How to Potty Train a Mastiff Puppy

How to Potty Train a Mastiff Puppy
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon3-6 Months
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

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. 

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Defining Tasks

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.

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Getting Started

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. 

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The Potty Yard Method

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1

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.

2

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.

3

Outside

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.

4

No play

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.

5

Reward

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.

6

Repeat

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

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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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

Before outside

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.

5

Outside

Once your Mastiff rings the bell, take him outside to go potty.

6

Reward

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.

7

Practice

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

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Morning

As soon as your Mastiff puppy wakes for the day, take him outside to go potty.

2

Reward

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.

3

One hour

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.

4

Meals

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.

5

Sleep

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.

6

Repeat

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

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Flea

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pitbull mastiff mix

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7 Weeks

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Im really bad at potty training and would like to know the easiest method to potty training a pit mastiff puppy. also is it normal for him to have diahriaha since he is eating puppy food.

Sept. 7, 2020

Flea's Owner

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Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! What a cute puppy!! I am sending info on potty training. Also, to answer your question, loose stools are fairly normal at this age, but if it doesn't clear up in about 2 weeks, I would have a chat with your vet. It could be a number of things causing this... food allergies, intolerances, infection, or even worms. 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.

Sept. 7, 2020

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Stella

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Dogue de Bordeaux

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11 Weeks

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Stella only goes potty inside on puppy training pads

Aug. 23, 2020

Stella's Owner

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Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! She is really cute! Here is some information that will help you with potty training. 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.

Aug. 24, 2020


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