Positive Potty training tips (Part 1)

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by drgnrdr, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. drgnrdr New Member

    Thought I would try and help a bit with potty questions.
    Potty Training info
    To Train a dog you need consistency, praise, patience, persistence and good timing.
    You also get faster results when using some tasty treats.
    Always make sure there is nothing medically going on to cause all the problems.

    The secret to Potty training is....>>drum roll<<....SUPERVISION.

    A behavior a dog finds a pleasant/rewarding experience with they are more apt to repeat that behavior.
    Dogs do not speak English; we must teach them thru consistency and praise what our words mean.
    Dogs learn when they are "in the act" of doing something, that is when you add our English word. Never reprimand after the fact, dogs live in the moment and they don't remember what they did 3 seconds ago much less hours when you have arrived home and found a mess on your carpet.

    #1 rule of potty training : If a dog potties in your home it is YOUR fault...period.

    Important tips to help you get ahead:

    1. Most dogs need to go after they eat, drink, sleep and play. Always give them a treat after they go for you, say a cue phrase when they are "in the act" of eliminating, and stick to that phrase, ("Go Potty" or "get busy"), then praise AFTER the treat.

    2. Food and water: (If the vet recommends a certain schedule for food and water, stick with what your vet says).
    Try to feed your puppy a quality premium food, they provide the best nutrition; they are more digestible which means smaller stool volume because less of the food is passed out as waste. Fewer smaller stools mean fewer chances for mistakes, more predictable elimination, and easier clean up.
    Rapid change of food can cause upset tummies. Change should be gradual, 75%(old)-25%(new) for 2 days then 50-50 for two days then 25%(old)-75%(new) for two days so by the seventh day all new food is now being eaten. You may not want to change their diet ( if they have already been on a specific food for a while) until potty training is done, it’ll be harder to set a routine if it upsets his tummy while still trying to train, get him more reliable then switch him to a better food.
    I did switch with Argo because she was allergic to wheat in the food, but watch for problems, as soon as any are seen stop or slow, (depending on what the problems are), the transition, say 90%(old) to 10%(new) etc... I don’t recommend feeding a dog people food. A tiny tidbit is a big morsel to your puppy; a dog’s digestive system is not made to handle our type of food.

    3. When to Feed: Free feeding is not recommended when trying to potty train.
    If you don’t know when it’s going in, you don’t know when it’s coming out. Create a schedule for feeding. If they don’t eat what you give them in 20 to 30 minutes, pick it up and try again for lunch or when you feed them next. (It's usually recommended to feed a puppy 3 times a day, at least until they are 6 months old, then switch to twice a day).
    Once he eats, take your pup out, some need to go immediately some may take up to 30-45 minutes. This is your chance to start watching for his potty dance and figure out his body’s schedule for eliminating. Once you figure this out you can take them out accordingly.
    Water needs to be regulated also. Offer it many times thru out the day, offered after meals and during and after play. Don’t refuse water to a thirsty puppy.
    Don’t limit water; just offer it at regular times.
    Water goes thru puppies pretty quickly, usually within 1 to 30 minutes or less. Plus if they drink a large amount realize they may have to go several times in the next few hours. Schedule their play and exercise time, since this is an activity that makes them go.
    If they go first, before play, it gives them less chance to stop play and drop and go in the middle of it, also play can used as a reward for potty.
    Also, do not play where they go, they will want to play instead of doing business, keep that spot for business only and then when they do go (give them a treat) and then play can be a reward after you have moved away from the area.
    Water is regulated while you are home, if you’re going to be gone for more than an hour or 2 you’ll have to leave water for them, adult dogs can hold it longer, but puppies can not, so expect, in the very least, a piddle spot when you arrive home, if someone can not come in and take the dog out. Stop water at night make sure they have had some about 2-3 hours before bed time, if the dog is still having trouble at night holding it, then try to stop it 4 hours before bedtime, the time varies for each dog, learn your dog’s routine.

    I want to reiterate: Never deny a thirsty puppy water and don’t hold water back just so the dog won’t pee so much, they must flush their system and you don’t want to dehydrate them. Just regulate it, offer water every 5 minutes if you’d like, the difference is you will know when it goes in.

    4. Where do you want them to go? Outdoors? Outdoors and Indoors, Indoors only?
    The answer to this question will largely influence how you answer the next question.
    Where do you plan to put them when they are not supervised? Giving them free access to your home is a goal you can achieve but not until they learn the house rules. You would not let a 2 year old child have free access to your home, why would you let a dog?
    Having free access to your home is a privilege not a right.
    Create an area for them or Crate train them.
    (Remember the MYTH: dogs won't soil where they sleep or eat). A good rule of thumb is 1 hour for every month old they are, is how long they can hold it during the day. At night they can usually hold it longer, just like us. Don’t give them a huge area when leaving them for the day; give them a space for water, sleep, potty and a Nylabone or Kong or something to occupy them, that is really all they need.
    Most dogs sleep for most of the day, as long as you exercise and/or play with them, (not to hard with the young puppies, they are still developing their bones and muscles) before putting them in their area for the day or night .If you get easily distracted when home with them you can connect them to you (with a leash) for a short time and they will usually try to move away from you to eliminate, that's when you'll know to take them out.
    Please note: If it's raining you may need to get an umbrella or make a lean-to and take them out, you don't want a little rain hitting (scare) them to destroy your efforts.
    When utilizing Potty pads or litter box, you must show them that this is where they have to go, just like those training theirs to go outside.
    When using potty pads,: (Most dogs don't like to pee and poo in the same spot)
    A).you’ll need to put down enough pads to cover the area your dog is in, all the way to their bed and water bowl (water is left for them if you‘re going to be gone for more than an hour

    B). After a couple of days your dog will use the spots on the pads they want to use, every couple of days, start to take away one pad closest to the sleep and water area, as long as you see the pattern where your dog likes to go, take 1 pad away, until you are left with only the pads covering the areas they are using, those are the ones you can keep there until your pup gets older and starts to use the muscles they’ve developed for "holding" it.
    Then you can use them while your there (so they have a place to go, like in a high rise or an apartment, or you don’t want them to go outside to eliminate) or when you leave them and they need it in an emergency, like you don’t make it home in time to let them out.
    When going from pads to outside it will be harder than getting to go out in the first place but it can be done if you wish. You have to gradually move the pad to the door to outside and then putting it outside where you want them to go, and then once they get it, take pads away, you may be able to put a stool sample on the ground where you want them to go, or/and spray a scent product for urine, most dogs can be triggered to potty when they smell potty.

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