Potty Training:
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What is it? Having your dog relieve themselves on cue in a designated area. This may be
accomplished in a short amount of time with attentiveness, management, and consistency. It
comes easiest when you can predict when your puppy needs to relieve themselves.

Additional Information: A healthy puppy can hold their bladder an hour per month they are old
(8-weeks=2-hours, 16-weeks=4-hours) . With practice, they begin to exercise their bladder
muscles, resulting in longer periods between relieving themselves. Your puppy will be going to
the bathroom a lot, so it is best to implement your training when you have plenty of time to stay
at home.

Teach It: The amount of trips you take your puppy out to relieve themselves will vary. Put your
dog on leash and walk them out to the designated potty area. Say“go potty” and wait up to
5-minutes for your dog to relieve themselves. As soon as they finish, you may click, say “good”
or “yes” and then treat and / or let them off leash for free time as a reinforcer. If your dog does
not go to the bathroom, return them to their crate and wait 5-minutes, then repeat (This is an
important component, as dogs are most prone to having an accident after we have already
taken them out. By having them contained where they sleep, your puppy should refrain from
relieving themselves) .

Potty Training Rules: Take your dog out…

  1. Every hour per month they are old (8-weeks = 2-hours) .
  2. If they start sniffing the ground and / or begin to walk in circles.
  3. Immediately after they wake up.
  4. After play.
  5. After eating.
  6. After drinking.
  7. After training.

If your Dog has an Accident: If your dog goes to the bathroom inside your home, remove your
dog from the area and clean up the mess with an enzymatic cleaner. When your dog goes pee,
they leave behind pheromones. These pheromones will attract them to pee in the same place
next time they need to relieve themselves. An enzymatic cleaner will remove these
pheromones, decreasing the likelihood of them establishing an undesired routine. If your dog
keeps relieving themselves in the same area, manage your environment and temporarily
prevent them from accessing this location. Start a potty journal and take note of when your dog
is having an accident. Often you will find a correlation of some stimulus that triggers the event
(Maybe when the kids get home from school). By recording this information you will have a
better idea of when your dog needs to go out.

Correcting the Accident: Punishing your dog for relieving themselves in an inappropriate area
can lead to many other undesired behaviors. Dogs make an association between something
good and something bad in a matter of seconds. If you are punishing your dog after they have
relieved themselves they will have no idea why they are being punished. This can result in your
dog becoming fearful of you. If you attempt to punish them after going to the bathroom, they
may perceive that relieving themselves is what caused the punishment. Your dog then may
become fearful of going to the bathroom. This can result in your dog hiding from you to relieve
themselves and increases the likelihood of you finding accidents under your bed, in the closet,
etc. If you catch your dog in the act, immediately interrupt them with a clap of the hands and
take them out immediately to the designated potty area. When they finish in the correct area,
reinforce with praise and treats. Make an entry in your potty journal and clean the accident with
an enzymatic cleaner.

Supervision: A Vital Element in Dog Training and Care
Effective supervision is a cornerstone of responsible dog ownership, ensuring the well-being of
your furry friend while promoting positive behaviors and safety. Whether you’re raising a puppy
or working with an adult dog, keeping a watchful eye is key to successful training and a
harmonious household.

  1. Puppy Supervision:

Puppies are akin to curious explorers, and their penchant for mischief is undeniable. To prevent
accidents and instill good habits, continuous supervision is essential. Until they’re around a year
old (varies by breed), puppies should remain under watchful eyes. This can be facilitated
through various methods:

● Baby Gates and Door Closures: Erecting baby gates and closing doors to certain rooms
limits your puppy’s access, allowing you to control their environment.
● Umbilical Cord Method: Leash your puppy and attach it to your belt loop or furniture,
creating a physical connection. This ensures they are always within view.

2. Managing Adult Dogs:

Even with adult dogs, supervision remains critical, especially for those not yet fully potty trained.
Utilize the same techniques as with puppies to prevent accidents and reinforce positive

3. Crates, Pens, and Dog-Proofed Areas:

When direct supervision isn’t possible, consider these options:
● Crate Training: A well-sized crate provides a safe haven for your dog, mimicking a den
where they feel secure. The “rule of thumb” is using the puppy’s age in months plus one
to estimate how long they can hold it.
● Exercise Pens: Pens offer a larger space for movement and exploration while ensuring
your dog stays contained.
● Dog-Proofed Yard/Garage: If leaving your dog outdoors or in a garage, ensure the area
is safe, secure, and free from hazards. However, exercise caution as unsupervised
outdoor time can lead to unwanted behaviors and potential risks.

4. Considerate Yard Time:

While allowing your dog outdoor time is important, be cautious about extended periods alone in
the yard. Nuisance barking, destructive behaviors, and even tragic accidents can result from
unattended outdoor time.

5. Using Potty Pads:

When your dog needs to relieve themselves but you can’t provide an outdoor break, having a
designated area with potty pads can be helpful. Attach their crate to this area to establish a
connection between the potty space and their safe zone.
Supervision isn’t just about prevention; it’s also about fostering positive habits, safety, and a
strong bond between you and your canine companion. Through careful monitoring, responsible
containment, and thoughtful planning, you create an environment where your dog thrives both
mentally and physically.

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