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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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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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?
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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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
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 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?
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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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.
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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