How to Train Your Dog to Ask to Go Outside

Hard
4-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

One of the hardest parts of potty training is getting your dog to let you know when he needs to go out. Imagine how nice it would be if your dog could come to you and tell you in plain English that he wants to go outside and take care of business. Of course, he can't exactly walk up to you and say, "Hey dude! I gotta go outside." But at the same time, there is no reason why he can't be trained to let you know in another way that he needs to pee. 

The good news is that there are several different ways you can use to train your pup to "ask" you to take him outside. We all know how hard it can be sometimes to tell that our four-legged friends are trying to let us know he needs to go out before he ends up making a mess. This could be because some dogs are better at telling you of their needs than others. 

Defining Tasks

Of course, it could be that your dog is already trying to tell you, but you simply aren't getting the clue. It is possible that you just don't understand his efforts. There are several signs he might already be using such as standing by the door, whining, growling, or wagging his tail. He might also start pacing, sniffing at things like furniture legs, or scratching at the door.

The goal is to teach him a specific method of letting you know that he needs to go out and take care of his business. Of course, if you see any of the above-listed signs, you should probably go ahead and take him out as quickly as possible. It could be that he is trying to train you to recognize the fact that he needs to go out. 

Getting Started

Before you start trying to train your pup to let you know he needs to go outside, he needs to have been potty trained at least to the point at which you can take him out every couple of hours or so and he will use the bathroom instead of making a mess in the house. There are a few things you may need as part of your training program, including:

  • Treats
  • A bell
  • A leash
  • A toy or noisemaker

The only other things you need are plenty of time and patience. Your dog will appreciate you being patient as he learns this new skill and so will you when you no longer have so many messes to clean up. 

The Ring the Bell Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Buy a bell
Buy a bell that you can hang on your door handle. It must be hung low enough that it can easily be reached by your pup when he needs to let you know it's time to go out.
Step
2
If he is scared of the noise
If your pup appears to be afraid of the noise at first, you can dampen the sound a bit by putting a little tape on it until he gets used to it.
Step
3
Each time you take the dog outside
Each time you go to take your pup outside, gently take his paw and ring the bell with it. Then take him outside immediately. When he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a reward.
Step
4
Repeat the process
Continue to repeat this training process until your pup understands he needs to ring the bell each time he needs to go outside.
Step
5
Rewards are part of the process
Each time your pup gets it right, be sure to reward him with treats and plenty of praise. Be patient and prepared to spend plenty of time working on this training. While it may take a while for your pup to learn this trick, it will pay off in the end.
Recommend training method?

The Bring Your Leash Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Place the leash
Place your pup's leash in a location that will make it easy for your pup to reach it when he wants to let you know he needs to go out. Choose a location near the door for the best results.
Step
2
Here, hold my leash
Each time you go to let your dog out, give him the leash to hold in his mouth. If he holds it, give him a treat, praise him, and let him out. If he drops the leash, put it back in his mouth until he will hold it for a few seconds, at least long enough to get out the door.
Step
3
Give him space
Now that your dog is used to holding his leash with both of you next to the door, it's time to give him a little space. Give him his leash and then start to walk away slowly. Stop when you are a few feet away and call him to come to you with the leash. When he does, give him a treat.
Step
4
Over and over and over again
Keep repeating the above training until your pup has become comfortable with this activity. He may even start to follow you with the leash in his mouth.
Step
5
Just walk on by
In this case, increase the distance slowly over time until your dog will bring you his leash each time he needs to go out. Be sure to reward him with praise and treats. Of course, be sure you take him outside every time he brings you his leash. This will reinforce the behavior to the point where he no longer needs to be treated, but will always bring you his leash when he needs to go out.
Recommend training method?

The Bark to Tell You Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Take a toy
Grab one of your pup's favorite toys and wave it around to get him excited enough to bark.
Step
2
Reward time
Reward your pup with a treat when he barks. Be sure to train your pup to bark no more than 2 to 3 times by giving him the treat after the third bark. The last thing you want to do is encourage your pup to bark too much.
Step
3
Each time he barks
Each time your pup barks give him a treat and praise him.
Step
4
To the door
Once your dog has learned to bark on command, take him to the door and making him speak. When he does so, be sure to praise and reward him immediately. Then take him out.
Step
5
And in the end
The rest is all about repetition. Practice this training as often as possible. The more you practice with your pup, the faster he will master this trick and the fewer messes you will have to clean up.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ruby
terrier
2 Years
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Ruby
terrier
2 Years

Ruby was adopted a week ago and is very shy and timid. She does not play with toys, is scared to go out front on walks. She knows to go outside to the bathroom (but has had a few accidents) but she does not bark or do anything to let us know she needs to go, we just take her as often as possible. How can I get her to let us know she needs to go, if she doesn't bark or play with toys yet to train those ways? Also, how can I get her less scared of the world to get her to go on walks and exercise her?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would hire a trainer to help guide you along this process. It will involve several different things. First, I suggest teaching her to ring a bell when she needs to go potty and rewarding her with treats when she potties outside, to help increase her motivation to go outside - this will be half the solution but probably won't be enough on its own. The Peanut butter (or liver paste or soft cheese instead) method: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Second, she isn't likely to ask to go out right now because outside is scary for her. For her to be motivated to go potty outside she needs to get over her fear of being out there - the two are connected. I suggest spending a lot of time outside doing fun and relaxing, low pressure things with her. Simply sit outside with a book, sprinkle treats in the grass for her to find, practice easy tricks and commands with treats, play any games she likes, and simply spend time out there - whenever she looks at something that could be scary and stays calm or is still thinking about how to react - praise confidently and give a treat. Whenever she looks at something, then looks back at you - give a treat. Whenever she generally does something to relax more, investigate, be friendly, and show good courage - praise confidently and give a treat. Your attitude should be calm, happy, and confident - not soothing, worried, or frustrated (that can be one of the hardest parts to implement honestly as pet parents). For the toys, take things slow. Focus on getting her more familiar with her surroundings, teaching basic commands to build your relationship, and working on a schedule. As she starts to do better teach games and toys using methods like the one from the article below: https://blog.petflow.com/fetch/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lilly
Mixed Breeed
8 Months
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Question
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Lilly
Mixed Breeed
8 Months

She is doing pretty well with potty training and goes to the door when she needs to go out, but we are trying to get her to start alerting us when she needs to go out as we are allowing her more freedom. My question with the bell method is what does that do for when she is at another house? My mom often watches her when my husband and I are at work and we take her to friends houses - we can't just go bring bells with us everywhere we go. Do you suggest a different method for us?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, since Lilly is doing so well with the bell ringing, I would keep it simple and buy bells to leave at your mom's place. When at friend's places, you will either have to bring bells or be alert to her in case she gives you a look that indicates she needs to go out. Otherwise, you can work on the Leash Method (may not work if she is visiting and does not know where you put the leash) or the Speak Method, which could work just about anywhere: https://wagwalking.com/training/signal-for-potty. All the best!

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Question
Luci
petite griffon
2 Years
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Question
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Luci
petite griffon
2 Years

Luci is a street dog from spain adopted just of 2 months ago and she cannot get use to letting us know when she wants to do a pee/poo... I would like to know the simpliest way to teach her how to let me know when she wants to go outside please x

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello, It normally takes a few months of a dog being consistently potty trained before they will start to tell you when they need to go outside on their own. Before then you need to stick to a strict potty schedule and initiate taking them outside for them to prevent accidents - any accidents will make this process take longer. To help the process along you can teach her to ring a bell when she needs to go outside. This will teach her a way to alert you when she needs to go out, but her desire to keep your home clean through strict potty training that forms a long term habit of only peeing outside will still need to be firmly in place for her to be motivated when the urge hits her. The bell can speed up that process though. Follow the Peanut Butter method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

I’m potty training my dog with a crate for punishments of releasing in the house. I put Daisy on a 6’ leash and take her out about every 20 minutes or so. This works and Daisy now pees or poops on my command , I have had many potty accidents in the house and am working with Daisy diligently and watch her like a hungry hawk. I have had little accidents in the house go down since I first brought Daisy home from several times to 1 time 2 days ago today she peed at night and when she did this she knows she’s in trouble. I need to know how I can get her to alert me to take her out to go potty instead of me judging it for her. Daisy whined on leash before and taken out to go potty with success but not all the time.

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Bailey
Labradoodle
3 Months
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Question
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Bailey
Labradoodle
3 Months

Bailey goes out to pee and poop but she doesn’t go to the door and ring the bells to alert us. There’s no signal. She pees in the house probably about once a day which isn’t bad but it’s very frustrating. I wish she’d alert us by ringing the bell. I take her to the door and hit the bells with her paw before we go out but so far nothing on her own. We’ve had her for 1 week. Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Butch, First, know that it is early for pup to learn to alert you on her own. Most dogs won't begin to alert on their own until potty training is almost 100% - meaning that you are very strict with taking them on a schedule and limiting freedom until potty training is mostly accident free (less than 1 every two weeks). Focus the most on preventing accidents through giving less unsupervised freedom and taking her out on a consistent schedule - and not expecting her to alert you yet - and you will get there sooner because you will have fewer accidents. With the above said, you can still work toward her ringing the bell and I do recommend working toward that even while taking her out consistently and not waiting for her to alert. The main issue with how you are teaching it right now is that you are grabbing her paw and physically making her ring the bell so she is not having to make that choice on her own to begin associating the bell with going outside - I don't say that to condemn what you are doing because what you are doing is extremely common. A more effective way to teach her would be to put a little peanut butter on the bell and point to the bell while saying "Bell". As soon as the bell rings because she is licking it - give an additional treat. Practice this until you can point to the bell and say "Bell" and she will bump it with her nose without the peanut butter and then you give her a treat. When you can do this with your hand very close to the bell, then over several sessions, slowly point from a couple of inches away so that she has to move toward the bell when you point to it. Once you can stand in front of the door, point to the bell from where you are and she will go over to it and ring it, then begin giving the treat after she gets outside and not right then. Finally, point to the bell on your way out, open the door when she rings it, then give the treat only after she goes potty outside. This too will take time, so try not to get discouraged, but once she is fully potty trained, since she will know how to ring the bell to get the door open by that point, she will have the tools to alert you when she needs to go potty - she has to be potty trained well enough that she is motivated to hold it inside your home though first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Babe, Ruth
Standard Poodle
5 Months
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Question
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Babe, Ruth
Standard Poodle
5 Months

We have trouble on their potty training. First, they are a pair of sisters. We tried all that suggested: sticking to the schedule, looking for their signs to take them out, etc. the only thing that we are sure is they can hold their bladder quite well during times they are in the crate. They don’t pee and poop in their crate. Some times, 3 min after they are back in the house, one of them peed again on the floor.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question and such a cute play on the dog names! Your pups are still young and the fact that their bladders are not yet mature may play a part. It's important to note that any mistakes inside on the floor must be cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner because even despite your efforts, a regular cleaner will leave traces of odor behind that a dog's sensitive nose will smell. And then, they'll pee there again. Are you accompanying your little pups outside? If not, they may play in the yard and forget to pee when they are out there. This is a great article on training Pugs, but the same goes for Poodles: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pug-to-pee-outside Your intelligent pups may pick up on this method quickly too, solving the house soiling issue: https://wagwalking.com/training/signal-for-potty It may be wise, if only one of the pups is peeing inside, to get a vet checkup just to make sure that there is no medical reason for the accidents. Good luck and have fun with your duo!

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Question
Beowulf
Norwegian Elkhound
8 Weeks
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Question
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Beowulf
Norwegian Elkhound
8 Weeks

Advice on potty training an 8 weeks ago puppy and teaching him to me me know when he has to go outside

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shannon, Check out the article linked below on potty training. The crate training method tends to work the best/quickest, but followed carefully, the other two methods can work well also - consistency and preventing accidents is key more than anything. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Know that, even when done correctly, it takes most puppies an average of three months to become potty trained. Potty trained is also defined normally as a dog holding their bladder between scheduled potty trips - where you are still the one initiating the trips outside, the dog is just accident free while inside so long as you maintain their schedule. It usually takes several more months for the dog to have developed a long-term habit of keeping your home clean, to be sufficiently motivated to actually tell you when they need to go potty without you initiating it. Most dogs naturally learn to tell you when they need to go on their own, when such a long-term consistent habit of keeping your home clean has developed - so that the dog actually doesn't want to have an accident either. The exception to this is that most puppies will let you know they have to go when in a crate when they wake up during the night - which can help them learn to alert you at other times if you respond to that alert by taking them outside to go when they wake up and cry. With all that said, expect pup to need you to keep track of their schedule and take them out regularly for quite some time, even after accidents are a rarity; you can help pup learn to alert you when they need to go out a bit sooner by teaching pup to ring a bell. It will still take pup a while to ring it of their own initiative but not quite as long as it would normally take a dog to figure out their own way of alerting - such as barking, going to the door, or nudging you. Bell methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Once pup knows how to ring the bell when you tell them to or point to it, give a treat each time they do so on command right before you go out the door. As they improve, command them to ring the ball on your way out, but wait until after they go potty also to give the reward so that they begin to associate ringing the bell with needing to go potty eventually. Pup will do better if you don't physically make them ring the bell (don't lift their paw and hit the bell but tell them to instead), but if they ring the bell physically on their own when you tell them to, so that they actually have to think about how to do it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Leo
Labradane
10 Months
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Leo
Labradane
10 Months

My dog is 10 months old, a rescue and we don’t know much about his story. When in a house, he signals at the door by sitting and whining or scratching. But our home is an apartment. He does not give us signals that he needs to go out and he’s had an accident about once per week since we got him 2 months ago. It’s a 6 story apartment, and it takes several minutes to get to the pet area. Will a bell method still work? We haven’t tried it yet, we’ve just been keeping him on a regular schedule and for the most part are able to avoid accidents. But I’m afraid by not addressing it he will learn it’s ok to potty inside.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karen, I do highly suggest teaching the Bell method still. You will need to continue with your scheduled potty trips most likely - so that he is not waiting until the last minute to go out with your long trek outside, but the bell method could fill in the gap for times when he needs to go sooner than the scheduled time but isn't alerting right now. When teaching the bell method, choose a method and teach him to ring the bell on cue at first - such as the Peanut Butter method. Bell article: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Once he will ring it when you tell him to or point to it, then instead of forcing him to ring it by physically moving his paw or nose to it (a common approach), give the bell command or point to it, so that he rings it himself and has to actually think about it more, then reward him and take him outside. Eventually, once he is good at ringing it, have him ring it on cue, take him outside, and once he goes potty outside give the treat then - after pottying not after ringing the bell (so that the full "trick" is to ring the bell, go outside, and go potty to earn the reward), work up to this gradually though just like with any training, rewarding small efforts with the bell at first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Coco
Labrador Retriever
11 Weeks
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Question
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Coco
Labrador Retriever
11 Weeks

We got Coco when she was 9 weeks old. She is now 11.5 weeks and honestly potty training has been nicer than expected. She has quickly learned to sit by the door and whine to get us to take her out. She still has about 2 accidents a week but hey that's great. My problem is, she's been whining at the door even when she doesn't have to go potty. She just really likes the outdoors. I give her dedicated outside play time so it's not like I'm trapping her inside the apartment all day. Now I can't tell if she has to go potty or if she just wants to play outside and it's making the potty training process a little difficult. I live in an apartment so I can't just leave her outside to play all day. I want her to only tell us when she needs to go potty, and leave the outdoor play time up to me so I can determine where to fit it into my day. Do you have any advice on how to train her to only ask to go out when she needs to potty?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachel, At this age you will have to respond to some false potty asks, but pay attention to how often pup genuinely has to go. If pup is asking to go when it's been less than an hour, most of the time you can safely ignore them unless they were just running around excited or ate or drank a lot - which can make them need to go sooner. When in doubt, take pup outside. If it's been at least an hour since pup last went or you think they might truly have to go sooner, you will need to take them potty. When you take them though, keep things all business - no play or treats unless they pee first. Things should be quiet, calm and super boring until they empty themselves. Give 10 minutes to go potty, walking them around slowly and telling pup to "Go potty" to get things going, then if they don't go during that time - straight back inside and crate for 45 minutes (or sooner if it's been over an hour since they last went potty), then try taking them again. Going potty is their ticket to fun, just going outside is not. This won't be a perfect answer at this age - you will probably still get some false asks that you will have to respond to while pup is still learning, but doing the above should decrease the false asks, and when pup is fully potty trained and accidents are less of a risk, you can more safely call pup's bluff on this later. My own dog tried this when she was a puppy. It did get better once potty training was more underway and she discovered that potty trips weren't that exciting unless she went potty. When you take pup outside to play, also use a different sentence/command...such as "Do you need to go potty?" vs "Want to go outside?"...This may not be something formal you teach, but most people end up asking their dog a similar question when taking them out, so pay attention to how to word both and be sure to word them differently. If you have two exit doors, you can also take pup potty through one door and out to play through another door - pup will eventually probably begin going to the door associated with what they need, such as the play door if that's what they are wanting, which will help you tell - but that will take time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cairo
Australian Shepherd
12 Weeks
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Question
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Cairo
Australian Shepherd
12 Weeks

If I teach this method for puppy to alert us, won't they also ring bell when they just want to go outside to play? Also, what if I can't let them out right at that minute? Seems like there'd be a lot of false positives, or if I can't drop everything and run then that will confuse. Naturally, while still a puppy I'm with him all the time, but as he gets older I won't need to supervise him 100% of the time, so I don't want him ringing the bell while I'm on a conference call or taking a shower, or whatever - and then I'm not there to let him out. In the past I've just let my dogs out on a somewhat schedule knowing they can hold it. Clarification would be so appreciated. :)

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Pam, As a puppy, when a puppy says they have to go, you have to take them immediately or an accident is soon to follow due to limited bladder capacity; however, if you take pup out every 1-2 hours (like a puppy needs anyway at this age), pup should have less need to ring the bell in the first place, and the bell is simply a backup for when pup needs to go and you aren't taking them often enough. As pup becomes an adult, the same thing applies - if you are taking pup outside every 3-4 hours on a schedule, they shouldn't need to ring the bell as often. You can prevent frequent bell rings that are associated with needing to truly potty outside, by taking pup on a schedule, then the bell rings are just backup for times when pup needs to go sooner than the schedule - so that pup rings the bell then instead of having an accident. You can't delay taking pup for too long once they ring the bell, since if trained right, they truly do need to go at that point and could have an accident if you wait, but a healthy, young, adult dog can generally wait 2-5 minutes if you indicate that you heard them by responding with something like "Do You need to go outside?". Asking to go out at false times is the number one issue with this approach. To prevent that, keep potty trips boring - take a young pup potty on the leash, to prevent distractions, give them 10-15 minutes to go, then back inside if they do not go. If crate training, you can put them into the crate for thirty minutes after the false ask, then take them potty again after thirty minutes - which is a good practice for potty training a young puppy anyway to prevent an accident when their bladder isn't empty and they are free. As soon as pup gets good at ringing the bell to go out, transition giving pup a treat after the bell ring to only giving pup a treat after they both ring the bell AND go potty - at the end of pottying. Discontinue treats altogether if false asks become a big issue even then. Don't let pup play outside after ringing the bell unless they go potty first. When you take pup outside to Play, use a different word or sentence to indicate you are playing outside than what you use for pottying, such as "Go Outside?" Vs. "Need to Potty?". Know that many dogs find ways to ask to go outside on their own, such as barking, running to the door, or pawing at you. The bell is simply a substitute that's a bit more polite instead of one of those things, so false asks are a common problem with all puppies at a certain point, even without teaching a bell Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden.

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Ranger
Australian Shepherd
5 Months
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Ranger
Australian Shepherd
5 Months

We live in a townhouse. When we first got ranger we used pads/grass pads to have him relieve himself when we weren’t able to take him out. He got very smart with using them. 1 month ago we decided to focus solemnly on having him go outside, we got the bells and put them on the door and he mastered ringing the bells and rings it when we go outside. He’s gone potty a couple times when outside but sometimes he will hold it for HOURS and then go on the pad (we keep one close to the door just in case of an emergency). We take him out about 7-10 times a day and sometimes he just won’t relieve himself outside because he either gets distracted or just doesn’t want to.Im not sure if it’s because he’s used to using the pads or the scent draws him to it or what.. I give him treats and praise him when he goes outside but he just thinks he’ll get a treat EVERY time he goes outside. Please help or any advice would be amazing!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, When you take pup potty, walk them around slowly on the leash the whole time you are outside, to help their body feel the urge to go. Encourage sniffing as you walk. Tell pup to "Go Potty" and keep a couple of treats hidden in your pocket. Purchase a potty encouraging spray such as "Go Here" or "Hurry!", and spray it on the area you want pup to go potty on before you take them outside each time. When pup does finally go potty outside, praise and reward with the treat. It's normal for pup to expect treats in general. Teaching pup the Go Potty command and practicing overtime should help pup learn that the treats are only for going potty as you insist that they must potty first. If treats continue to confuse pup, you can skip the treats and just work on the walking and adding scent. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Louis
Boston Terrier
16 Months
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Question
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Louis
Boston Terrier
16 Months

Hi Louis is fine with using the bell method the only problem is he will keep pressing the bell every five minutes as he knows we will let him out. How do we stop this as sometimes we ignore the request thinking he just wants to go outside and he then relieves himself in another room.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. This is tricky - Louis likes to be outside that is clear! I think the best way to tackle this is to take Louis out on the leash every time he rings the bell. Wait till he does potty and then bring him back in right away. Next time he rings the bell, same thing. Then, he'll learn that the bell means potty not playtime. Of course, it is important to take him for walks and outside for playtime often, just not when he rings the bell. Good luck!

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Luna and Lulu
Smooth Fox Terrier
6 Years
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Question
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Luna and Lulu
Smooth Fox Terrier
6 Years

My dogs need to use the bathroom but i'm not always able to take them outside even on my schedule sometimes they need to go at night, how do i train them to know it's okay to use the bathroom on the potty pad?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Layla, I suggest following the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below. Once pups have learned the training well, then you can resume using the exercise pen method just as needed and taking pup outside to potty at other times. The method mentions using a doggie litter box. The method can be used with a pee pad or a disposable grass pad also. Another thing that will likely make the transition much easier and help to avoid pup confusing the pee pad with carpet and rugs, if to use a disposable real grass pad inside instead of a pee pad. Exercise pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable real grass pad brands- on amazon also: www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com www.freshpatch.com Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pookie
Shihpoo
7 Years
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Pookie
Shihpoo
7 Years

Trying to get him to let me know when he needs to go outside

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
227 Dog owners recommended

Hello! You can get a bell on a string and attach it to your doorknob. Hit the bell before you take her outside to go potty and then give her a treat for going potty. Doing this on repeat will teach her by association that the bell means it is time to go potty. It should only take a few weeks of practice.

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Maia
Rottweiler
4 Months
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Maia
Rottweiler
4 Months

Toilet training with my puppy. I try to take her out every hour or so, after meals and naps, and after she hasn’t done a wee for a while. She is getting pretty good when you take her out and tell her to do a wee, she listens and goes. Except every now and then after she’s taken out for a wee she will come in and do a wee inside almost straight after, or not long after and doesn’t give me and sign that she needs to go out. Should I start giving her treats again when she wees outside to encourage her? And should I start to try get her to whinge at the door when she needs to go out because at the moment she isn’t telling anyone when she needs to go out she just wees wherever she wants if she is inside. And should she be left outside when she is home alone for a couple hours to prevent her from peeing inside?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Olivia, I would start by crate training her and crating her when you are gone off, or her bladder isn't empty. Second, are you going with her outside still, or just letting her into a fenced in yard? If not, go outside with her when you take her to make sure she is actually going and not just getting distracted, playing, then coming back inside and having an accident because she never went while outside. When you take her outside, when she goes potty, I would give a treat again. It's too soon to expect her to not need the extra encouragement and supervision. As far as alerting you, I would teach her to ring a bell when she needs to go out, but also know that most dogs don't start alerting until they have been fully potty trained for at least 2-3 months. It sounds like she isn't quite fully potty trained, so alerting on her own probably won't happen until after 6 months of age - one of the biggest mistakes made in potty training in general is expecting a dog to alert on their own too early, rather than sticking to supervising, confining when away, and a potty schedule to maintain potty training during the intermediate period between when pup is "potty trained" - meaning they try to hold their bladder between scheduled potty trips, and the point where they will also alert on their own when they need to go out. Unfortunately, it's just not taught a lot that their is this intermediate period so most people don't know not to expect alerting too soon. There is often a 3 month middle period between when they are doing well with potty training and start to alert on their own. Teaching a bell can shorten that period somewhat, but not eliminate it completely, but it is mostly helpful for the occasional dog who simply never alerts or only alerts very subtly and quietly. Crate training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Bell: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Frieda
Cocker Spaniel
5 Years
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Frieda
Cocker Spaniel
5 Years

Frieda has a doggie door at home to go and pee when she wants. When at friends houses she pees inside - even if there is an outside area. How do I train her to let me know when she needs to go outside at any house other than our own?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Penny, When at a friends house pup needs to either be crated or tethered to you with a hands free leash. While crated or tethered pup should be more motivated not to have an accident. When you notice pup getting antsy on leash with you - sniffing, circling, whining, trying to pull away, pawing at you, ect...cue that behavior with something like "Need to Potty?" or "Potty?", then take pup potty outside and give a treat and praise if they go. While pup is in the crate, take pup out regularly, and if pup starts to whine or bark, take pup out extra times - stick to a reasonable potty schedule while visiting friends also - don't go longer than 4 hours, unless pup is crated - then pup can likely hold it a bit longer if you are gone and they have to - 3-4 hours should be the longest in most cases, and limit pup's freedom with the hands free leash and crate unless it's been no more than 2 hours since pup last went potty outside. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Australian Shepherd
1 Year
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Luna
Australian Shepherd
1 Year

Let me know when to go outside

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
227 Dog owners recommended

Hello! You can get a bell on a string and attach it to your doorknob. Hit the bell before you take her outside to go potty and then give her a treat for going potty. Doing this on repeat will teach her by association that the bell means it is time to go potty. It should only take a few weeks of practice.

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kobe
Pomeranian x quarter jack russell
2 Months
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kobe
Pomeranian x quarter jack russell
2 Months

I wake up at midnight to take Kobe out to potty, he does relieve himself but as I put him back in his play pen he whines. How do I know if this is an attention whine or if he didn’t finish his potty ?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
227 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. If he successfully went potty, it is likely a whine for attention.

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June
Goldendoodle
5 Months
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June
Goldendoodle
5 Months

When we take her outside, she goes 95% of the time. However, she is also still going inside the house... very often! For example, she went 3 times inside the house and 3 times outside in 1 hour. Sometimes she walks to the door, but not long enough for us to see. We are working no the bell method, but she is still afraid of the bell. Now, we are out of town for 2 months so we are losing ground.
Is it wrong to limit her water while we are in a condo and cannot just let her outside while we are working? If she does not go when we take her outside, is the crate our best option to keep her from going in the house?
We know we need to patient, and she is young, but I am just so worried that all of our previous efforts, which were working, are now all lost since she's going inside again and we will be out of town.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
227 Dog owners recommended

Hello! There is nothing wrong with limiting her water intake at night until she is more consistent. But your best bet during the day is to use the kennel when you aren't able to keep an eye on her.

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Louie
Miniature Pinscher
3 Years
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Louie
Miniature Pinscher
3 Years

Louie is a rescue. He had his leg broken and reset. Due to this they only walked him to go potty. I have a doggie door for my other dog (14 yr old) and taught Louie to go thru it. However he's not consistent in going outside to potty even when the door is wide open. I need him house trained before I have togo back to the office once covid is over. I've had him 3 weeks and he still will have accidents in the house. My older dog never broke the habit and still will urinate inside when it's raining and when I'm not home. I can't have another dog not fully house trained.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
227 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use a crate to help with potty training Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Garbo
Coton de Tulear
16 Weeks
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Garbo
Coton de Tulear
16 Weeks

Garbo is very good about going outside. But, no matter how many times she goes out, she still pees and/or poops in the house at the same spot. How do I stop this? She doesn't always signal when she needs to go potty. Please help! Very frustrating.
Thank you.
Rega Zuckerman (owner)

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
227 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use a crate to help with potty training Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Question
Annabelle
Shichon
4 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Annabelle
Shichon
4 Months

My puppy is having a hard time telling us she need to go out to go potty she pees and poops a lot in our house

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
227 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use the crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Arnold
Beagle
7 Weeks
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Arnold
Beagle
7 Weeks

Arnold keeps having accidents in the house :( We have a 4-year-old Boston Terrier who is completely potty trained to go outside, but it seems to be way harder to teach Arnold. He doesn't really let us know when he has to potty. And even if we take him outside to potty he won't go, then he'll go the second we come inside! Please help :)

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashley, Check out the Crate Training and Tethering methods from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Molly
Labrador Retriever
7 Months
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Molly
Labrador Retriever
7 Months

I need her to be calm when we get home and also when one of us leaves the car. Also to stay calm when we take her to the park or wherever in the car, she gets really agitated. she hates cages, as we never put her in one, so when she goes to the vet for a bath a have to stay in one, it's very difficult to calm her down.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jacqueline, It sounds like she needs to practice being crated at times when you can work her up to it gradually - since most of the issues involve being confined somewhere like the car or vets. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. I would also work on teaching a Place command, and acting out you coming and going and enforcing her staying on Place each time you come in, until she can consistently do it. Before you can practice that level of excitement though, you will need to work up to her staying there when you walk in and out of the room and for gradually longer periods of time, then go outside for just a second, and begin extending that time as she improves - pup will need to be herded back to place calmly each time she tries to get up, and rewarded with a treat placed between her paws on the Place bed when she stays put. Once she can stay while you are gone, then you can practice her going to place until calm when you come home to help her learn a habit of being calm when you come home. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s For the excitement while walking, I recommend practicing the Turns method form the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel I recommend desensitizing pup to the car and slowing the overall process down. Start by simply feeding beside the car while its off, then feeding treats along the runner with the door open, then inside the car with it still. For at least a couple of weeks practice the Down Stay command on the middle seats' floorboard or seats (if a row seat). Gradually move to practicing with the car in the driveway but still while on - don't turn on in the garage for gas breathing reasons. When pup is completely relaxed in the car and can do a solid down-stay, recruit a second person to drive or train, so the driver can only focus on driving. Have the person training enforce Down, while the driver simply pulls out of the driveway and back in When pup can stay relaxed during that (which will require a lot of repetition before pup relaxes then too - once pup sees that the driving is boring through repetition), then drive down the block and back. Gradually increase the distance and level of excitement as pup improves, only moving onto further distances or more exciting locations once pup can stay relaxed at the current level of training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gordo
Shihpoo
1 Year
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Gordo
Shihpoo
1 Year

I’m not sure if this is the correct place to ask this question but I’m very anxious. I’m leaving my dog this summer for a month and a half. We’re both inseparable; he follows me everywhere , he even likes being in the bathroom with me. But Im traveling and one of my friends will be taking care of him Monday-Friday during the day, and then my mom will be picking him up and he will be staying with my parents nights and weekends. How can I make this easier for him? He seems to have separation anxiety as well, I experience the same with him. Is there anything you advice me to do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kimberly, If it's an option, I would make sure he knows the friend and your parents and feel comfortable with them ahead of time. If not, he should adjust just fine but that will make his first week getting to know them easier. You can also work on building his independence skills through things like a structured heeling walk, working up to a 1 hour place command where you are in and out of the room and he stays on the Place bed, a distance down-stay using a long leash, and crate training - practicing crating him with a dog food stuffed chew toy and leaving the home without him to get him used to being without you. You can start with just a ten minute walk, then work up to three hours or more gradually. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Crate Training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Our dogs often mirror our own emotions. If the people he will be staying with are already people he likes or are generally good with dogs. He will likely have an adjustment period for a week or two, then do great. Our dogs tend to mirror our own emotions, so he may actually be less anxious if the person he stays with is confident and kind toward him. It can be hard to leave our pets for longer periods. I had a few years where every summer I had to leave my own dog with my parents. It was hard to leave initially but he did adjust well, and then was super happy to see me when I returned. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Winston
Puggle
4 Months
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Winston
Puggle
4 Months

We are gone all day with the exception of a lunch break. I have been letting him out morning, noon and after school. Then again before bed. He always goes outside and we give him a treat and tell him good boy... but any chance he is not supervised on the house or in his puppy pen, he runs to go poop or pee somewhere. How do I get him to understand he can only go outside?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
837 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katie, Where is pup staying while you are away? Does pup have free reign of the house or is in an exercise pen while you are away? Since pup can only be actively trained while you are there, you will need to manage pup's environment to prevent accidents through management while away. For most puppies that has to look like a crate. A crate is properly sized and without anything absorbent in it, encourages most puppies natural desire to keep a confined space clean, motivating pup to keep your home clean while you are gone. With that desires encouraged and pup managed to prevent accidents when you are home, you are encouraging a long-term habit of cleanliness inside and pottying away from the home environment. Potty training is mostly about utilizing that natural desire a dog has, and helping them associate it with the entire house. That means that the most important thing you can do to potty train is to prevent accidents inside from happening through crating, tethering pup to yourself with a hands free leash, and supervising pup. The more accidents you can prevent, the sooner a dog will tend to learn. A dog also doesn't usually being telling you they have to go out until they are at least 3 months past the point where they will hold it consistently between their scheduled potty trips, so a consistent potty schedule will be very important skill, even when pup improves. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. If pup is having accidents even after going outside, I would speak with your vet, and if it's not medically related, also use the Tethering method to keep pup close while free until a better habit is developed. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside At this age, the maximum number of hours pup will be able to hold it in the crate will be how old they are in months plus one during the day, so make sure pup isn't being crated without a potty trip in between for more than 4-5 hours, otherwise they will be forced to have an accident even in the crate. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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