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
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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
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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
jasper
Bull Terrier
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
jasper
Bull Terrier
2 Months

hello i'm melanie and i my pup is officially 2 months. he is very sweet and playful but i do want to know how i can stop puppy biting, i've tired different methods but he has alot of energy. i would also like to teach him basic skills thank you.

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

Hello! I am going to send you information on the nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies or older dogs may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Question
Diesel
Bull Terrier
8 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Diesel
Bull Terrier
8 Weeks

Face biting
Urinating and poo in the house
No!
Stay

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cecile, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the Bite Inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep working at it. For the potty needs, check out the article I have linked below. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Before you teach stay, you will also need to teach Sit, Down, or Stand. Sit: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Down: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down Stay: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-stay No: https://www.purina.com.au/en/dogs/exercising/no#.YHh3UuhKjIU Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lola
Bull Terrier
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lola
Bull Terrier
10 Months

My dog poops and pees inside

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

Hello, this guide has excellent tips that will teach Lola all she needs to know about potty training! Try the Timing Method or the Crate Training Method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Don't give up, be consistent, and praise Lola highly when she has success outside. Take her as soon as she wakes up, after meals, after a nap, when she is excited, and before bed. She may need a potty break in the night, too. If she does, take her out on the leash, no talking, no playing, no treats. Just a quick pee and back to bed so she doesn't think it is time to get up. Clean all accidents with an enzymatic cleaner to remove all scents and break the habit of peeing inside. Take her often - even every hour until she gets the idea. Good luck!

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Question
TRIXIE
Bull Terrier
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
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
946 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’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
946 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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