Puppy potty training is a full-time job…
The good news is it only lasts for a few weeks and has great benefits!
In exchange for your time, energy, and attention you can have a perfectly house trained dog for 10+ years.
…It doesn’t get any better than that.
The truth is everyone gets frustrated when training their puppy… because no one has the kind of time that allows them to focus on the needs of their puppy 24 hours a day.
…so before you throw the puppy out with the poop, check out these solutions to your dog toilet training problems.
Problem #1 Not enough time to spend with the dog.
Okay, so what’s really important here is to stop beating yourself up and ask for help.
The solution is friends, neighbors, and family members like to help each other out.
And if there is absolutely no one that you know, hire a pet sitter. Or, send your puppy to a dog trainer who specializes in house training.
Also, try to alter your schedule. If you live close to home, maybe you can come home at lunch to let your puppy outside.
If you work farther away from home, maybe you can take a longer lunch hour if you arrive at work earlier.
Try to create some flexibility in your schedule because house training does not last forever.
Because if you start your puppy right with good follow up, your puppy will never do it wrong! (And if you don’t have time to train it right the first time, you really won’t have the time to fix a bad habit.)
Problem #2 Yell or scream at the dog.
The reality is it’s hard to be positive all the time. Maybe your day didn’t go well. You tripped on the curb and sprained your ankle, or you got a last-minute assignment from the director, or the oil light went on in your car.
You come home from working all day or a trip to the store and see poop or tinkle on the floor, it’s just one more thing to add to a bad day…
So, you yell at the dog.
But your timing is way off… The dog pooped or tinkled on the floor a long time ago and does not connect your yelling to the pile of poop on the floor.
The dog just knows you were really crabby when you walked in the door!
The solution is what do you do when you want to scream?
So scream…but don’t yell at the dog.
Instead, walk into your bedroom, turn on the television or radio to loud, close the door, and yell into a pillow or at a wall. Or, sing your anthem of dissatisfaction at the top of your voice. Or, call a friend and ask them for two minutes venting time.
Quietly return and clean up the mess and promise yourself that you’ll figure out why the dog pooped on the carpet and give the dog the opportunity to make a different decision (i.e. put in a doggy door, ask someone to take the dog for a potty break in the middle of the day.)
Problem #3. Rub the dog’s nose in the pile.
People rub a dog’s nose in a pile of poop because they think the puppy will be totally disgusted and revolted… And the dog and will never poop inside the house again.
But there’s no dog logic to that idea.
Why would rubbing a dog’s nose in anything create a response?
I mean, dog’s sniff poop piles all the time (it can actually trigger a pooping response.)
When you rub a dog’s nose in the poop, the dog just knows that you want him to see the poop up close and personal.
The problem is that it doesn’t stop the behavior.
And it can cause behaviors you don’t want such as the puppy starts hiding from you or running away from your hands.
It’s simple. The dog has been given too much freedom before the dog understands the house rules.
The solution isthat it’s time to go back to the basics of routine bathroom breaks, regular eating times, and crate training.
Problem #4. Hit the dog.
People hit dogs because they believe that if they hit the dog the problem will stop.
The problem is hitting doesn’t work.
Hitting does not teach the dog what to do.
If you drag a dog over to a puddle on the floor and hit her with your hand, what does the dog learn?
1. To be afraid of your hands
2. To run away when you grab her collar
3. To hide when you call her name
4. To submissively pee when you grab her collar
The solution is to add other “tools to your toolbox.”
For example, if you see your dog tinkling on the floor, don’t hit the dog!
Instead, say “Outside!” in a low voice and take the dog outside to go to the bathroom.
Then, when you are outside in a pleasant happy voice say “Go potty. Go potty.”
When the dog potties reward him.
Now you are teaching the dog the behavior you want – tinkle or poop outside – and associating it with a reward.
Problem #5. Keep the dog outside all day.
When dogs live outside all the time, they still don’t know what to do when they come inside the house.
It’s important not to give the dog total freedom in the house until the dog understands that tinkling and pooping only happens outside.
The solution is to teach the dog the “house rules.”
…which means it’s back to basics again, i.e. establish a routine, use a word signal, and reward the dog for going outside.
Because it’s not realistic to think that you can watch your puppy at all times, use a waist-leash (tie a leash around your waist and attach it to the puppy’s collar.)
Now you can still do the things you need to do, but at the same time when you see the puppy start to sniff or circle, you can quickly take the puppy outside to tinkle or poop.
Solving puppy potty training problems is not difficult. All it requires is that you understand that dogs have to learn new behaviors.
…After all in nature it doesn’t matter where dogs pee or poop!
Only you can give them the information and training the dog needs, but it has to be done in a way that makes sense to the dog.
…And that’s by associating a behavior (pee or poop) with a word signal (“Go Potty!) and a reward. Then it’s easy to solve puppy potty training problems.