she gets while walking will stimulate his or her metabolism to encourage them to go sooner.
When your dog has success – rejoice! Wait until he or she is done going so you don’t scare it, and he or she doesn’t finish because it got scared. While your dog is going, remain clam and praise it with a “Yes, good dog,” etc. When it finishes, you can click, praise more, if prepared you can treat. I would not give the dog an edible treat every time it goes potty because he or she will then always expect it. Treats can also backfire; in that your dog will fake pee to get a treat, or it will go four different times trying to get four different treats. Edible treats can reinforce the good behavior; I would just recommend only using them every third or fourth time they go successfully in the right spot.
Punishment really has no place in potty training. Yes, it is frustrating when you are making real efforts to teach your dog, and it still has an accident on the floor; but punishment will do more harm than good. You will make your dog afraid to go to the bathroom in front of you at all – even outside. Dogs are also always in the here and now. If you do not catch them in the act of having the accident, it does not good to punish them for it afterward because they don’t make the connection of why they are being punished. The method of rubbing the dog’s nose in their mess has been around forever, but it does not teach them to not make a mess again. The dog understands that it is his or her scent, but it doesn’t understand the action of peeing or pooping that it did two minutes or even two hours ago is why you are upset. If you find an accident, evaluate how your dog was able to do it without you seeing. Do you need to watch it closer? Do you need to keep him or her on a leash so it can’t get out of your sight?
It is also very important to clean up all accidents as good as you can. It is really best to use an enzymatic cleaner or a cleaner that will kill the enzyme in the dog’s urine. The enzyme is what the dog can smell, and if the cleaner you use does not kill it, the dog will smell it’s enzyme from a previous accident and think that is his or her potty spot and go there again. Read the label of the cleaner you use to ensure it will kill enzymes.
- Celebrate when your dog has success with potty training with praise
- Be careful with giving edible food treats for going potty
- No punishments for potty accidents – instead evaluate how you can prevent next time
- Clean accident spots with an enzymatic cleaner