Monday, April 24, 2017

Potty Training your dog in 2 weeks DIY

A 2 week Potty-Training Boot camp.  For any dog, any age. Read everything, because it is not an order, but tips to be incorporated all at once.

First, ALL dogs are trainable, and none are worse than others. It is just a matter of patience and following through, so try not to get discouraged. 😊 Don’t believe the excuses you hear from other people who did not succeed. I have trained them all, and have not found one breed that gets to bow out to the excuse of being “untrainable”. 

  • Plan on dedicating 2 intense weeks to her training, and then it will taper off.  But, every moment counts in the beginning training.  Right now she believes there are no rules on potty-training.  These two weeks will be creating the boundaries she WANTS to follow.
  • Using a little 24” kennel is the easiest way to potty-train. A dog needs to learn to respect their own space first. Then, and only then, will they respect a larger space, and especially your space. If utilizing a kennel to train, be certain to walk your dog in between kennel time (walking instructions are in a below tip).  Just being let loose for a while is not a walk. 
  • If you choose not to use a kennel, gate off a smaller area. But, if you want less work, and more success, use the kennel. They LOVE them. If your dog does NOT like a kennel, or is stressed at all,  you will need to learn “kennel training” at the same time to make this a positive experience.
  • As soon as she wakes up, she needs to go pee. Straight outside. If she has played for a while, she needs to go pee. Straight outside.
  • For these first two weeks you will need to monitor when she is “being taken” outside to pee. We are looking for the opportunity  to tell her, “good girl!”.  You do not need silence for her to pee. Interruptions happen in life. Creating a silent pee moment, when only train a dog to go pee only when life is silent.
  • If she is being distracted while out for the pee time, it will help to put her on a leash. Pee time is pee time, NOT play time.  We play only after she pees. If she DOES NOT pee, then back to the kennel for another 10 min (or so) and then attempt the pee process again. Success=free time.  No Pee= time back in the kennel until you get a successful pee.
  • You can actually teach a dog to pee on command.  While you are outside with her waiting for her to pee, repeat, “Go potty”, or whatever phrase you want to be the command. (do your business, last chance, etc)  Be consistent.  Dogs like consistency, and when there is confusion, they will think the rule must the up to them to decide since no one else is making the rule.
  • When she does go pee, through a party! Be excited, proud, and let her know she has done well.  Everyone has their way of being excited, and your dog knows each family member’s personality, so let everyone show their reward in their own way.
  • A reward for going pee, IS NOT a treat.  This is a real quick way to get a dog to learn how to “fake” a pee, or to want to pee many more times than needed, just to get the treat!
  • Structured walks, meaning on a leash, will also improve your potty-training success.
  • While walking your dog, do not allow them to pee wherever they want. Remember we are teaching rules, expectations, and boundaries. Think of the walk as going on a car ride with the kids.  Everyone goes pee before you leave, may get a pit stop at a Mc Donald’s, but then we all wait to use the bathroom when we are “scheduled”.  Pick the time. Pick the place, but YOU pick it.  Just because your dog wants to smell and pee at the fire hydrant, does not mean it is the place you have scheduled.  REMEMBER, right now, your dog is choosing to pee IN YOUR HOUSE.  This training is to change what your dog is now doing, into what YOU want your dog to do.
  •  Each room is a new space. So, if a dog is acting potty-trained in your common living areas, and all the sudden has access to a bedroom not usually visited, it may be used as an indoor potty in their minds.  You can add rooms to be certified as “potty-trained, but each room will need to go through the training. This is why dog’s love to pee in the living rooms….because no one ever uses them. It makes a nice indoor and private potty experience.
  • Only add extra rooms to your potty-trained territories, AFTER you have success in the main living areas, and AFTER your 2 week graduation of potty-training boot camp.
  • When your dog is having free time, it is NOT your free time.  You will need to monitor the little “squirter” continually!  Think of it, like babysitting a one year old baby. Do not take your eyes off your dog. If you do, she WILL pee.
  • First thing your dog quickly learns is, the only rule is DO NOT PEE in the owner’s presence.  They learn for some reason, her peeing makes YOU upset, (not her, only you) so she will quickly learn to pee behind a couch, around a corner, and quickly, while you get a glass of water, use the bathroom, look at your iPhone, etc.
  • Mistakes may happen (as you are training yourself in how to better monitor your dog). If your dog has a potty mishap, correct her immediately, but not harshly, and ONLY if caught in the action of the crime!  Say sadly, “nooooo…… (or wrong, or whatever word you choose) shake your head in disapproval (for only a few moments) then quickly take your dog outside to pee and say, “Go potty, go potty” in a NICE VOICE.  If she has anything left and pees, throw the same excitable party you normally would.  If she does not pee, back to the kennel for a little while, until you are ready to be responsible and be a better Potty Monitor!  You will need to be able to flip your emotion from sad to encouraging instantly in this scenario. Remember, your dog likes happy, and does not like to pee around someone who is grumpy. Who would, right???
  • Boot camp is not a time of being mean. It is a time of structure, with reward at the right times. Never hit any dog. Boundaries and expectation IS the discipline in this training.  If you feel the need to hit someone with a rolled up newspaper (if you can find one these days) then hit only yourself.
  • If you stress, your dog will stress, and if your dog is stressed, they will most likely turn the pee problem into a diarrhea problem!!
Potty-training any dog is for the brave and dedicated owners that want to finally have the relief that their dog can live in their home with having the peace of mind that your home is no longer a fire hydrant!