How to Potty Train a Bull Terrier Puppy

Medium
3-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

If you were to try and use one word to describe the Bull Terrier, it just wouldn't be possible. These amazingly playful, fun-loving, comical, and sweet-natured dogs make the consummate family pet. Getting potty training down will help ensure you enjoy those puppy days to the fullest!

Keep in mind that the earlier you start potty training your Bull Terrier pup the better. Also, worth noting, is that until your pup is a few months old, you are the one who is going to have to make all the decisions for your pup, including when to go outside to go potty. 

Defining Tasks

There is only one goal for this type of training, that is to teach your pup that the only place it is acceptable for him to pee or poop is a designated spot in your yard. If you start working at an early age, keep in mind your pup's ability to learn and retain information is increasing exponentially. This can make it just a little harder for him to be potty trained at first, but by the time he is six months of age, he should have mastered this skill. 

Getting Started

As for supplies, there really isn't much you need, depending on the training method you plan to use. The most important things you will need are the time to spend working with your dog all day long until he is trained, and plenty of patience. However, there are a few things you might find come in handy along the way. These include:

  • A crate – For certain training methods and a place for your pup when you can't be there.
  • Treats – They make a good way to reward your pup when he gets things right.
  • Leash – You will need this to take him out to his "spot" to go potty.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to be consistent. The only way your pup is going to learn to go potty and to let you know when he needs to go out is to be consistent in your efforts throughout the training process and from that point on. 

The On the Leash Method

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Step
1
The right location
Take a good look at your yard and choose the spot for your pup's bathroom carefully. You don't want it to be too far from the door as your pup may not be able to hold it. At the same time, you don't want it so close any odors float in your windows. It also helps your pup associate this spot with going potty.
Step
2
Time to go "outside"
Choose your cue word like "Outside" or "Potty" and tell your pup "let's go outside/potty" while you are hooking his leash up to his collar. Then take him out to his spot in the yard and stay there until your pup "goes."
Step
3
What a good boy
As soon as your pup finishes going potty, praise him to let him know he has done a good thing and give him a treat.
Step
4
Create a routine
Set up a routine for potty breaks starting at every 30 minutes and slowly extending the time as your pup grows. Be sure to also take him out after meals, drinks, playtime, naps, and, of course, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Setting up a routine will help him master this vital skill more quickly.
Step
5
Repetition builds confidence
The rest is all about spending time working with your pup over the next few months until he comes to you to let you know he needs to go potty. When you have reached this point, your pup is potty trained.
Recommend training method?

The On the Clock Method

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Step
1
Pick up a time
Use a kitchen timer or the one on your cell phone to help remind you when to take your pup out. Keep in mind, he needs to also be taken out after meals, after play, after naps, and after he wakes up in the morning. When you take him out and he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Step
2
Add to the delay
For the first few weeks, you should set the timer to remind you to take him out every 30 minutes. As he starts holding for this long, start bumping the time up in 30-minute increments. Stop at 2 hours until your pup is at least one year of age.
Step
3
Each time
Each time you take him out and he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Step
4
Keep watching him
Just because he is starting to go potty outside, this doesn't mean you can stop watching him. In fact, you need to be even more diligent. Anytime you see him making any kind of motion that indicates he is thinking about going potty in the house, clip him on his leash, use your cue word, and take him to his spot in the yards. Be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Step
5
What if he has an accident?
What if he does? Poop occurs and so do accidents. If you catch him in the act, you can say "No" and take him outside immediately. If you don't catch him in the act, all you can do is clean up the mess and stick to your schedule. It is going to take some time for your pup to master this skill, be patient, it will happen.
Recommend training method?

The Smells Like Pee Method

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Step
1
It all starts with a schedule
Start out by establishing a schedule for taking your pup outside. In the beginning, it should be every half hour. When your pup gets a little older, you should be able to extend this time to an hour and longer. Use a kitchen timer to help remind you.
Step
2
X marks the spot
Using a bottle of readily available potty training spray, mark the area of your lawn where you want your pup to go potty.
Step
3
To the spot
Hook your pup on his leash and using your cue word, take him outside to the area you previously marked. The spray should help convince your pup to go potty, so be patient. If he hasn't gone in 15 minutes, take him into the house and wait for a few minutes, keeping a close eye on him.
Step
4
Times to take him out right away
There are several times when you must take your pup outside immediately. These include first thing in the morning, after a meal, after drinking a lot of water, after a healthy playtime, and last thing at night. By sticking to a routine, you will make it much easier for your pup to learn if you stick to a routine.
Step
5
Carry on
Keep working with these training steps until you no longer have puddles and landmines to avoid in the dark.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Bess
Bull Terrier
2 Years
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Question
0 found helpful
Bess
Bull Terrier
2 Years

she is 2 yrs old and came from a shelter. we got her a few months ago and she will go through phases where she pees in the house. we take her out often (about every 1 hour 45 mins) and she still goes inside. any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anna, I suggest strictly crate training for potty training for a while. Crate Training will limit her freedom when her bladder is not empty, will reward her for going potty outside, and encourage her natural desire to hold her bladder in her home - due to the small space of the crate. Check out the "Crate Training" method from the article I have linked below. Because she is older, when you are home, you can take her potty every three hours, instead of one. After she goes potty, you can give her 45 minutes to 1 hour of freedom outside of the crate, then put her back into the crate until it is time for the next potty trip outside. Give her chew toys stuffed with her dog food to give her something to do in the crate. When you are not at home, in a crate she should be able to hold her bladder for six-hours, and longer after she is potty trained. Follow the Crate Training method from article below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, clean your floor where any recent or old accidents have been with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. The enzymes will remove any lingering pee or poop smells. Other cleaners do not remove the smell well enough for a dog's sensitive nose not to be able to smell still it still. Any remaining smell left from previous accidents will encourage her to go potty in the same spot again. Also, I suggest getting her checked out by your veterinarian, especially if you crate train and she still has accidents in the crate. There might be a medical reason why she is peeing so often like a bladder issue, hormone, or anatomical issue that your vet needs to address (I am not a vet) If you are still having issues, I suggest hiring a professional train who has experience with problem behaviors and anxiety to come to your home and evaluate if there is something else going on that needs to be addressed, like anxiety or certain circumstances that are linked to her accidents and need to be addressed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
TRIXIE
Bull Terrier
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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TRIXIE
Bull Terrier
3 Months

I just wanted to thank Caitlyn from the bottom of my ZOMBIE being!!. Lol!!! ( no sleep for 2 weeks, makes one feel like a Zombie)
I can’t tell you how much the information that you have given me has helped!!!
God Bless !

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

You are SO welcome Kathy!!! Thank you for the sweet reply. I am so happy to hear that it helped. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Trixie
Bull Terrier
3 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Trixie
Bull Terrier
3 Months

I have had TRIXIE for 2weeks.
I have been diligent in her potty training, getting up every 2 1/2-3 hours every night, when I finally feel as if she knows to potty outside she will look up at me and squat and pee?? Help!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kathy, Unfortunately, potty training normally takes much longer than 2 weeks. Three months is common. The progression is gradual though, so you should see gradual improvement along the way and she should learn to sleep through the night within a month and a half from now, with gradually longer and longer stretches as she improves and is able to hold her bladder for longer. It can feel discouraging, but your hard work now will pay off with a decade or more of good potty training later if you do it well right now. The more accidents that you can prevent through careful supervision and schedule, the quicker she will learn. Check out the article linked below and the "Crate Training" method. When you cannot supervise her, need a break or have to leave the house, follow the "Crate Training" method. Since she is a little older than the puppy in the article, you can take her potty every 2 hours during the day using the "Crate Training" method, instead of every hour. At night she should be able to hold her bladder for about twice that long though. If using a crate at night, I generally suggest crating them in a room where you can hear them (either in your room, a walk-in closet or bathroom connected, or another room with an audio baby monitor set up), and only taking them potty when they cry to be let out because a dog will normally naturally try to hold their bladder in a crate and wake you when they need to go (unlike when they are loose in your home and will go potty anywhere). Having her sleep in the crate at night should also teach her to hold her bladder through the night sooner when she gets old enough to be able to do so, letting you get more sleep sooner. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
TRIXIE
Bull Terrier
3 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
TRIXIE
Bull Terrier
3 Months

I’m potty training “TRIXIE” and want to know how often I should be getting up at night for potty?
Right now “TRIXIE “ is getting me up about every 2 1/2-3 hours?
I feed her dinner at 6, and bed time is 7, and I’m usually up at 1am, 3am and around 5 am and then I get my daughter up at 6:15 for school which TRIXIE “ has to get up also?
Help!! I’m a walking ZOMBIE!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kathy, Trixie should be able to hold her bladder for 3-4 hours if she is in a crate (if not in a crate this problem will likely only continue, so crate train). If she does not wake up, she can probably hold her pee for six hours at this age but once she wakes up if it has been 3-4 hours she will need to go. The 1 a.m. trip is typical but the 3 a.m. then 5 a.m. trips, only two hours apart are sooner than she probably needs. There are a few things you can do to help her learn to sleep through the night. 1. Feed her dinner an hour earlier at 5pm instead of 6pm so that there are two hours between dinner and bedtime. 2. Crate her at night!!!! - this is the most important thing to do to help her learn to sleep at night if you are not already doing it - she may protest MORE at first but should give up if you ignore her and are consistent about not letting her out of the crate unless it has been at least 3 hours since she last pottyed. You can also practice crate training during the day to help her adjust. 3. Take her outside to go potty RIGHT before you put her into the crate. Her bladder won't shut down, letting her hold it for longer, until she is asleep. So outside to go potty, into the crate, and lights out. 4. Don't wake her up to take her potty, wait until she asks to go. 5. Ignore any crying before 3 hours since she last peed. 6. When you do take her potty, take her on a leash, keep the trip VERY boring, do not talk to her or give her attention or treats during the night. After she goes potty, calmly take her back inside, put her back into the crate, and ignore any crying. You don't want to give her any extra reasons to wake up at night - nights are boring. 7. If needed, crate her in a room where she cannot see anyone and set up an audio baby monitor so that you will hear her when she needs to go potty. Not being able to see you will probably result in more crying for 2-3 nights at first, but then she should give up crying quicker and not wake up just to get attention at night as often, in most cases. Being sleep deprived is HARD but most puppies are able to sleep for 8-10 hours straight most nights by four months of age. The trick is to follow the above tips so that she is only waking up when her body wakes her up to pee and not for other reasons, like playing. If she starts to only wake up when her body needs to go potty, then she should gradually start sleeping longer and longer stretches at night as she gets older and her bladder capacity improves over the next 1-1.5 months. It sounds like some of her wakings now are for fun and attention. She probably does need to go potty when she wakes up, but not so bad that it's what originally woke her up. If she has accidents in the crate after only 2 hours since her last potty trip, I suggest speaking to your vet to rule out a possible urinary tract infection that would make her have to pee more often (I am not a vet). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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