Easy Steps to Potty Train Your Dog

by Lisa McQuerrey

Establish good habits early on.

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.

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