Easy Steps to Potty Train Your Dog

by Lisa McQuerrey
    Establish good habits early on.

    Establish good habits early on.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    Potty training your dog is one of the first steps you'll want to take when you bring a new puppy into your home. Ineffective house-breaking techniques can lead to lifelong accidents that create strained relations between animals and their human companions. Consistent and thorough training at the start of the relationship can lead to good habits that last a lifetime.

    Step 1

    Develop a consistent schedule and stick to it. If at all possible, bring your new dog home at a time when you or family members or friends can take several days to establish a good base potty-training routine. The more consistent you are in your approach, the faster your dog will learn what you expect from him.

    Step 2

    Put your dog on a leash and collar every time you take him out to go to the potty. The act of picking up the leash and saying, “potty” or “outside” will start establishing cues that your dog will come to associate with going outside and doing his business.

    Step 3

    Take your dog outside to go to the bathroom immediately after he wakes up from sleeping or within 15 minutes of eating a meal. Maintain the schedule without fail. If the dog doesn't go within a few minutes, bring him back inside and keep him on his leash and close to you so that if he starts to squat and go, you can quickly take him outside.

    Step 4

    Reward your pup with lavish praise and tasty treats every time he goes to the bathroom as instructed. This will be a positive form of reinforcement that lets him know going outside to use the potty is a good thing that will be rewarded.

    Items You Will Need

    • Leash and collar
    • Treats

    Tips

    • If you plan to paper train your dog or use some other form of indoor bathroom, follow the same steps, only take your pup on his leash to his designated indoor spot.
    • Clean up inside accidents as soon as you find them to make sure your dog doesn't create a spot he wants to use for his own indoor bathroom. Use an enzymatic odor removing product to make sure there's no trace of the accident for your pup to return to.

    Warning

    • Never hit your dog or rub his face in accidents as a form of punishment. This will only make your dog fearful of going to the bathroom in front of you, which can lead him to do his business in secrecy. It will also create a feeling of mistrust between you and your pup that can be difficult to overcome.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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