Dog TrainingUncategorized

Potty Training Success: Outdoor Potty Training

By January 20, 2021No Comments

The first five days is crucial for to teach a dog to pee only at permitted areas. Once a dog starts a habit to pee at a wrong place, it’s more difficult to correct. The aim of getting this process right is to avoid getting upset and scolding your dog. It is common for owners to become frustrated during potty training, but it is not their fault at this stage because they have not learnt the correct habit.

Potty Training Outdoors

Our method applies a few guiding concepts:

  • Concept 1: Dogs generally don’t like to sleep on their pee. If you keep them in a small space like a crate, they usually won’t pee inside the crate.

  • Concept 2: Dogs will hold their pee if they know you will bring them out for pee breaks, which is why we will bring them out frequently at the start and show them the preferred place to pee.

  • Concept 3: Dogs have a predictable duration which they can hold their pee. For puppies, bring them out every 1-2 hours to be safe. Gradually increase duration to 6-8 hours.

You will need:

  • Crate
  • Schedule of potty training (see below)

Process:

You will need a crate to achieve success quickly. Our method required the puppy to stay in the crate by default when we are not sure if he may pee. It may appear cruel to keep the dog in the crate for long time, but this is a temporary measure for the first one to two weeks to teach potty habits.

Prepare a schedule (see below) to bring your dog out to pee e.g. every 1.5 hour, depending on dog. This schedule can be increased gradually (e.g. to every 2 hour, then every 3 hours) when we are confident of achieving success at each stage. I recommend to bring your dog out for pee frequently at the start so that the dog knows that there is a pattern to bring him out to pee.

When dog pees at the designated grass patch outdoors, say “good boy/girl”. This interaction should be positive but not too rewarding. We do not want to distract them from the act of peeing. Peeing is actually self-reinforcing behavior so it needs minimal encouragement.

If you want to let your puppy be free to roam indoors, please watch him at all times for signs that he needs to pee e.g. spinning, sniffing. Carry him outside calmly but quickly when you see these signs.

After clearing his bladder, create a routine to tire your dog with games or a walk, to get him ready to stay in the crate for the next cycle. Tiring your dog can take between 15-30 min. When the dog is tired, crate your dog and wait for the next timing to bring him out for pee. If you are worried about crating your dog for long periods of time, you can supervise him outside the crate before putting him into the crate.

A beginning dog peeing schedule can look like this:

Sample 1.5 hour- schedule

1pm: Leash dog and bring to grass

1.03pm: Dog pees once

1.07pm: Dog pees again

1.10pm: Bring for short walk

1.15pm: Bring dog indoors for playtime (owner-led games)

1.30pm: Give dog water and put back into crate. Put a chew in to help pass the time

1.30-2.30pm: 60 minutes to practice holding pee

2.30pm: (repeat) Leash dog and bring to grass

If the dog doesn’t pee within 5 minutes of bringing out to pee, bring him back into the crate. You will need to estimate a more accurate time for his next pee and also increase the duration between pees.

Assuming that dog has been successful with two to three cycles of 1.5-hour intervals, we can progress to a 2-hour schedule.

Sample 2 hour- schedule

1pm: Leash dog and bring to grass

1.03pm: Dog pees once

1.07pm: Dog pees again

1.10pm: Bring for short walk

1.15pm: Bring dog indoors for playtime (owner-led games)

1.30pm: Let dog lounge around with a toy, while supervised

1.45-2pm: Give dog water and put back into crate. Put a chew treat in to help pass the time

3pm: (repeat) Leash dog and bring to grass.

The idea is to slowly increase the duration that the dog that the dog can hold his pee in between supervised indoor time/crate time and bringing outdoors.

If you failed to pay attention and realized he peed at the wrong place, do not scold your dog because he has not learnt the correct behavior. Scolding a dog after a mistake will not teach your dog anything because the timing is delayed. Even if you scolded him at the right time, he doesn’t know what is the right thing to do. If he knew, he would have peed at the right place. At this stage, dogs do not intentionally pee at the wrong place to make us angry. 

Before sleeping, do not play with dog after the final night potty and don’t give too much water.

If possible, bring our dog out every 3-4h for first/second night, then increase to 6h and 8h on the subsequent nights. If you found that the dog has soiled the crate the next morning, do not scold him. The dog will get better over time.

A reasonable training target for the dog to hold his pee is 8 hours. This gradual increase can take place over a few days, but may take longer for some dogs. Track the number of accidents with each progression. It is important to regress, if there is increasing number of accidents.

TIP:

  • Record the number of successful pees and mistakes daily. Indicate mistakes which are due to our negligence and which are true learning errors. This will give you a better guideline on when to progress to increase the duration that the dog that the dog can hold his pee.
  • Get everyone in the family involved in the process. Print the potty training schedule for family members to follow. This will set the dog up for success.