How to Potty Train a Cattle Dog

Medium
3-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

The Cattle dog is very intelligent and ready to learn. Cattle dogs need lots of room to run, but at the same time, they still need to be trained not to go potty in the house. No one needs a dog that is going to make a mess inside. Cattle dogs are readily acceptable to new training, new behaviors, and make great family dogs thanks to their undying loyalty. In fact, the more you challenge them, the happier they are. Keep in mind as these dogs grow, they need plenty of exercises to keep them happy. 

Defining Tasks

The task is pretty simple, or at least you might think it is. All you are trying to do is train your Cattle dog to understand it is never okay for him to go potty anywhere in your house. At the same time, you should be teaching him where he can go potty out in your yard. The good news is that the sooner you start training him the faster he will learn this important skill. Remember, younger pups tend to learn faster as their brains are still in full learning mode. 

Getting Started

There isn't much in the way of supplies needed to get started on potty training your Cattle dog.  The biggest thing you need is plenty of time and patience to stick with the training and make it work out for both you and your pup. There are a few things you might find come in handy depending on the method of training you choose.

  • Crate or kennel – A safe place for your pup when you are busy or unable to be at home.
  • Leash – For taking your pup outside to his special potty spot.
  • Treats – You simply cannot have enough of these on hand for rewards.

Consistency is key to successful potty training. Your pup needs to understand what is expected of him. The more consistent you are the easier it will be for him to understand what you're asking of him, to become potty trained. 

The Every 20 Minutes Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Clear your schedule
Start out by making sure you have room in your schedule to take your pup out every 20 minutes during the early stages of his training. If he goes great, praise him and give him a treat. If he doesn't go, no worries, just take him back inside and wait. If he shows signs of needing to go, take him out immediately or go back to the schedule.
Step
2
Special potty breaks
There are certain times when no matter where you are on the schedule, you will need to take your pup out to go potty. These are before bed, after he wakes up in the morning, after playtime, and after meals and drinking large amounts of water.
Step
3
Choose a cue
Choose a cue word for going outside and stick to it. Changing it will only confuse your pup. Start using it every time you take your pup out. This will help your pup to associate the cue with the required action.
Step
4
Add more time
Start slowly working up to longer times between when you take your pup outside. This will help build his endurance for those times when you need to leave for longer periods of time.
Step
5
And ever on
By now, your pup should be responding to verbal commands and should be starting to let you know when he needs to go potty. Enjoy an accident-free home, finally!
Recommend training method?

The Watch Like a Hawk Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Do you have enough treats?
You are going to need plenty of treats to potty train your dog. So, if you don't already have plenty of them, be sure to stock up.
Step
2
Keep a very close eye on your pup
During the early stages of training, you need to keep a very close eye on your pup. If you see him getting ready to go potty, you need to firmly say, "NO" without getting angry at him--this would do no good. In fact, it can only cause harm.
Step
3
Going out
Be sure you take your pooch outside immediately using a cue like "Potty time" to indicate it's time to go out and go potty. The more you do this the more he will associate the command with the action.
Step
4
Patience pays off
Be patient, it might take a little while for your pup to figure out he is supposed to go potty. When he does, be sure you reward him with tons of praise and a treat or two. Then head on back into the house.
Step
5
The long haul
The rest is all about continuing to work on your pup's training until he has finally mastered this all-important skill. Remember, patience is the key to your success. Keep working on it, he will figure it all out in good time.
Recommend training method?

The Smells Good Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Supplies
Run out to your local pet store and pick up a bottle of potty training spray.
Step
2
Mark your spot
Use it to mark a spot on your lawn for your pup to call his personal bathroom.
Step
3
Introductions all round
Put your pup on his leash and take him out to the marked spot. The spray is designed to make him feel like he needs to go potty. Give him 15 minutes to go potty. If he doesn't, take him in the house and watch him closely to see if he shows signs of needing to "go." When he does, take him back outside to go potty. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Step
4
Hit the peak times
No matter what your potty break schedule looks like, there are times you should always take your pup out. These are first thing in the morning, last thing at night, after playtime, after meals and long drinks, and of course after naps.
Step
5
Keep it up
Keep working with your pup until he will come to you and let you know he needs to go potty. Be sure that when he does, you take him out immediately to reinforce his behavior.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Zoltar
AusShepard blue heeler
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zoltar
AusShepard blue heeler
10 Weeks

He stops a lot in the middle of the sidewalk , need him to keep following me

He bites my husband pants when they go out but not me .

When should I start crate training he barks and cries .

How long should he be taken out . I usually do 15min 4 times and 30-40 mins once’s a day.

And he is starting to bite

Thank you
Mona

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mona, As far as a potty schedule, check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Pup will need to go out every 1-3 hours at this age, ideally close to 1 hour to speed up potty training, but not exceeding 3 hours due to a small bladder. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside 40 minutes of exercise a day is a good amount - it can be more and it can be broken up into play sessions, multiple walks, or just one walk, depending on the day. I highly suggest starting crate training now. The longer you wait, the harder it generally is. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Know that the first three days tend to be the hardest. Crying is normal, and most puppies take a couple of weeks to adjust. Practicing the Surprise method can help the process go smoother though. Only give treats during the day - no food at night unless there is a medical reason why you need to. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate For the biting, check out the Leave It and Bite Inhibition methods from the article linked below. Begin to teach Leave It now, knowing that it will take some practice. While working on that, you can use the Bite Inhibition method in the meantime. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite To help pup follow, work on teaching the Turns method from the article linked below. Also, try to get pup's energy up and reward with treats when they are doing well. Hold the treat next to your eye before giving pup, to teach him to watch your face instead of focusing on your moving legs and husband's pants. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Finally, check out the videos of puppy class linked below to see how to engage pup in heel work and training at this age. Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Also, 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/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Zoltar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Guya
Queensland Heeler
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Guya
Queensland Heeler
3 Months

I am trying so hard to get Guya outside on schedule (after naps, after eating, after playing, etc.). However it never fails, she still has accidents in the house. Am I failing her? What am I doing wrong?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello JoAnn, I suggest switching to the Crate Training method from the article I have linked below. That method will limit pup's freedom to only times when their bladder is empty - to help them more quickly associate inside with holding it, and outside with pottying and rewards for going. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you have not introduced a crate yet, check out the Surprise method linked below also: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Guya's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Guya
Australian Shepherd
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Guya
Australian Shepherd
3 Months

Guya is so sweet. I wrote to you before and received a response but I had a few more questions. This pup was a gift. Do you know anything about Blue Heelers? We go outside often (every 2hrs) and she still squats and pees in the house. I’m not sure what else to do. I reward her for going outside, but it doesn’t seem to be working. She’s currently In a crate and sleeps 6 to 8 hours a night without having any issues w/out going in the crate. Please help. Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello JoAnn, I suggest following the Crate Training method from the article I have linked below for potty training. That method will only give pup freedom when their bladder is empty to help prevent accidents between potty trips. As pup starts to learn the concept, is will also go over how to gradually give pup more freedom as they are ready. This method tends to work the quickest for most dogs, and is especially good for harder to potty train cases. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Pup holding it for that long at night in the crate is fantastic at this age. Blue Heelers tend to be very smart, they are a herding breed and nipping can be an issue so working on commands like Leave It and Out early can help. They can be a bit stubborn and generally do best with a pet parent who provides consistent leadership through training, calmness, consistency, and good boundaries. They often need a job to do, whether that's a canine sport, picking up their toys and putting them away, practicing some training every day, or just having them work for what they get in life by doing things like sit, down, or watch me before they are given a toy, walk, pet, food, ect...You can incorporate training into other activities like have pup heel during walks, sit, down and stay during games of fetch, bring you objects around the home, ect...They aren't always good with other dogs, so socializing early with other puppies and with strangers is important. A good puppy class is something I would recommend, especially one outside in a fence with time for off-leash puppy play. Puppies interact with other puppies differently than adult dogs, so although dog interactions can be good, puppy play is much better. Once you gain their respect, they tend to be very loyal to their person and hard workers. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Guya's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Storm
Blue Heeler
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Storm
Blue Heeler
6 Months

She goes out very frequently, she lives with a dog who is already potty trained. We can walk her for 15 mins all around and she’ll come in and poop or pee as soon as we get back. I don’t know how to break her of it. She knows she’s not supposed to go inside but does it anyways even with the opportunity to go outside. I don’t know what to do! She’s destroying our carpet!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brittany, Check out the article I have linked below and follow 5he crate training method. That method will only give freedom when her bladder is empty, crating her each time you take her out and she doesn't go, repeating the trips every 45 minutes until she goes when you take her, then you can give 1-1.5 hours of supervised freedom out of the crate after she has gone potty outside, crating her again after 1-1.5 hours until taking her back outside at 2-3 hours since her the last time she went potty. Crate training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Storm's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tank
Blue Heller - Australian Shepard
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tank
Blue Heller - Australian Shepard
3 Months

Tank did rather good when he got home from his original family. He has random bought of pottying in the house that last about a week to two weeks then is stellar about letting us know when he need to go outside. My boyfriend is getting frustrated because, when he shows signs of pottying or every hour (which ever comes first) he takes him outside, he does his business, then not even a half hour later is pooping on the carpet.

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

Hello! Here is information on potty training, as well as crate training if you decide to use a crate to aid in the potty training process. 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.

Add a comment to Tank's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd