As anyone who has gone through potty training with a little boy understands, if they get busy doing something “important” accidents will happen. We know as parents we need to stay on them asking continually if they have to go, but we get busy, they get busy and whoops! What does this have to do with potty training, EVERYTHING!

Many people just throw the dog outside and expect him or her to magically know why you threw them out of the house. Dog Owners wait 15 to 20 minutes and let the dog back in, after all that should have been long enough right? Then wonder why after 30 seconds back in the house they pee on the carpet? Do these stories sound similar? Your poor dog with no direction has to deal with every sight, scent, sound, taste and texture of the back yard and you expect them to remember to pee! (I don’t think so).

You have to train when its time to go outside to pee and when it is time to play! And the best tool you have for that is your leash! When you start potty training pick a cue word, I say “Potty, Potty”. I use the word twice, once to get the dog to the back door, and once to cue the action in the back yard. When the dog comes to the back door we put on our leash and we walk with our dog (yes you have to go with the dog) to the potty spot.

You choose where this will be, lets face you should pick the space, you will be the one doing all the scooping. Once there plant roots like a tree and wait. The dog will be able to move around you but you will not wonder all over the backyard.

Give the dog a reasonable amount of time to go, lets say 10 minutes max. Don’t forget to use the cues word occasionally and especially when the golden moment arrives! If 10 minutes goes by with out any potty progress then take the dog back inside and place them in their crate for 5-10 minutes and repeat the process.

Yes it is a battle of wills, but it is one your carpets will appreciate! Once the dog has done there business simply reward your dog by taking them off the leash and playing with them. As time goes by they will learn the faster the business gets done the faster Mom and/or Dad will take the leash off and play with me. The dog also learns the leash and backyard equals potty time and the backyard without the leash equals play time. Once this behavior has been learned then the leash will not be necessary, but until then use the leash. The next post will discuss how to clean mistakes, train your dog to ring a bell to go outside and the possible pit falls of potty training.

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