Last Updated on May 1, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter
Potty training puppies is a lot of work, but it’s worth it! You’re teaching them to relieve themselves in an acceptable place, and that saves you a lot of mess and frustration. There’s no such thing as “instant potty training” — it takes time and patience.
To understand why your dog might not be peeing or pooping outside even though you’ve done everything you can to train it, consider that dogs have different ways of communicating than humans do, and they have a very different understanding of what’s appropriate than humans do as well.
It makes sense that some things are confusing for our furry friends! They can’t tell us in words when they have to go potty (though many give us other signs), so we’ll have to watch for signals that indicate that our dogs need to go outside for a walk—that’s just part of being a responsible pet parent.
Dogs can’t tell you when they need to go, but their behavior will give them away. Pay attention to these signs that they want to go out.
- They start sniffing around: They may even get up and walk all over the place sniffing like crazy. This is particularly true if they find their favorite spot on the floor where they tend to relieve themselves.
- They circle around: If they start circling around an area this is a very good sign that they need to go immediately.
- They start whining or barking: This one is pretty obvious, but many people don’t catch it at first because not every dog barks or whines. You know your dog best so you will know what sounds mean he has to go potty.
- You see them lift one leg or squat: The most obvious sign of all is when you see them lift one leg or squat down like they are about to go in the house.
These behaviors don’t always indicate that your dog needs to go; sometimes they just want to go outside and play!
How to Train Your Dog to Potty Outside?
Taking your puppy out every time it sniffs around can be a pain in the ass. But if you want your pup to be well-trained and potty outside, you’ll have to do this when it’s young. Don’t wait until your puppy is older; take it outside as soon as possible.
With this in mind, be sure to choose an area for your puppy to use that is consistent with the following:
- Accessible: You want to make sure the space will be convenient both for you and your puppy. While you want it to be far enough away from your house so that odors won’t become a problem, it also should not be so far away that it becomes a hassle or burden to go there several times per day.
- Clean: You want to make sure the area is free of any bacteria or other harmful things that could affect your dog’s health.
- Away from the house: It might seem like keeping your puppy close is the best idea, but having them use an area too close can cause annoyance and inconvenience for yourself and others in your home.
When your dog goes potty outside, make sure you give them lots of praise, or even a treat if it’s not too soon before mealtime.
Establishing a routine will help your dog understand when to expect bathroom breaks. Taking it out at the same times every day will help you predict what your dog will need, and make it clear to the dog that these are its bathroom times.
You’ll also want to start keeping track of how often your dog has accidents indoors, so you can start predicting when they’ll need to go out. If you notice that your puppy usually has an accident within 15 minutes of eating or drinking, take them outside more frequently after meals.
If you’re noticing that they’re consistently having accidents in one specific area of the house (perhaps under their bed), try spending time with them in that area. You may be able to prevent them from having an accident by interrupting them before they get too absorbed in their business.
The tips above should help you train your dog to potty outside. One thing to keep in mind is that it will take some time—but don’t be discouraged. Stick with it, be consistent with your dog training, and you might just find yourself looking forward to walking outside with your best friend!
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