Potty Training your Dog
A most common question I am asked is on housebreaking and potty training a dog. It is simpler than people realize. Basically what goes in comes out. The younger a dog the faster this happens and the faster that they process their food. My Simone who is my current brood bitch was house broke in three days at only 9 weeks old. My philosophy is when you are house breaking a dog they are either in your eye or in the crate. Crate training has many benefits and I will talk about that in a later post. If you free feed a dog its food then that translates to free crapping. In other words you control the times you feed the dog and in turn you will be able to gauge when the dog needs to relieve itself. On a very young dog feeding and the dog relieving itself comes fairly quickly. My experience is 20 to 30 minutes. If you watch your dog you will be able to read its body language. It will be looking for a place to go to the bathroom, generally will be circling around, lowering its backend and trying to find an out of the way place. Once you see these signs of behavior then quickly take the dog outside on a long line and tell the dog “go potty” or whatever command you choose to use. Always use the same command for the same action. A dog’s world is physical, black and white. We are verbal and they are physical so you need communicate with your dog in action. As the dog is relieving themselves give the command you have chosen. At first the dog will not know what you are asking of it but it is imprinting its mind by association. When it has gone potty make a big deal of it praising the dog. After a number of times it will start to associate the command with the action. Once I establish where the dog goes to the bathroom it will always go back to that spot. So keep this in mind when taking the dog outside. After I get the initial go potty down, then I tweak it to “go pee” or “go poop”. When you start to divide the command do it in the same way as you training the go potty command. As soon as you see the dog peeing, use that command, “go pee” and when you see the dog pooping say, “go poop”. Another tip is when housebreaking a dog do not vary their diet. Generally speaking the same food will process through the dogs body and same way each day. This will give you a better sense of timing as to when the dog needs to go out. If you are working outside of home housebreaking your dog will require you to do this early morning or early evenings. It would be cruel to free feed a dog then leave it home alone and expect it to not relieve itself. So my advice is have a crate, control the times you feed the dog, keep the diet the same during potty training, learn to read the body language of the dog and then imprint the command in the dogs mind. One other thing I would like to say is ALWAYS clean up after your dog in public. It reflects poorly on all dog owners when you don’t .