Operation Kindness Blog

How to potty train your dog

Potty training dogs.

Potty training your furry friend can be a challenging task, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting one. The key to success lies in creating a predictable and consistent schedule. In this guide, we’ll explore the two fundamental questions every dog needs answers to during potty training: “Where should I go potty?” and “When is the next time I will get to go there?” Remember, consistency is the name of the game when it comes to successful dog potty training.

Establish a reliable schedule

The cornerstone of successful potty training is a consistent schedule. Dogs thrive on routine, and having a structured plan in place will help them understand when and where they should relieve themselves. Here’s a recommended schedule to get you started:

Morning routine:

First thing in the morning, immediately after your dog wakes up.

10 minutes after they finish their morning meal.

Midday break:

A midday break is highly recommended, especially for young puppies who may not be able to hold it for extended periods.

Afternoon routine:

At the end of your work or school day.

10 minutes after they eat dinner.

Nighttime routine:

Right before going to sleep for the night.

Pay close attention to cues

Give your dog a few minutes to relieve themselves during each outdoor trip. If they don’t go, bring them back inside but keep a watchful eye on them for any signs that they need to go potty. These signs may include sniffing the ground, circling, squatting or suddenly stopping play to sniff around. If you notice any of these signs, immediately take them back outside and give them another chance to go.

Positive reinforcement

Accompany your dog outside every time they need to go potty, especially during the early stages of training. Take some high-value treats with you to reward them when they do their business in the designated area. Make sure these treats are extra special and unique to potty time – bits of chicken or turkey are great options. Offer the treat while your dog is still in the area where they went potty. This reinforces the connection between the action and the reward.

Handling accidents gracefully

Accidents are bound to happen, especially during the learning process. If your dog has an accident in an inappropriate place, like inside the house, it’s essential to respond calmly and without scolding or punishing your pet. Scolding can lead to your dog hiding when they need to eliminate, making the training process more challenging. Instead, clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner designed for pet stain removal. This will remove odors that may attract your dog back to the same spot.

By establishing a consistent schedule, paying attention to your dog’s cues, using positive reinforcement, and handling accidents with grace, you’ll be well on your way to having a well-trained, potty-savvy pup in no time. Remember, patience and consistency are the keys to a happy and healthy potty-trained dog.

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