Last Updated on December 20, 2019
Potty training your fluffy dog friend is not always an easy task, and it can be maddening both for you and your pet. But it’s always possible, whether you have a puppy or an older dog – they are all really smart creatures. All it takes is a little patience on both ends and some consistency, and you will develop a nice poop routine with your pup.
Be aware of some specifics though – like if your potty trained dog is pooping around the house by accident, if poop leaks during their sleep or if their urine is darker, more frequent and presents a strong smell; this might mean you need to see a vet because dogs really stick to patterns after being properly taught.
How long does potty training a dog take? It depends, there are hardest dogs to potty train than others. But with these 9 tips we hope that the answer to that question is “not that long!”
#1 – Be A Supervisor
Supervising is super important when you are potty training your pup. They will feel less compelled to poop if they are being observed, because they already know they shouldn’t be doing it in that place.
If you can’t watch your dog all the time, because they move around a lot, just tie them to a heavy piece of furniture so they remain on sight. When you have built a trust pattern, if you are outside of the house you can leave them unsupervised for longer periods of time.
#2 – Train Your Dog For Crate Time
Dogs are really chilled creatures, and if you teach them that their crate is a safe space for them to just relax, they will get used to it in no time.
Some dogs will get accustomed to the crate in no time and will look at it like a good place to “go to the bathroom”, which is good when you are not at home and it’s amazing when it comes to indoor potty training for dogs.
For some dogs though the crate can seem like a scary place, but fortunately you have some crate games that can help you fight that.
#3 – If There Is An Accident, Clean Up!
If your dog poops inside the house and you don’t clean that spot properly, they will have a tendency to come back to that same place and do it again. Instead of using standard cleaning products, look for an appropriate alternative – specifically, an enzymatic cleaner.
This will surely remove the lingering smell of dog poop and prevent them to come back to the “crime scene” and do it again. You might not smell it, but dog’s noses are way better than ours, and they will sure smell it.
#4 – Take Them Out Frequently
It will be a while before you develop a poop schedule, so at first it is important to give your dog the chance to go outside many times. It’s better if you always go to the same place, because they will recognize it as the “poop place”.
Then proceed to “ignore” them and when they finally do it, give them a little treat. A nice potty training schedule requires you to repeat this for periods of five minutes, and if they don’t go, bring them back inside, put them in their crate (which can be their indoor dog potty) and repeat the process later.
#5 – Do Behavioural Reinforcement
When you are potty training your dog you should keep them on a leash to be able to monitor their actions and be nearby when they eliminate. When this happens outside, give them a treat.
The treat must be something they really enjoy: it can be a dog snack or even simply throwing a stick. This will make their brains associate the act of pooping with getting a reward, and they will start engaging in this routine.
#6 – Do Not Punish Them
People tend to think that punishing a dog for their accidents is the correct way to go, but this is as wrong as wrong can be.
Some dogs develop coprophagia as a result of being afraid to be caught in the act, and this means they will eat their poop to try to hide it from you.
The best course of action is to repeat the same disapproving expression every time you caught them and then take them outside to finish. This way they will feel in your voice that they are not doing it right and start to associate the action to a pace.
#7 – Make Sure They Have A Place To Poop At Home
Dogs can hold their bowel movements for a while, but they can’t hold them for an entire day. So, if you need to leave your pet alone for long periods of time, you need to find a way to make sure they still “go to the bathroom”.
Find a person to walk your dog, a pet sitter, or establish the crate as an acceptable place to go potty when you are away.Potty training pads for dogs can also be an alternative and you can train them to go on that specific place with a bit of patience.
#8 – Know Your Dog And Know When They Need To Go
You get to decide when to potty train, but after they develop a habit, your dog will let you know when they need to go.
Every dog is different, but the common signs a dog needs to go outside and evacuate include running around in circles, intense sniffing, or even scratch the ground. If you develop a relationship with your dog you will be able to know the signs when you see them.
#9 – Develop A Feeding Schedule
If you are a human with a 9-5 job you probably have breakfast every day at the same time, then lunch, then an afternoon snack and then dinner.
This will regulate your organism and it will probably make you poop on a schedule as well. The same happens with your dog – if you feed them on a specific schedule they will also poop on a schedule. If you just feed them randomly, potty training can take a little bit longer and be more complicated.
How long to potty train a dog is a question that will depend on how consisted and committed you are. Fortunately, we live in an age of information, and you even have potty training apps and potty-training videos that can help you. If nothing works, maybe search for a trainer.