Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.

Dog Training Today with Will Bangura #146: How to Potty Train and House Train Any Puppy or Dog

January 15, 2024 Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult of Season 5 Episode 146
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura #146: How to Potty Train and House Train Any Puppy or Dog
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
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Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura #146: How to Potty Train and House Train Any Puppy or Dog
Jan 15, 2024 Season 5 Episode 146
Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult of

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Struggling with a four-legged friend who just can't seem to grasp the concept of potty training? Stress no more! Unleash the secrets to a mess-free home as I, Will Bangura, guide you through the maze of housebreaking your canine companion. I'll walk you through supervising and guiding your pup with the compassion and consistency needed to ensure that accidents become a thing of the past. From understanding your dog's body language to the correct use of crates and cues, I'm here to support your journey to a well-trained pet.

With patience as our mantra, we delve into the delicate balance of positive reinforcement, steering clear of old-school punishment that does more harm than good. Discover the magic of a potty training journal, spot behavioral patterns, and learn how to distinguish between a simple slip-up and a sign of something more concerning that might require a vet's attention. Whether it's navigating the occasional indoor accident or addressing excitable urination, this episode is packed with practical solutions to help you and your furry friend find harmony in the potty training process.

For the busy pet parent or the owner of a tiny toy breed, I've got a toolkit of alternatives up my sleeve. We cover all bases, from pee pads to dog doors, ensuring that your dog's pathway to potty independence is as smooth as possible. By the end of our chat, you'll be equipped with the techniques and knowledge to confidently master the art of potty training, and for those yearning for even more insight, my book "House Training 101: Potty Training Unleashed" awaits. Tune in, transform your dog's habits, and wave goodbye to unwanted messes!

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Struggling with a four-legged friend who just can't seem to grasp the concept of potty training? Stress no more! Unleash the secrets to a mess-free home as I, Will Bangura, guide you through the maze of housebreaking your canine companion. I'll walk you through supervising and guiding your pup with the compassion and consistency needed to ensure that accidents become a thing of the past. From understanding your dog's body language to the correct use of crates and cues, I'm here to support your journey to a well-trained pet.

With patience as our mantra, we delve into the delicate balance of positive reinforcement, steering clear of old-school punishment that does more harm than good. Discover the magic of a potty training journal, spot behavioral patterns, and learn how to distinguish between a simple slip-up and a sign of something more concerning that might require a vet's attention. Whether it's navigating the occasional indoor accident or addressing excitable urination, this episode is packed with practical solutions to help you and your furry friend find harmony in the potty training process.

For the busy pet parent or the owner of a tiny toy breed, I've got a toolkit of alternatives up my sleeve. We cover all bases, from pee pads to dog doors, ensuring that your dog's pathway to potty independence is as smooth as possible. By the end of our chat, you'll be equipped with the techniques and knowledge to confidently master the art of potty training, and for those yearning for even more insight, my book "House Training 101: Potty Training Unleashed" awaits. Tune in, transform your dog's habits, and wave goodbye to unwanted messes!

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Speaker 1:

There's nothing worse than having a puppy or a dog. Think that it's okay to use the house as a toilet. Did you get a new puppy? Or maybe you got a new dog during the holidays? We're going to be talking all about how do you potty train even the most stubborn and difficult puppy and older dog. Don't go anywhere. We're going to unpack all of this in 60 seconds. Good day dog lovers.

Speaker 1:

I'm Will Bangura. Hey, thanks for joining me for another episode of dog training today. Did you get a new dog during the holidays? Or maybe you've already got a dog, but you've been struggling with trying to potty train a puppy or a dog. I'm going to take this entire podcast to talk about how you can potty train the most stubborn puppy, the most stubborn dog and, for some of you, if you've got an older dog, trust me that old adage you can't teach an old dog new tricks. If that's not true, we can teach an old dog how to potty in the correct spot and no longer use the house as a toilet. So let's talk about let's talk about potty training, the number one rule, the number one rule in potty training. Write this down the dog or the puppy needs to be in your eyesight. You need to be supervising the dog or puppy with the potty training problem at all times. I know it sounds daunting, it's really not. But if you can't watch the puppy or dog, if you can't supervise, if you have to take your eyes off of them, and I mean even for 10 seconds, you need to put them in the crate, you need to confine them. If you haven't done crate training, it's pretty much kind of an essential.

Speaker 1:

When it comes to potty training, the whole idea is that most dogs, most puppies, are not going to soil their den, and part of that is making sure that you get the right size crate. You know a lot of people are getting crates that are way too big. The size of the crate should only be as big as the puppy or dog. What do I mean by that? So if your dog, if your puppy is laying down or standing up, they're not squished together. There's enough room from the base of the tail to the tip of their nose for them to lay comfortably, but not a whole lot more If there's a lot of room, if it's a large, super large crate, hey, some dogs, some puppies, they'll just go in the corner. Yep, they'll go in the corner of the crate. They'll pee, they'll poop there. And now now we've got another problem, because now we can't even use that when we can't supervise right. But the number one rule supervise or confine, and that's so that your puppy, your dog, can't continue to rehearse the unwanted behavior of using the house as a toilet, of going to the bathroom in the house. That's just going to keep on getting more and more and more conditioned. So part of what we need to do is think about how can we create the most success and the least failure, and we're going to talk about this.

Speaker 1:

Oh and, by the way, if you really want to understand potty training, you can go to Amazon. I've wrote a 350 odd page book all on potty training older dogs, younger dogs, puppies, dogs that need to have pee pads in the house or a special spot outside. So you can go to Amazon. If you want to get the definitive guide, you can get my book, house Training 101. Potty Training Unleashed by Will Bangura. Again, that's House Training 101. Potty Training Unleashed by Will Bangura. You can also go to my website at dogbehavioristcom. Look for the in the menu, the link that says books, and you can find my book on potty training there as well.

Speaker 1:

But I like to give back to the community. Not everybody can afford training. You guys could certainly afford the book, but here's some free content for you, because nobody likes dealing. You know, when I talk to pet parents, what they hate the most and what they want to be done with the quickest is potty training. All right, so we already talked about that. There is a need for crate training and I'm not going to talk about how to crate train in this particular podcast. And, by the way, if you're listening to this podcast, please make sure that you subscribe so that you never miss any of the dog training today podcast Hit subscribe. Please share this with your friends and if you love what we do, please give us a five star review. That helps our rankings go higher, which means that more people get to benefit from this information. All right, so crate training is a must.

Speaker 1:

We're going to kind of fast forward, assuming that you're either going to learn how to crate train, or you know how to crate train, or your puppy or dog is already crate trained. Now let me say this Any time you need to put your puppy or your dog in the crate and you're in the process of still potty training your pet. You need to make sure that before you put your puppy or dog in the crate, that you take them outside, give them the opportunity to relieve themselves. And here's the thing about taking your dog or puppy outside. What I like to do when I get out there I'm watching the puppy or dog and I'm very slowly just walking back and forth, just kind of pacing very slowly, not engaging with the puppy or dog. I don't want them to be distracted. I'm trying to get them to move around, put their nose to the ground, find that special spot that all puppies and dogs need to find right to go to the bathroom and have success out there.

Speaker 1:

If your puppy, if your dog is not distracted when you take them outside to use the bathroom, only keep them out there for about five minutes. You know I watch people bring their puppy, their dog out there for 10, 15, 20, 30, 35, 40, an hour. That's insane. If your puppy or dog is not distracted, if they're sniffing on the ground, most likely, in most cases, they're going to go to the bathroom within five minutes. Now some dogs they're going to get some puppies are going to get very distracted when they get outside, you may have to wait out a period of time and start that watch, start that timer of five minutes when the puppy or dog settles down. If they go outside right away and they're distracted doing all kinds of things, you can't count that as the five minutes. It has to be non-distracted. Five minutes, alright, one of the critical things that needs to happen. Your dog needs to have a paycheck.

Speaker 1:

Your puppy needs to have a very high value reward when it goes to the bathroom in the correct spot. That's one of the ways that puppies, that's one of the ways that dogs learn and that we create behaviors and we condition behaviors. There's a payoff. When a behavior has a function, then that behavior also has value because there's a payout. Dogs, puppies, any animal they're going to be more apt to want to repeat that behavior. So, preparation for potty training when you wake up in the morning, you should have a treat pouch on you. You should have a bunch of extremely high value food awards. I'm talking something extremely yummy, listen. The more your puppy and dog likes the food reward, the more your puppy and dog is going to be motivated to go to the bathroom outside, which means that you're going to be done with this quicker and you can regain your house back and it doesn't have to continue to be a toilet. Alright, so high value food awards. When you wake up in the morning, put that treat pouch on. Leave the treat pouch on at all times until you go to bed or until you leave the house. You need to have that Listen for all kinds of other manners issues and just teaching the dog different, appropriate manners within the house. You should have a treat pouch on anyway until your dog is trained.

Speaker 1:

Don't bribe your dog by having the food in your hand. Put it in the treat pouch. Give the food to the puppy or dog after they do the behavior, immediately after. I don't like to bribe with food. Think about that treat pouch. It's like a wallet or a purse. Okay, the behavior happens or the work happens. Then you reach in that wallet or purse and pay for the job well done. In this case it's not a purse, it's not a wallet, it's a treat pouch and the pay is high value food rewards. Okay. Now some of you will tell me hey, my dog's not food motivated. Baloney, every dog is food motivated. You just didn't find the right kind of food, unless you've got a dog that's constantly in a state of high anxiety or panic and then their appetite shuts down. That's a different. That's a whole different ball game.

Speaker 1:

All right, we talked about crate training. We talked about needing to have a treat pouch having high value food rewards. We talked about that. The number one rule is you have to have the puppy or the dog in your eyesight at all times. You have to be able to see where they're at, have to be able to supervise, and when you can't, you must crate the puppy or dog. And I'm not a fan of X-pens and I'm not a fan of, you know, giving the puppy or dog its own room, like the laundry room or something like that. It's too big. Those areas are way too big to potty train. You need to use a crate and there are some very specific things in order to have success. Now, when I wrote my book House Training 101, potty Training Unleashed which, by the way, I'll plug it again, you can get that on Amazon I wrote that book as if I had the most difficult dog in the world to potty train, so that anybody and everybody could have success if they picked up a copy of House Training 101. I'm going to give you some of the highlights here. I obviously can't, in a podcast, read 350, some odd pages, so if you're really struggling, think about possibly looking at getting my book. All right, supervisor, confined, number one rule. Now let me tell you what makes that a little bit easier Letting your puppy or dog drag a leash around.

Speaker 1:

I don't like leashes. I actually like to. As far as dragging leashes, I like to get about three or four feet of light rope and I like to attach a metal leash clasp to that light rope, hook that to their harness or collar and they're just dragging that around as they're moving around. Why do I like that? Because they don't know what all the rules are right now and I may need to guide the puppy or dog, and it sure makes life a whole lot easier. I need to be supervising or confining.

Speaker 1:

So what happens if I need to go from one room to the next and let's say that my new puppy or dog's name is Bobo and I go Bobo, let's go and I start moving to a different room? What if Bobo doesn't follow? I want to be able to take that I call it a drag line that light rope that's again three or four feet long, with a leash clasp on it, attached to their collar or harness. I'm just going to grab that and just guide them with me to go where I'm going, because, again, I've got to keep them in my eyesight, all right, all right, let's talk about what do you do. What do you do? What do you do if there's an accident?

Speaker 1:

First of all, if there's an accident and you did not see it happen, in the act, there is nothing you can do other than clean it up. And we're going to talk about cleaning up in just a little bit, all right. But what you want to do if you're witnessing the puppy or dog going to the bathroom in the house in the act, you're just going to go ahead and guide the puppy or dog outside to see if they can finish and if they do, you're going to reward them. Now, the one thing you're not going to hear me say is punish your dog for going to the bathroom in the house. The one thing you're not going to hear me say is go ahead and rub its nose in its mess. That is old school folks. No modern educated dog trainers, behavior consultants, behaviorists ever do that. First of all, you're creating a lot of anxiety and stress. You are associating that anxiety and stress with yourself and you're trying to build a bond and a relationship with this new puppy or dog. But if you're causing fear, pain and intimidation because you're punishing the dog for having an accident, it's not going to help much in terms of teaching the dog where to go and if your timing is not perfect, the puppy or dog won't understand why it's happening in the first place. But here's the bottom line. We know from study after study after study, science, science, science.

Speaker 1:

You can use positive reinforcement to train in any behavior and you can use positive reinforcement to train out any unwanted behavior. You don't need to use punishment. So if you're talking to another trainer, if you're talking to a behavior consultant or behaviorist and they're telling you hey, you need to correct the dog, you need to punish the dog, you need to walk away from them. It's not that they're bad people, they just don't know what they're talking about. And again, if any trainer says to you positive reinforcement doesn't work, here's the deal. They just don't know how to make it work. They're just not that skilled in positive reinforcement. Hey, I'll give you this. You have to have greater skills, you have to be a better trainer to use positive reinforcement, but the benefits in terms of the bonding that you're going to do with your pet and that relationship that you're going to have. And you know there's this huge risk when you use punishment that there can be long term repercussions, creating anxiety and fear and all kinds of problems.

Speaker 1:

But I want you to think about this how fair is it, how fair is it to punish an animal that has absolutely no clue what the rules are? We need to take the time to teach them where it is. We would like them to go to the bathroom, because the dog, the puppy's just being a dog, it's just being a puppy. They got to go, they go. They're DNA, they're genetics. Doesn't tell them. Oh, you know, if you're in a house, let's go outside and not make a mess. We've got to teach that.

Speaker 1:

So oftentimes people are correcting and punishing their puppies and dogs for just being a puppy, being a dog and not knowing what your rules are because you didn't take the time to teach them. Okay, all right, we talked about that drag line. Listen, let me say one more thing about the crate, because this is where a lot of accidents happen, and then I'll get back to telling you what you need to do when there is an accident other than, hey, don't punish. Okay, you're going to take the puppy, get him back outside. You are going to see if they need to void more, go to the bathroom more, keep them out there for five minutes of undistracted time and then, when you come back in, go ahead and put them in their crate and then clean up the mess.

Speaker 1:

Now you need to make sure that you're using a really good cleaner, because you know dog's sense of smell is just incredible. You know cleaning supplies that get rid of the smell for you and I, for us humans will not get rid of the smell for the dogs. I mean literally, they can smell one drop of blood diluted in a 55 gallon barrel of water. Okay, their sense of smell is crazy, crazy good. So you need to find a product that's enzyme based. I like SCOEX 10X, SCOE 10X you can get that at SCOE10Xcom and 10 is 1-0. Nature's miracle. A lot of people have heard of that. Follow the directions on the bottle, just you know. Guess on how to use it, because it makes a big difference when you use it the correct way. And let me just give you this big tip If you're potty training and a dog or a puppy, make sure you've got a black light.

Speaker 1:

We'll come back to the black light, because the black light if there's an accident and let's say it dried up and you can't see it right. Well, if you go through the house with a black light, they'll light up like a Christmas tree Everywhere. The dog went to the bathroom. You're going to see this bright, like yellowish stain, come up with the black light. And I tell you to get a black light because that keeps you honest, because here, remember what I said.

Speaker 1:

Number one rule keep the puppy or dog in your eyesight, and when you can't, you need to confine in the crate. Well, how well did you do that? You know, if every evening, at the end of the evening, you go through the house with a black light, you start finding areas where your puppy or dog went to the bathroom. Guess what? You didn't follow rule number one, did you? And here's the thing I want to tell you it can be exhausting to have to follow a new puppy around and to keep your eyes on a puppy at all time. I never want you to feel guilty about needing a break and having that puppy or dog go to its crate. You can give it a toy, you can give it a chew like a bully stick or something like that to keep it busy. But you may need breaks and it's okay to do that. You know there are.

Speaker 1:

If you're like me and you get on the couch and you're watching TV, it doesn't take long before I start dozing off. If I've got a dog or a puppy, then I'm potty training and I start feeling myself dozing off. Hey, I better get up and I better crate the puppy or dog, because if I fall asleep I'm not there to supervise right. And even if let's say that the phone rings and it's an important call and you really need to pay attention, you need to tell the caller hey, hold on a second, hold on and then go crate your dog and then go back to the call and when the call is done you can take the puppy or the dog out of the crate.

Speaker 1:

The reason we're doing this is to avoid accidents. Remember, we want to have as few accidents as possible and as many successes as possible. So supervisor confine is huge. Let's say you need to use the restroom. You got to go to the bathroom. Well, a lot of people will just do that and not crate the puppy or dog and then they come out of the bathroom only to find an accident happened. So think about all all these little short duration situations where you might not be able to pay attention to the dog or puppy, where you need to confine them. Telephone rings important call Got to go to the restroom. Somebody comes to the door. Hold on a second. You know they're knocking on the door. Hold on a second. Create the puppy, create the dog and then go deal with who's at the door. Maybe there's somebody that's coming to the house to do some repair work on something. Tell them to wait, put up the dog. These things are really crucial. They're little, they're tiny little tips, but boy, these are gems, these are diamonds. This is going to be the difference between success and failure.

Speaker 1:

All right, the next thing let's talk about keeping a journal. Remember, I said I'm going to approach this as if I've got a puppy or a dog. That's the most difficult puppy or dog in the world to potty train. All right, there's a couple of things I want to do. Number one I want to feed on a schedule. I'm going to feed at the same time every day. I'm going to set the food down for five or 10 minutes and then I'm picking it up and it's not going back down until the next scheduled feeding. And again, I'm going to feed at the same time every day. I'm also going to offer water with meals and 10 minutes after that's down, that also gets picked up. Now, throughout the day I am going to offer water, but I'm not leaving water down for the puppy or dog to drink at any time they want. I'm not leaving food down for them to graze and free feed. Water and food are scheduled.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to write down in my potty training journal what time it is when my puppy or dog drinks. Every time they drink. I'm going to write in my potty training journal what time it is when my puppy or dog eats, every single time they eat. I'm also going to collect really important data. I don't know Maybe some of you know where I'm going with this. Every time the puppy or dog goes to the bathroom, I'm going to mark it down what was that time. In my potty training journal I'm going to differentiate Did the dog go potty, did it go poop, was it an accident or was it a success? And I'm going to keep this journal and I'm going to keep on putting that information in there while I'm potty training?

Speaker 1:

Why, listen, if you feed on a schedule, if you give water on a schedule and you keep a potty training journal, you are going to find a pattern. I don't know what the pattern is going to be. Let me just make one up, but there's going to be a pattern. Let's say your puppy or dog drinks and you're collecting data, you're writing down what time it drinks and you're writing down what time it either has an accident or a success, whether it's pee or poop. How long after your puppy or dog drinks does it typically need to pee? How long after your puppy or dog typically eats, does it need to poop? If you're feeding on a schedule, if you're giving water on a schedule and you're collecting that data, you are going to find a pattern. And now you're going to be able to pretty, pretty, pretty well predict when this puppy, when this dog, is needing to go to the bathroom. And that is huge. That is huge for us to prevent accidents. It's huge for us to be able to create as much success having the ability to set a timer. Maybe it is your smartphone or something, but if my data says, hey, 30 minutes after my dog drinks, it's going to go to the bathroom. I'm going to set my timer for like 20, 25 minutes and I'm going to get that puppy outside so I can have more successes. All right, that is crucial, absolutely crucial If you want to make this go quickly, if you want to be done with potty training, keep a potty training journal, keep a log. Okay, that's absolutely one of the best things you can do to have success potty training your puppy or your dog.

Speaker 1:

All right, have you ever had the situation with your current puppy or dog, or maybe one that you had in the past, where you took it outside to go to the bathroom? You watched it go to the bathroom, only to bring it back in the house and it goes to the bathroom in the house within the next five minutes. Yeah, that happens, it does. Why does that happen? Well, some dogs, some puppies, do not empty their bladder in one squat or one leg lift. They may need to pee several different times to completely empty their bladder. And then there are some dogs that don't empty their bowel just with one squat. You know they could if you kept them out there. They may walk around, move around, and five minutes later they're going again.

Speaker 1:

But when you keep a potty training journal and you start seeing a pattern that, hey, the puppy or dog went to the bathroom outside, we brought them inside and within five minutes, 10 minutes, they went again inside, that's important data, that's important information so that you can do the right thing. What does that tell you? It tells you what I just said You've got a puppy, you've got a dog that doesn't empty the bladder on the first shot. That tells you you need to stay outside a little longer. A little longer.

Speaker 1:

Now, as you're doing this, as you're collecting data, as you have your potty training journal and you pretty much you know you're seeing the pattern and you can kind of predict when the puppy, when the dog, needs to go pee or poop, and so you get them outside at the right time and you get out there. They're not distracted. You give them their five minutes and nothing happens. They don't go. What do you do? Do you stay out there longer? Well, maybe, but if you do, don't stay out there more than maybe a minute or two longer.

Speaker 1:

But here's the thing If you feel pretty certain, based on your data, that hey, the puppy or dog's got to go, but yet we went out here and it's not. This is what I want you to do. Bring the puppy, bring the dog back in, put it in the crate for 15 minutes. Yeah, again, you can give it a toy, some kind of activity to do a bully stick. But then, after 15 minutes, bring the puppy or dog right back outside for another five minutes of undistracted potty time to see if they'll go. And if they still don't go and, based on your data, you are certain they have to go yeah, bring them right back in, put them back in the crate for 15 minutes. It's not a punishment, guys. We're not putting them in the crate for punishment. They should love their crate. Their crate should be a safe place. You should have their favorite toys in there. There should be nothing punishing about going in the crate. All we're doing is identifying the fact that man, I really think this puppy is going to go and I don't want there to be an accident. Yet we took it outside. It didn't. Therefore, I'm going to go ahead and put it in its crate.

Speaker 1:

Now, if I did that two or three times and the puppy or dog still didn't go, I'm going to ask myself some questions. Did the puppy or dog, was the volume of water or the volume of food much less For some reason. You got to pay attention to that too. The other thing that you need to take a look at is the puppy, in this case a puppy. Is the puppy maturing? Is the bladder able to hold urine longer? Is it getting stronger? Is the bladder muscles getting stronger? What about the bowels? Are they get? Are those muscles getting stronger? Are they able to hold it longer? Because it's going to happen as they get older. What's going to happen is you're going to find that in your data that will come out, because the time differential between when they drink and pee, when they eat and poop, is going to change. That's a normal thing to do.

Speaker 1:

When it comes to potty training, one of the things that I like to do is I like to put it on cue. If I ask the dog, if I watch people go out there, go potty, go potty the puppy, the dog's not going potty and they don't know what that means. Here's the trick behind it Let them engage in the behavior of peeing or pooping While they are in the act of peeing or pooping, I want you to label that behavior, quietly, quietly, and I want you to repeat it like a mantra. My label, my cue for going to the bathroom is hurry. When I'm training a new puppy or dog and they begin to go to the bathroom very quietly, just loud enough that they can hear it, I go hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry. The whole time while they're going, as soon as they stop, as soon as they come up from the squat, I stop saying hurry and I mark that behavior and I reward the dog. Now, if you don't know what I just meant when I said mark the behavior, I'm talking about using a marker training system.

Speaker 1:

A clicker is one type of marker. Some people use a verbal marker like yes, but it's something that gets conditioned to the positive reinforcement In this case food, and it's about timing. You've literally got about a half a second to a second to get the food in the dog's mouth in order for them to connect the dots why they're getting it All right. So a lot of times we're late with getting the reward to the puppy or dog. Oh, they like the food. But whether they're connecting the dots cognitively why they're getting it Well, that's debatable if you don't have good timing. Well, using markers allows us to, in very perfect timing mark the behavior that we like, that we want and that sends a signal. That marker is conditioned. So the dog knows when it hears the clicker or hears a verbal marker like, yes, I'm getting a treat, and then we've got a little bit of time to get the food reward to the dog when we're using markers.

Speaker 1:

If you don't use markers, you should be. Where you can learn about this is by going to my website. Go to dogbehavioristcom. I've got like 85 training and behavior articles. You need to be checking those all out there. Great. Go to dogbehavioristcom. Go to the menu. Find articles. Click on that. Now there's an article on clicker training and it's all about using markers and training and at the bottom of that article I've got a whole audio podcast an hour long going through detail how do you use markers and training. You're going to be much more successful if you use markers, so I encourage you to check that out. Go to my website, dogbehavioristcom. Go to articles. Find the article on clicker training. Read through that. At the bottom of that article, listen to the podcast on using markers in training and then give that a shot, all right.

Speaker 1:

Now, when do you know that you're puppy? When do you know that your dog is potty trained? Well, the way I look at it, if I can go about two and a half, three months without an accident, I think we're pretty much there. That's kind of my cutoff Two months, two and a half, three months no accident. Yeah, I think we've got it. That's when maybe now you don't need to supervise at all times and when you can't confine the dog. All right. But let's say that you do that you give more freedom and accidents start to happen again.

Speaker 1:

Well, you got to go back to step one. You got to start over. You didn't spend enough time conditioning the fact that, hey, I want you to go to the bathroom outside. You do that. Wonderful things happen. You get little pieces of hot dog or cheese or chicken.

Speaker 1:

Make sure you're rewarding your dog really really well. Make sure you're cleaning up accidents really well so that the dog doesn't want to go back to it because it can smell it. Right, using an enzyme-based cleaner is critical. And check. And if you're really struggling again, I'll mention it again. You can purchase my book House Training 101, potty Training Unleashed. You can find that on Amazon or you can find that on my website at dogbehavioristcom. Okay, so we've gone two and a half three months without an accident and we think we're good to go. What are our next steps? Well, even when you think things are going well and now you're not supervising as much, right you want, every night I would go through the house with the black light. Keep yourself, keep the dog honest, okay, because it they'll sneak away. They'll sneak away and go somewhere else and you won't know it.

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to use that black light every single night until I can go, several months and I'm not having accidents. It's just a quick little inspection through the house with the black light. It takes you about two minutes, that's all. We talked about putting this on cure command. So when they go, I start repeating my mantra hurry, hurry, hurry. You can't be too loud, because if you're too loud you're going to interrupt them and they're not going to finish going to the bathroom, and you don't want that. And you don't reward the puppy or dog until after they come up from the squat, but immediately after. So if they're lifting their leg, as soon as that leg comes down, boom, mark and reward. If they're squatting, as soon as they come up, mark and reward. But while they've got their leg lifted, while they're squatting, hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry. Okay, if I start doing that, by the time I've got my two and a half to three months of no accidents. Now I can ask them to go to the bathroom on cue or command and that is going to be hurry, hurry, hurry. Why do I do that? Well, let's say that we're traveling. You know, some dogs are a little strange. They are comfortable going to the bathroom at home or on a walk, but not in a strange location, and I don't want to have to be messing around with this. So it's a great idea to capture that behavior label, that behavior mark and reward when they actually are finished and then down the road you'll be able to use that cue that you're just using as a label right now as a cue to get the puppy or dog to go to the bathroom.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, all right, let's talk about some other things. Let's talk about diarrhea. Okay, Listen, if your puppy or your dog has diarrhea, that is not an accident. That is not a potty training accident. Okay, that is a GI upset and that's something that, if it doesn't clear up right away, you need to consult with your veterinarian. Okay, so don't be hard on your puppy or dog.

Speaker 1:

If they got loose stool, if they've got diarrhea, all right, all right, let's talk about a dog or a puppy that just can't get enough water, just absolutely drinks like crazy constantly and just peas like crazy PPP, just constantly peeing and peeing a lot. Well, get that puppy, get that dog into the vet. Make sure that we're not dealing with any blood sugar issues, diabetes. Now, I'm not a veterinarian, I can't give out medical advice and I'm not. That's why I'm saying if you're experiencing that, take your puppy or dog to the vet to rule out any medical issues. The same thing if there's a lot of urgency to go and your puppy or dog was holding it, now all of a sudden they can't make it to the door, so to speak, and it's happening a lot and maybe there's even a foul smell to it. Is there a bladder infection? Is there a UTI? You know that can happen. So again, when things are unusual like that, you want to make sure to get your puppy or your dog into the veterinarian, rule out any possible medical contributing factors. Okay, because those things they definitely. They definitely happen.

Speaker 1:

All right, there's a couple more things I want to talk about in terms of potty training and that is going to be fearful or submissive urination and in some cases even defecation and excitable urination. When puppies are small and sometimes it doesn't matter size if they get overstimulated, if they get too excited before their bladders are mature, they may leak, they may lose control of the bladder. That is not an accident. That is not an accident. That's an unconscious reflex. Okay, do not punish that there's nothing you can do about it. Accept, accept, stop the excitability.

Speaker 1:

You know it happens a lot where people will come home. The dog gets really excited and loses its bladder control and peace. So the way that you do that when you come in, if your dog gets excited, stop, freeze like a tree, just freeze. Be very, still, very quiet, wait for the puppy, wait for the dog to calm down. Then take a step or two. If the puppy or dog starts to get excited again, stop again and freeze like a tree and only move when the puppy or dog is calm. Now you're going to need to do that for a little while. It's not like you are, you know, going to be able to do that once and you know expect success. Okay, every time when you come home, when the puppy or dog is excited, freeze like a tree, not just necessarily when you come home, that can be anytime. You know guests come over. You got to inform them what to do. Eventually the puppy is going to get older, the bladder will get, those muscles will get stronger and typically that works itself out.

Speaker 1:

Now some dogs have it really bad. I mean it can. I've seen it go on until some dogs were up to nine months of age, and then I've seen it go beyond that and I've seen dogs that had such weak excuse me bladders that they needed to go in to see the vet and they've got medication. But listen, I don't want you to think, just because you're struggling with potty training, that you need to give your dog medication for its bladder. No, those are in special cases, special situations, and that's for the vet to decide, not me, not you. So the other thing besides excitable urination is submissive or fearful urination. So some dogs are very submissive, some dogs frightened very easily and they can lose control of their bladder. That again, that's not a potty accident. That is an unconscious act and that is something that you have to begin to desensitize the puppy or dog to those things that are triggers that it causes the puppy or dog to become submissive or fearful, which then in turn causes the puppy or dog to lose control of its bladder.

Speaker 1:

All right, now let me talk about dog doors. For me personally, I think the dog door is the greatest invention ever made to help with potty training, and I do this with every one of my puppies, every one of my dogs. I buy a crate. I make sure there are. It's a two door dog crate. I remove one of the doors on the crate. My house has a dog door. All my homes that I've lived in have dog doors. I take the crate, that door that I took off, I'm going to take that and I'm going to take the crate that doesn't have the door, that opening where the door would be, and I'm going to push it up against the dog door. So think about it. Let's say, I put the puppy or dog in the crate.

Speaker 1:

Now the puppy or dog has the ability to go outside, they have the ability to come back in, but they don't have the ability to have accidents in the house. And one of the ways that I love to potty train is through teaching the dog door. And when I can't supervise, I can put them in the crate and they go out the dog door and they go to the bathroom. Now I will tell you, initially, when I'm potty training, I don't use the dog door unless it's a huge struggle. Because, first and foremost, think about it. If they're using the dog door, what are you not doing? You're not out there to reward them. So where's the positive reinforcement for going to the bathroom in the correct place. See, I believe that needs to happen first and then, once that happens, now you can start to teach the dog door and now they can start to use it. And I'll tell you, there's nothing better, absolutely nothing better, than having a dog door and not having to get up, open the door and let the dog outside. It's a great invention. I highly recommend get a dog door Now.

Speaker 1:

I've had some people say oh, what about safety? I don't want people breaking in the house. Let me tell you something If somebody's going to break in your house, they're going to break in your house. That dog door is not going to be the thing that's going to be. Oh, I'm only going to break into houses that have dog doors, okay. And when they hear the dogs barking, they're probably going to turn around and run Robbers, burglars. They don't like to go into homes where there's dogs. They don't know what they're going to encounter when they do that. All right, I need to take a quick second to hear from our sponsor.

Speaker 1:

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Speaker 1:

All right, let's get back into the potty training I want to talk about. You know, in some cases, let's say you've got a toy breed. Let's say that maybe you live in an apartment. Okay, in some of those situations, some people like to train their dogs to go to the bathroom on pee pads, or maybe they teach them to go in a litter box, or they get some other type of turf. Okay, they've got these boxes that are elevated with fake turf on them. They even got self-cleaners. I mean it can be pretty sophisticated. Now, typically typically this is just me I try to dissuade people from training their puppies or training their dogs to use pads or go in a litter box or something like that in the house, because I believe I believe that part of what it teaches is that it's okay to go in the house and I've seen lots of these puppies, lots of these dogs make mistakes and go elsewhere. But with really good training, with really good consistency and repetition, patience, understanding and compassion, you can get that done All right, it wouldn't matter whether it's a potty pad, it doesn't matter if it's a litter box.

Speaker 1:

Okay, one of the things that I like to do when I'm doing that, especially what I like to do if I'm doing pee pad training when the puppy goes to the bathroom either an accident, or the puppy goes to the bathroom outside I'm going to take a pee pad and I'm going to soak up that urine and I'm going to keep that pee pad with that soaked up urine pretty fresh, so like when it gets stale, like two days later I'm going to soak up another pee pad with the Puppy or Dog's urine Because I need that scent. I want that scent to kind of draw them over to it. So it just kind of helps, kind of as a scent lure to where I want them to go to the bathroom. A lot of times too, I'm helping where I'm doing pee pads. I start off with a very large area. So I've got several pee pads put together, all right, and I bring the puppy into the middle of that and I've got their drag line that I'm holding very loose. But if they start to step off of the potty pad now remember, imagine, I've got, you know, like a three foot by four foot area. Then I've got all potty pads laid out and I put the puppy in the middle. I'm holding onto their leash or that light piece of rope only to guide them back on the pee pads if they step off.

Speaker 1:

Okay, same rules apply If they go to the bathroom. I'm going to mark and reward as they start going to the bathroom. I'm going to label it. Hurry, hurry, hurry, remember, yeah. And the one thing I'm not going to do is I'm not going to just pick up those pads right away down the road Once the puppy's trained. Yeah, I'm not going to keep soiled pads down just because of hygiene issues.

Speaker 1:

Now, the same thing for pooping. Look, if the puppy has an accident, it poops in the house, so the puppy poops outside. I'm going to take that poop, I'm going to put it on the pad and guide the puppy over there. I'm doing everything the same. I've got my potty training journal, my potty log. I'm supervising or confining, marking and rewarding when they're going to the bathroom.

Speaker 1:

The only difference is, instead of going outside, I'm putting them on a potty pad, or instead of going outside, I'm putting them in a litter box. Now, when I do a litter box, I get a large tub it's really not a litter box and I put the litter in there. Again, I need the area to be big to start with. Once they understand to go in that litter, once they understand to go on the pad, now, little by little, I can shrink the size of that down to one pee pad. Little by little I can shrink the size of that tub where I've got the litter in it, the litter material in it, make that smaller till we get to the point where it's just a regular litter box. So you can do that too.

Speaker 1:

Now what about the older dog? Guess what, guys? If you've got an older dog unless they are incontinent because of age, and some, if you've got a really old dog and the dog was doing great and then all of a sudden it starts having accidents, get the dog to the vet. Let's make sure everything's okay there. But when it comes to older dogs, the rules are exactly the same. You treat it as if that older dog, even though it was potty trained and now it's having accidents, you start from scratch as if it was never potty trained. That's exact. Because here's the thing the dog doesn't know better.

Speaker 1:

I know some of you think that they are doing it just to spite you. I know some of you think that when you come home and you look at them, they're showing you guilt. That is not what's happening. I can't get into the dynamics of what's really happening, but that is not guilt. They know they're about ready to get in trouble because that's something that has happened day in and day out. So when you come home, that look of what you think is guilt is fear and anxiety typically, and we've done studies so we know it's not guilt. We've done scientific studies. But your older dog is not trying to spite you. It's not that they're stubborn, it's that we've got to teach them for whatever reason. Maybe they got sick and couldn't help it and went to the bathroom in the house and now they think, oh, I can go both places, outside and inside. Then you've got a puppy or dog that you've successfully potty trained and they start having accidents again. First think about is there a potential medical contributing factor? Possibly get them into the vet. If you've ruled all that out, you've got to start from scratch with potty training.

Speaker 1:

What about marking? You know, I get people that contact me and say, oh, my dog's potty trained, but we've got a problem with the dog marking in the house. Guess what? The dog's not potty trained. Does it make a difference that they're lifting their leg? I mean, I know what you're saying. You know they're marking territory. Maybe, maybe, but it doesn't matter.

Speaker 1:

What are the rules we're trying to teach? The rules we're trying to teach is you don't go to the bathroom in the house, you go to the bathroom outside, and that includes marking. So if you've got a dog that's marking and you think, hey, I don't have a potty training issue, you're wrong. You've got a potty training issue and you need to start from scratch, and if you do that, you are going to have success. Let me tell you something If you follow these guidelines, you can't help but have success. The only people that don't have success are the people that don't do the work, and some of the greatest assets you can have are patience, patience, patience and understanding. So there you have it, folks. There's the crash course in how to potty train any dog. Remember, if you're struggling, go to Amazon, pick up my book, house Training 101, potty Training Unleashed. Please subscribe If you love what we do. Give us a five-star review. Have a great day everybody. I'm outta here.

Potty Training Dogs and Puppies
Training and Supervising Puppies and Dogs
Potty Training Journal's Importance
Potty Training Guidelines and Issues
Potty Training Tips and Dog Doors
Potty Training Techniques for Dogs
Mastering Potty Training for Dogs