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Dalmatians are striking looking, intelligent, and occasionally stubborn dogs. Originally bred as a coach dog, they are high energy dogs that were bred to run for miles alongside coaches. While potty training your Dalmatian, it is good to keep his origins in mind. Your Dalmatian may need a lot of exercise to burn off energy and get everything, including his intestinal tract, “moving”. Long walks will keep your Dalmatian well exercised and prevent boredom that may contribute to difficulties with potty training. Also, the exercise will give your Dalmatian plenty of opportunity to do his business outside rather than inside. Many athletic dogs are more likely to go to the bathroom, especially to have a bowel movement, after some exercise so incorporating this into your potty training regime for your Dalmatian is a good idea. Using positive reinforcement rather than punishment is also a good strategy for Dalmations, who can be sensitive dogs that are confused or upset by punishment.
The key to potty training your Dalmatian is to prevent accidents in your house. You will want to make sure you give your Dalmatian regular opportunities to get it “right” by taking him outside frequently and watching him carefully for signs that he has to go to the bathroom. Anticipating and providing for his potty needs so that you can provide positive reinforcement for going outside and avoid punishing your sensitive Dalmatian works the best. If your Dalmatian does have an accident, you can correct him by saying “stop” or “no” firmly and loudly to get his attention and immediately taking him outside, but yelling or swatting him will usually just upset and confuse him.
Remember, all dogs, including Dalmatians, are creatures of habit. If your dog goes potty in your house, the smell where he relieved himself can cause him to use that location again for a bathroom spot. If your Dalmatian has an accident in the house, be sure to clean the area well with enzyme cleaners to remove odor and discourage your dog from using that location again.
Several tools can be employed to speed up potty training. Many dog owners use a crate to confine their pet during the house training process to avoid accidents. Whether you use a crate or not, frequent bathroom breaks will be required to catch your Dalmatian “in the act” of doing the right thing so you can use positive reinforcement and establish the correct bathroom habits. This will require time and patience, to ensure your Dalmatian gets lots of walks, exercise and outdoor bathroom opportunities. Remember, puppies can only “hold it” for a short period of time and will need frequent potty opportunities even during the night. You can use treats to reward good potty habits and this will help speed up potty training as well.
The Potty Opportunities Method
Take potty after feeding
Take your Dalmatian outside about 15 minutes after feeding, and again about an hour later for a bathroom opportunity. Schedule feeding so you are available to take your dog out at these times.
Take potty after sleeping
Take your Dalmatian outside as soon as he wakes up from a nap and first thing in the morning.
Make arrangements when you are out
If you are going to be away from the house for several hours, hire a dog sitter or ask a neighbor to let your dog out for a bathroom break, to prevent accidents that can cause setbacks during potty training.
Provide lots of exercise
Take you Dalmatian for long runs once or twice a day to encourage bowel movements--exercise gets things “moving”. This also meets his requirement for activity and prevents boredom which can contribute to accidents.
Establish a potty place
Establish a potty area in your yard that your dog can learn to associate with going to the bathroom. This will help him understand appropriate areas for eliminating.
The Use a Crate Method
Prepare a crate for your Dalmatian with blankets and toys. Crate train your Dalmatian so he is comfortable using his crate and does not see it as punishment or deprivation.
Provide potty breaks
Take your Dalmatian outside every hour or two for a potty break. If he does not relieve himself, return him to his crate.
Reward potty with treats
If your Dalmatian goes potty outside, provide him with treats.
Reward with play
After a successful potty break outside, provide play as a treat for your Dalmatian for several minutes, either outside or back in the house before returning him to his crate.
Increase time between breaks and out of crate time
Increase the length of time your Dalmatian remains in his crate between bathroom breaks. Increase the length of time he can remain out of his crate after successful potty breaks, until your dog has established where he can go potty and is controlling his body functions for an adequate length of time.
The Prevent Accidents Method
Supervise your Dalmatian closely at all times, keep him in a room with you. You can contain him in the room with barriers or a long leash secured to a piece of furniture.
Catch potty behavior
When your Dalmatian shows signs of needing to go potty by circling, sniffing around, or squatting, say “no” or “stop” firmly. Get his attention but do not frighten him; do not yell at your Dalmatian.
Create potty opportunity
Immediately take your Dalmatian to his potty area outside.
Create a potty area
Say, “go potty” and wait for your dog to go to the bathroom. Keep him in the contained area until he goes. When your dog goes in his potty area, give him treats and praise.
If your Dalmatian has an accident in the house, clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner, so that odor does not remain, as odor will encourage your dog to use that area again as a bathroom.
By Laurie Haggart
Published: 02/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021