Jump to section
Potty training a Mastiff puppy is not much different than potty training any other puppy. You're going to need to show your puppy where he should be eliminating and reward him for recognizing it and then doing so. Mastiffs are eager to please. So your Mastiff puppy is eager to learn from you. Approach potty training with enthusiasm and high energy so it's a task he's happy to do.
Having a large Mastiff in your house also means potentially having large amounts of urine in your home. Potty training him early on through positive reinforcement and reminders while building this new habit will be imperative to keep a clean house and having a well-trained dog.
Your Mastiff puppy will love the idea of going outside to go potty because he gets to get some exercise while he's out there. End this outdoor time rewarding him with a little bit of play time so he can burn off some of that excess energy he has. Potty training your Mastiff puppy will take some time and commitment. But most of all, potty training is about repetition and knowing the right times to show your Mastiff where he should be going potty. Potty training your Mastiff is certainly easier if you can be home a lot during the day, especially during these early times in your relationship with your Mastiff. House training may take up to 6 months to perfect, but you can start expecting your Mastiff puppy to begin learning as early as 8 to 12 weeks of age.
Potty training your Mastiff puppy will require lots of tasty treats to keep him motivated and remind him to make good choices when he needs to go. You will also need to be cognizant of his schedule and the signs, and cues he gives to let you know he needs to go potty. If it all possible, having someone around during the day certainly helps. If not, keep in mind a puppy can typically only hold his bladder for about 1 hour for every month he is old. So your 4-month-old Mastiff could probably hold it for about 4 hours if you're out of the house. You can also teach your Mastiff puppy to tell you he needs to go potty using a bell or a knock on the door. Make potty training fun and rewarding.
The Potty Yard Method
Same place each time
Train your Mastiff puppy to go potty in the same spot each time he needs to go. This protects your yard from urine stains and poop all over the place. Choose those space wisely within your yard. Keep it free from distractions and family play areas.
Know Your Mastiff
Your Mastiff puppy is a player. He will want to play more than worry about going potty. This is true for when he’s inside as well as outside. Keep him focused during training and be sure to stop his playtime while inside in order to go outside. He should be able to hold his bladder for an hour for every month of age.
When it’s time to go potty, take your Mastiff puppy to the same place each time. Stop him during play time to go, pay attention to signals that he needs to go such as slowing down and sniffing or circling during play. Also, be sure to take him outside five to ten minutes after his meals and upon waking.
Do not let your Mastiff puppy play when he is outside in his potty area. Stand quietly nearby. When you speak to him, use encouraging words he’ll recognize later as his cue to go such ag ‘go potty.’ Keep your Mastiff puppy in that area until he goes.
Once your Mastiff puppy goes potty, give him a treat. Be sure to only treat your puppy when he uses the area you’d like him to use. Otherwise, he may use other areas without learning he has a special place to go.
Repeat this often. Your Mastiff puppy will need to go potty several times throughout the day and night. Be sure you are setting him up for success by taking him outside often instead of only catching him in the act.
The Potty Bell Method
Introduce a bell
Sit on the floor with your Mastiff puppy and show him the bell he will be using to tell you he needs to go potty. Let him sniff it and make it ring. Each time the bell rings, give your Mastiff puppy a treat. Play with the bell for a bit, letting him get used to the sound it makes.
Hang a bell
Hang a bell near the door your Mastiff puppy will most often use to go outside to go potty. Hang the bell at a level for him to touch it with his nose or ring it with his paw. Be prepared to move this bell higher as he grows if you’d like him to ring it with his nose.
Ring the bell
Encourage your Mastiff puppy to ring the bell as it hangs in its special spot. You may need to touch the bell or place a treat next to the bell to get his attention and get him to ring the bell. Practice this for a while and give your puppy a treat each time he causes the bell to ring.
Pay attention to your puppy and the signs he may need to go outside. He might be sniffing or circling if he is ready to go. Anytime he wakes from sleep and within ten minutes of eating, he should be ready to head outside. Before you take your Mastiff puppy out to go potty, make him ring the bell. If he’s been circling and may have an accident, you might want to help him ring it the first few times.
Once your Mastiff rings the bell, take him outside to go potty.
Once your pup goes potty, be sure to give him a reward. This is the same reward you were giving him for ringing the bell earlier.
Encourage your Mastiff puppy to ring the bell anytime he needs to go outside. While he is potty training, be sure you are taking him out often enough, so he does not have an accident in the house. Be patient and take your Mastiff puppy outside with lots of time to spare so there is time to ring the bell. With lots of practice, your Mastiff will eventually know when he needs to go outside on his own and let you know by ringing the bell.
The Potty, Reward, Repeat Method
As soon as your Mastiff puppy wakes for the day, take him outside to go potty.
Always give your pup a treat for going potty. Cheer and tell him what a good boy he is each time he makes it outside to go.
Your Mastiff puppy shouldn’t have to go potty for about one hour for every month he’s been alive. So if he is four months old, he might be able to hold it for about four hours. This isn’t always true, especially if your puppy us under three months old, so be sure you are taking him out often to have a chance to go while outside rather than having accidents inside.
Between five and ten minutes after eating a meal, your Mastiff puppy will need to go outside. Pay close attention to him after meals and keep taking him out to go. Be sure to reward him once he goes.
Whether your Mastiff puppy is taking a nap or sleeping during the night, he’ll need to go potty as soon as he wakes up. Be sure to take him out once he is awake, so he has the chance to go without having an accident.
Be sure you are taking your puppy out each time you notice him sniffing around your home, especially while playing, after sleep and after meals, and on regular intervals. Ultimately, potty training your Mastiff will be about how dedicated you are to watching the time and keeping a close eye on your Mastiff. Be patient, but know it may take several weeks for him to tell you on his own he needs to go.
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 02/07/2018, edited: 01/08/2021
More articles by Stephanie Plummer