I get calls all the time from people struggling with potty training issues. They tell me that they have tried everything but the dog still refuses to go to the bathroom outside.
I’ve heard comments like “I’ve take my puppy out every 30 minutes but it refuses to go and as soon as we get back inside right away they do it.” They’ve tried potty pads, rubbing the dogs nose in it and then swatting the dogs butt with a newspaper.
Unfortunately those techniques don’t work. The answer is simple, you must learn to crate train your dog. The rules are even easier. The crate must be large enough for the dog to lay down, turn around, and stand up comfortably.
The mistake most people make is that they have a crate that gives the dog the option to pee or poop in one corner and sleep in the other. Most dogs don’t want to lay in their own pee or poop, so keeping them in the crate when you can’t supervise them will teach them to hold it. Then you must take them out at regular intervals.
The general rule is how ever many months your dog is old plus one is the amount of time they call hold it. For example, you have a 4 month old puppy, you should take them out out to the place you want them to go every 4-5 hours.
Praise them when they go. If they don’t go within 5 minutes, take them back and put them in the crate for another 15-30 minutes.
Another option is to keep the dog with you when you bring them back in so you can correct them if they go potty in front of you. Another mistake people make is to free feed the dog. You should put your dog on a scheduled feeding, typically 2 times per day.
With very young puppies you could feed 3 times if you like. If you just let the dog feed whenever it wants, you will have a hard time predicting when the dog has to go to the bathroom. Put the food down for 15 minutes, if the dog doesn’t eat within that time frame, pick up the food and they miss the meal. Put down the food again at the next scheduled feeding and repeat.
Your dog will learn that when the food is down, it’s time to eat. If you do this for a period of 2 weeks your dog should know that going potty in the house is not acceptable. If you have followed these techniques and are still having problems, please contact Who’s Walking Who? for additional help and advice.