What seems obvious to us humans in the realm of potty training has to be taught and

reinforced with canines.

When potty training (this goes for an adult or puppy) remember you are trying to COMMUNICATE with your dog. When she goes potty outside, make sure she realizes the great thing she did (lots of praise and treats!) and when she does what is inappropriate (in this case, relieving in an unwanted place) make sure you discipline no more than 10 seconds after she did it to help her connect the discipline with the mess.

Creating a schedule is HUGE to potty training. You want to teach your dog to hold it for longer and longer amounts of time so that you don’t always have to come home on your lunch break (unless you want to, of course!). Start by taking your dog outside every 2 hours and over a period of weeks, prolong the length of waiting so that eventually your dog can easily wait 6 hours before going outside again. You can help your dog learn to hold its bladder by putting her on a leash and keeping her near you until the next potty break. Dogs rarely relieve themselves if they are near their owners after they’ve learned that this is unwanted behavior. So by making sure she stays near you, you will be helping her learn to hold it.

Often being taken to the same “potty place” is helpful for dogs to get into the habit of relieving outside.

Training pads are, I believe, overrated. It gives your dog mixed messages that you are encouraging her to go inside (in a specific place) AND to go outside. In your dog’s eyes, the house you live in is just a big crate, and it is abnormal for a dog to relieve itself in its crate (its instinctual den).

If your dog has an accident in the house, you must remove ALL hints of elimination; there can be no leftover scent. Clean it up, sanitize, use carpet cleaner, and take everything to the outside garbage (lysol wipes are wonderful for cleaning up messes on hard surfaces).

If your dog can’t hold it’s bladder all night, consider limiting her water intake after 7pm to just ice cubes. She’ll still be hydrated, but her bladder will not be as full as if she drinks a bowl of water.

Be patient, stay positive, and lead calmly!

Use the comment section below to post any tips you have for people trying to potty train!