When I go outside, my dog doesn’t want to potty
Instead of using a timer when to take your dog out, you can try another strategy. Bring your dog outside 5 – 10 minutes after those activities:
Also, make sure when you are outside that it is very boring to your dog: stand still, have them on a short leash, don't talk or play with your dog, so they focus on the job.
My dog is hiding to potty inside the house
Have you punished your dog for doing it inside? If yes, this might be a reason why your dog wants to hide away from you to do their thing. Always reward outside and never punish inside is the motto!
Outside, my puppy only wants to play
Make it a ritual! When you go outside for potty, it’s the only purpose. You put on a leash, go out, stay quiet, and don’t interact too much with the pup. Once the dog is done, reward, but do not throw a party, or the dog will switch into play mode. Act differently when going out for a walk or playtime. Your dog is intelligent and will be able to distinguish when it’s time to have fun and when it’s time for business.
My dog is good during the day, but not at night
Maybe the dog not ready to hold for that long? Set the alarm during the night and take your dog out. After one or two weeks, set the alarm later, until you have a clean night!
My puppy will never get clean. I’m losing hope
You will get there. It’s a normal puppy phase, and for some dogs, it’s easier to hold; for others, it is not. Remember, your puppy doesn’t do it to make your life difficult; they do it because they haven't learned yet. For a few weeks, try to go out more often, and to prevent any accidents, you will be encouraged by the success and see more clearly the learning curve. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it!
Ensure you supervise your dog throughout the date and don't allow them to roam free around the house. If you cannot supervise your dog, build a puppy pen for them when they are alone. Make sure that the floor is easy to clean. When your dog is with you, constantly monitor and take the dog outside often.
Most dogs aren't clean before they reach 5 months, even after that. A lot of pet parents are working on it, so don't give up. Start a diary and write when your dog had an accident, how long they were without a break, where they pee/poop. This way, it will be easier to find patterns and prevent accidents.
My dog was clean, and now he isn’t anymore
It’s time for a vet check! A quick behavior change can be linked to some health issues.
My dog pees if too excited
This is a different issue. If your dog pees out of excitement, the dog might have trouble dealing with excitement level changes. Work on calm behavior or hire a trainer to figure out the best thing to do when it happens.
Most common mistakes
Punishing the dog for doing it inside
Even though we are frustrated at the dog, it’s counter-productive to punish them. The dog will recognize that you are angry and might get scared of you, but your pup won’t exactly know why. The last thing we want is to affect the relationship with our dog at this early stage. If it happens, say nothing to the dog, clean it and make sure the odor doesn’t stay. Reward every time the dog does it outside. You’ll get there!
Not rewarding the dog or rewarding at the wrong time
If we want to teach our dog to potty outside, we must reward them for doing so! That’s how the dog will know they did the right thing. Reward 1-2 seconds after your dog peed or pooed, so the association with the behavior will be clear! Do not reward while the dog is peeing as it could prevent them from emptying the bladder.
Using pee pads
While it’s a great tool for people living in apartments, it usually looks like a carpet or curtains, and your dog might think it’s a giant pee pad (oops!). Also, if you reward potty inside and outside, it will always stay that way. So, if your goal is that your dog only potty outside, don’t use a pee pad, or your training will take longer. If not, make sure your pee pads are easily accessible and not too close to similar textures. Finally, always reward while your dog goes on it and not beside it.