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

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Effective
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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

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Effective
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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

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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

Question
Oakley and Cooper
Blue Heeler
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Oakley and Cooper
Blue Heeler
9 Weeks

They are having a hard time going to potty outside and leash training.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tina, Check out the article I have linked below on leash introduction. If pups are afraid of the leash, I would use the Drag method. If pup's just don't know how to be directed by the leash, I recommend the Pressure method to teach pups to move toward you when they hit the end of the leash, instead of pulling away. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash For potty training, I recommend either the crate training method, or a combination of the crate training method and tethering method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If pups are nervous about being outside and won't relax enough to go potty out there, spend time (30-60 minutes at a time) often, simply sitting or playing with pups outside to just get them familiar with the outside world, so they are comfortable enough out there to go potty when it is time. Bring them to calm locations for potty trips too when first starting out. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Royalty
Australian Cattle Dog
13 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Royalty
Australian Cattle Dog
13 Weeks

It’s hard to get her to go outside and use the bathroom she would just stand and run away

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Asia, At this age puppies need to be taken on leash and slowly walked around, so that the movement stimulates the feeling of needing to go potty, and the leash keeps them from getting distracted. Using the leash to help pup not get distracted and keep moving slowly can facilitate pup learning what they are outside for - to go potty. I would also tell pup to "Go Potty" happily and feed pup a smalll treat or piece of kibble (that was hidden in your pocket) afterwards, so that pup will learn that command and go quicker when told that in the future, and so that that command can one day be used when you let pup out into your fenced yard without a leash and they will focus better. Don't expect pup to go potty outside without a leash to help direct until at least six months of age in general. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Mila
Australian Shepherd
4 Months
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Question
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Mila
Australian Shepherd
4 Months

Mila was a Christmas dog that we purchased from her original family. I work from home and have a 75% success rate with going outside to potty. Once my husband gets home, she goes inside 5-10 times before bed. Not interested in crating. Please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashley, Check out the Tethering method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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

Potties in the house, constant nipping!! We are tore up!! When she goes to bite us we give her a toy but she still continues to come after us.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I recommend following the Crate Training method from the article I have linked below. Since pup is a little older, you can add thirty minutes to all the times listed in that method. Crate Training method for potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since the crate might be new to pup, and since pup is older, pup will be more likely to bark when you try to crate. I would just take that as an indication that pup needs to catch up in that area with training. Know that isn't normal. To address any barking in the crate, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hours, 2, hours, 3 hours. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. For the biting, I recommend teaching Leave It, Out, and when you are home to supervise, to avoid it getting caught on things, keeping a drag leash on pup to help you calmly enforce the rules. After following the section on How to Teach Out, also pay attention to the section on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness. Pup will first just need to be taught what Out means though. If pup is jumping up to bite, check out the Step Toward and Leash methods from the jumping article I have linked below. Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area. The How to section and How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness section: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Jumping - Step Toward method and Leash method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump It sounds it wouldn't hurt to work on building some respect with pup also. I would do this gently by giving more boundaries and consistency and getting pup to earn what they want through obeying commands first. Check out the article I have linked below, and I recommend reading over all three methods found there. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Ignore the dog specific titles in each article. The methods I have listed should be the same for your pup's breed, as other breeds as well. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Jojo
Blue Heeler
5 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Jojo
Blue Heeler
5 Months

When I see her want to go potty I rush her out but even if we spend thirty minutes outside she will wait and go inside! I have two older sisters that do the sniff and go in the same spot but JoJo will sniff their spot but still waits to come inside to go! Help! I already need new furniture because she has chewed the corners of my sofa. We have a trip coming up in a couple of months and I have to have her trained by then or I don’t have a sitter!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cindy, I highly recommend following the crate training method from the article I have linked below. That method tends to be the quickest way to train with the fewest accidents along the way. That method will cover what to do when pup doesn't go potty when you take her, which is return her to the crate for an hour, then take her back outside at the end of the hour, repeating that process until she goes potty outside and you can praise and reward her for going. Once she goes potty, then you give a set amount of free time out of the crate, crating her again at the end of that time while her bladder is filling back up, until it's time to take her back outside again. Since she is a little older, you can add thirty minutes to all the times listed in the article, less if pup is still having accidents then though. Crate Training method for potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside For the chewing, check out this article too, especially the section on using a crate and teaching leave it and out. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Crate training while young generally equals a whole lot more freedom for the dog later in life, because it helps them learn to self settle and self-entertain, prevents long term chewing habits, helps with potty training, and allows you to give feedback to them when uncrated, so they develop good habits with you there, and no unwanted ones when you aren't there to direct. Surprise method of introducing a crate if that's new to pup - skip to the section where the crate door is closed for time sake : https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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