How to Potty Train a Dalmatian

Medium
1-2 Months
Behavior

Introduction

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.

Defining Tasks

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.

Getting Started

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

ribbon-method-1
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
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.
Step
2
Take potty after sleeping
Take your Dalmatian outside as soon as he wakes up from a nap and first thing in the morning.
Step
3
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.
Step
4
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.
Step
5
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.
Recommend training method?

The Use a Crate Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Crate train
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.
Step
2
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.
Step
3
Reward potty with treats
If your Dalmatian goes potty outside, provide him with treats.
Step
4
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.
Step
5
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.
Recommend training method?

The Prevent Accidents Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Supervise closely
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.
Step
2
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.
Step
3
Create potty opportunity
Immediately take your Dalmatian to his potty area outside.
Step
4
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.
Step
5
Prevent odors
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.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Laurie Haggart

Published: 02/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Orihime
Dalmatian
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Orihime
Dalmatian
2 Months

I can't get her to settle down in her crate and potty training is a bit of a struggle.. I could use any advice you have please! Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ariel, At 8 weeks of age I am guessing that you recently brought pup home? If that's the case, then know that what you are experiencing is completely normal. Pup is getting used to sleeping alone and that's an adjustment. Usually the first five days are the worst. It typically takes about two weeks for most pups to adjust completely; however, you can help that adjustment be as smooth as possible by doing the following. 1. When pup cries but doesn't have to go potty (like after you return them to the crate when they just went potty outside) be consistent about ignoring the crying until they go back to sleep. The more consistent you are the quicker the overall process tends to take even if it's hard to do for the first couple weeks. 2. When pup does truly need to go potty (when it's been at least 2 hours since pup last peed), take pup to go potty outside on a leash to keep pup focused and things calmer. Don't give treats, food, play, or much attention during these trips - boring and sleepy is the goal, then right back to bed after. This helps pup learn to only wake when they truly need to go potty and be able to put themselves back to sleep - helping them start sleeping longer stretches sooner and not ask to go out unless they actually need to potty. Pup will generally need 1-2 potty trips at night even after trained for a couple months though due to a small bladder. 3. Wait until pup asks to go potty by crying in the crate at night before you take them - opposed to setting an alarm clock, unless pup is having accidents in the crate and not asking to go out. This gives pup the chance to learn to start falling back to sleep when they wake in light sleep if they don't really need to go potty, instead of being woken up all the way when they could have held it a bit longer. 4. Practice the Surprise method from the article I have linked below to help pup get used to crate time during the day too - so that there is less crying at night due to pup adjusting to being alone. Surprise method - only give treats during daytime practice, not at night though: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once pup is can handle a bit more crate time, I recommend the crate training method from the article I have linked below for potty training also. In the meantime, you can use a combination of the crate training method and the tethering method, to keep pup closer to you to avoid accidents. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside I also recommend the free PDF e-book After You Get Your Puppy, which can be downloaded at the link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Orihime's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
duggee
Dalmation
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
duggee
Dalmation
9 Weeks

trying to understand and successfully potty traning at 9 weeks old and

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jodie, 9 weeks is a great age to start, but also know that the process will probably take at least a couple of months and pup's bladder capacity is really small right now, 3 hours max while in a crate during the day. Pup will probably need trips outside once or twice during the night too for a little while longer. I suggest crating pup at night and waiting until puppy wakes up crying to take him outside, rather than setting an alarm though. The crate can either be in your room or in another room with an audio baby monitor set up so that you will hear pup's nightly wakings. Keep night trips outside very calm, boring, and to the point, then straight back into the crate, without playing, treats, or lots of petting - so that pup will only wake up at night when he really needs to go potty and not for other reasons - and will thus start sleeping through the night sooner when his bladder capacity grows enough to be able to. Check out the crate training method from the article linked below. You can also follow the Tethering method found in that article but the crate training method tends to be the quickest way to train with the fewest amounts of accidents if you can follow it closely. It takes a lot of work at first but in the end can actually be the easiest, with fewer setbacks. Take pup out as often as is recommended in the article while you are home. When you are not home and pup is in the crate someone will still need to take pup out at least every 3 hours at this age too due to his age. That time will increase by one hour each month - so at 3 months of age pup can hold it for a maximum of 4 hours, 4 months = 5 hours, ect... Until 8 hours at 8 months as the maximum time for an adult dog. 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 duggee's experience

Was this experience helpful?

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