How to Potty Train a Boxer Puppy

Medium
4-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

Boxers are among the more energetic and intelligent breeds of dog. The love getting attention from their owners and constantly seek out attention. Like many other breeds, they are very intelligent and have a very high capacity to learn. Right along with a strong stubborn streak that shows up when they don't feel like doing anything. The earlier you start potty training your Boxer pup the better, however, you should wait until he is about 7 weeks old as he won't be able to fully understand what you are trying to teach him. 

Defining Tasks

The task at hand is simple. Your job is to train your dog that going potty inside your home is not an acceptable behavior. At the same time, he must learn that the only place it is acceptable for him to go potty is outside. You should try and choose one spot of your yard that will become his place to go potty. This will help to eliminate any risk of confusion and make it easier for you to train him successfully. 

Getting Started

There isn't much to getting started potty training your Boxer, beyond having the time and patience to keep taking him outside until he masters the art of holding himself until you take him out. You will need a few things.

  • A crate – For when you are not home
  • A leash – To take him outside on
  • Treats – For when he gets it right

Potty training any dog is more about consistency than anything else. The more on schedule you are and the more of a routine you develop, the easier it will be for your pup to figure it all out. 

The Leash Method

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Step
1
It's all about location
Pick your location out in the yard. Be sure you always take him to the same spot to avoid any confusion. This will help him to understand he is to go potty here and nowhere else.
Step
2
Let's go potty
Tell your pup, "Let's go potty", hook his leash to his collar, take him outside, and lead him to the chosen spot in the yard. Stay here with him until he goes.
Step
3
Praise him
Praise your pup for going potty and give him a treat. Use this same manner each time he goes potty.
Step
4
Routine
Create a consistent routine by taking your pup outside at the same times every day. He needs to go out after waking up in the morning, a nap, extended play, or a meal, as well as before bedtime, and any time he drinks a lot of water.
Step
5
Repeat
The rest is all about repeating the training until you no longer have to worry about your pup peeing or pooping in the house.
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The Timer Method

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Step
1
Set the timer
For the first couple of weeks of training, you should set a time to remind you that you should be taking your pup outside every hour. You should also take him out after meals, after he drinks, naps, or wakes up in the morning, and right before bedtime. Each time he goes, even if it is only a little, praise him and give him a treat.
Step
2
Increase the time
Start moving the time out a little at a time. Sstart by stretching it to 90 minutes for a couple weeks and then to 120 minutes. At the end of the time period, take your pup out and keep him out until he goes, then him back inside. Do not take him in until he goes.
Step
3
When he decides to go
When your pup goes potty, be sure to reward him and give him a treat. This type of positive reinforcement will go a long way towards successfully potty training him.
Step
4
A close eye
During the time your pup is potty training, you need to keep a close eye on him and if he shows signs of needing to go potty, take him straight out to his spot in the yard. When he goes, praise him and give him a treat.
Step
5
In case of accident
In the event your pup has an accident, don't scold him. Just clean up the mess and carry on with his training until he no longer messes in the house. Be patient, it will take time.
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The Training Spray Method

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Step
1
Establish a potty schedule
Set up a potty schedule for your pup. At first, it might be every 30 minutes, but an hour is better. You can use a timer to make sure you keep to the schedule. This will help your pup master this important skill faster.
Step
2
Mark his bathroom spot
Using a readily available pet potty training spray, mark an area in your backyard where your pup can go potty.
Step
3
On the spot
Take your pup outside on his leash and over to the spot you marked in the grass. The spray is designed to coax your pup to go potty and should be enough. Be patient, keep him there for 15 minutes. If by this time he hasn't gone, he probably doesn't need to. Take him inside and give him a few minutes before taking him out again.
Step
4
Time to take him out immediately
There are several times when you should be prepared to take your pup outside immediately. These include first thing in the morning, last thing at night, after a long play time, after a meal, and after a long drink.
Step
5
Rinse and repeat
The rest is all about repeating this training until your pup lets you know when he needs to go out. Be sure to use lots of praise and treats when he goes potty and most of all, be patient.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Gauge
Female Boxer
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gauge
Female Boxer
3 Months

Everytime I bring her in from being outside for a while, she immediately goes pee on the floor.

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

Hello, I have had this issue with puppies before, too. Keep at it and Guage will learn. Take her out every 30-60 minutes so that she has little opportunity to have an accident inside. This guide has excellent methods for potty training. Consider the Exercise Pen Method. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy. Guage will need lots of exercise, so make sure her vaccines are up to date and take her for plenty of walks! When cleaning up accidents in the house, use an enzymatic cleaner. It is the only thing that will remove the smell entirely so that Guage does not get the scent and pee again. Remember to always take her out immediately upon waking in the morning, after naps, and after meals. These are prime times for needing a potty break. When she pees outside, praise her highly and give her a treat each time. Then, she'll associate treats as the reward for peeing outside. Good luck!

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Question
Denali and Sequoia
Boxer
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Denali and Sequoia
Boxer
12 Weeks

Letting us know they have to use the bathroom?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
707 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brian, It usually takes puppies several months to learn to alert you on their own when they need to go out. That is why a strict potty training schedule where you take them before they need to go, is so important while they are young. If they do not learn to alert you on their own, or you want to teach a different type of alert or speed up the process, you can teach them to ring a bell when they need to go outside. Check out the article that I have linked below: Ring a bell: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Axel
Boxer
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Axel
Boxer
4 Months

Why would Axel pee pee when he comes back inside even if he has already done it outside? And there are times he will pee pee numerous times after coming back in. HELP!

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

Thank you for the question. Sometimes puppies need to be taken outside every thirty minutes so that they get the idea of where to pee. Once they have learned, they will rarely have accidents in the house. Axel's bladder may not yet be mature, and he simply forgets to ask to go outside when he needs to pee. This article has great instructions, and will provide the information you need https://wagwalking.com/training/not-pee-in-the-house. As well, here: https://barkpost.com/answers/dog-peeing-in-the-house/ and https://www.companionanimalpsychology.com/2018/12/dont-punish-your-dog-for-peeing-in-house.html Good luck and remain patient!

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Question
Romo
Boxer
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Romo
Boxer
2 Months

I’m Having a hard time potty training. How can I get him house trained?

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

Hello! Here is information on potty training, as well if crate training just in case you decide 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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