How To Potty Train Your Dog

How To Potty Train Your Dog

Potty training a dog is a crucial task associated with having a pet, especially if you’re going to keep them indoors most of the time. However, it can be difficult to potty train a dog in the right way. 


If you have a dog that you need to potty train, then you’re going to want to follow a few key tips to make the training process go as smoothly as possible:


  1. Create a Schedule
  2. Try using a crate
  3. Recognize when a dog needs to go out
  4. Use positive reinforcement
  5. Create a signal/word to use with your dog

If you follow these basic steps, potty training your dog shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish. In no time, you should have a good routine established so that your precious pet only eliminates in the areas where you want them to.

1. Create a Schedule

The most important aspect of creating a schedule is to feed your dog at regular intervals throughout the day. Most dogs need to eat twice a day and most will eliminate urine and poop within about 30 minutes of each meal.


Feed your dog at the same time every day and take them outside to eliminate shortly afterward—if possible, within 30 minutes. You also want to schedule regular times for your pup to exercise which can help aid digestion and get them used to “going” outside. 


Remember, though, that puppies have much smaller bladders than bigger dogs do. If you’re trying to train a puppy, especially one that’s under three months, you’ll probably want to take them out more often—up to 6 times a day.

2. Try Using a Crate

A crate can be incredibly useful for helping a dog learn where to poop and urinate. Dogs are naturally den animals, so they’ll almost certainly like a small space in which to live. They are also naturally clean, so they won’t like living in a space that’s full of poop or urine.


You can train your dog by confining them in a crate small enough that using it for elimination will make them uncomfortable. If they eliminate in the crate, they’ll be stuck living with their poop or pee and will begin to feel bothered by it.


It’s important that you use a small crate if you want to train in this manner so that they don’t have space to relax in apart from their mess. They will learn pretty quickly to let you know that they want to get out when it’s time to go so they don’t have to constantly deal with poop or pee in their crate.

3. Recognize When Your Dog Needs To Go Out

Every dog is different, but there are a few signs you may notice when your dog is ready to go. Most dogs will do one or more of the following: 


  • Walk in circles.
  • Whine.
  • Sniff the ground.
  • Go to the door (especially if you’ve already taught them where to go).
  • Wander away to look for a more “private” area.


Note when these signs most often take place and get in the habit of reacting to them immediately. You want to make sure your dog knows that when they start feeling the urgency to go, they will need to go outside. They should quickly learn to alert you so that you can help them get out.

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

Some people may tell you that you should discipline your dog when they go inside the house, but this doesn’t usually work well. Other than the crate method, most discipline will only upset your dog and make them feel that elimination gets them in trouble. This may cause them to hide when they need to go instead of asking to go out.


It’s a better idea to use positive reinforcement to show your dog that their decision to go outside for elimination is the right one. Every time they go outside in the right place, reward them with verbal praise, with a treat they love, or by playing with them with their favorite toy.


It’s crucial that you don’t punish them when they do have an accident in the house. Instead, take them outside immediately so they can finish out there. If they do, be sure to give them the same reward as always.


When you come back inside, it’s important that you clean up the mess as thoroughly as possible. Dogs are especially prone to return to old spots where they can smell urine when they need to go again. Try your best to remove all stench and sign from the area.

5. Create a Signal/Word

It’s fairly easy to create a signal or signal word to use for your dog when they need to go out. Every time you take them outside, say the word and/or give the signal. When they eliminate, do so again. If you notice them sniffing around and looking for a spot, say the word and take them outside.


If you get this specific word and/or signal established in their minds, they’ll recognize it. Then, you can use it and they will know it’s time to head for the door.

Other Considerations

It’s important to realize that housetraining a dog, especially a puppy, is a lot of work. If you are going to be gone for several hours at a time, it may not be the best idea to get a dog that isn’t housetrained. Instead, you may want to opt for an older pup who has already been through the process.


If you are going to be gone, be sure to arrange for someone else to care for your pet or designate a specific area where you want your dog to go. You can use a crate with newspapers, for example, or a dog bathroom designed for the purpose. 


Ultimately, your goal is to teach your dog to hold it until they can get outside.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Poop

Now, once your dog has learned to go outside, you may be hit with another problem—you have to clean all that up! If you’re like most pet owners, you’re busy throughout the day with much more than just caring for your dog. That means you may not have time to pick up their poop after each elimination.

This is where we at Idaho Poop Scoop come in. We can help you save time and still maintain a clean yard by picking up your dog’s poop for you. Give us a call today to learn about our services and set up the dog poop-scooping plan that works for you.