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Parson Russell Terriers are highly energetic dogs that love to play games and need plenty of room to run around in. When it comes to potty training, these pups tend to be strong-willed and are prone to misbehave at the drop of a hat. However, with careful, dedicated hard work, you can train your pup to use the yard outside as his person potty instead of that section of your living room carpet. One of the keys to training a Parson Russel Terrier is to establish yourself as the leader of the pack right from the beginning.
The job at hand is to take an unruly puppy who seems to think that anywhere in your house is the perfect place for him to leave his mark and teach him where is actually appropriate. No one wants to come home to a puddle in the middle of the kitchen floor or worse yet, a big pile of poop in the middle of the living room carpet. Like most breeds, you will get far better results by using positive reinforcement training methods instead of yelling at him or punishing him when he makes a mess.
You can start training your pup at any time, starting at the age of 8 to 12 weeks. Your pup is at his learning best when he is at this age, while his brain is still growing. Remember to praise him and give him treats when he gets it right. But do not punish him when he gets it wrong. Also, do not punish him or yell at him when you find a mess in the house, he won't have a clue why you are yelling at him. You need a few things to help you out with the training:
- Treats – No training
is complete without a healthy supply of treats to use as a reward.
- Crate – You need
somewhere your pup can stay when you can't be there to keep an eye on him.
- Leash – You need
this to take him outside so that he can go potty.
Beyond this, you will need a lot of time, energy, and patience along the way if you want your pup to master the very important skill.
The Kitchen Timer Method
Grab a timer
If you don't already have a kitchen timer, run out and grab one and a bag of puppy treats. You are going to need both.
Set up your schedule
Create space in your schedule and set the timer to 20 minutes. This will help you remember to take your pup out and will help him get on a regular schedule of needing to go potty. In time, this will make it much easier to train him.
Take him out
Take him out every time the timer goes off. If he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat to let him know he did a good thing. If he doesn't go, it's okay. Just take him back in the house and try again in a few minutes.
Keep special times in mind
While you might be taking him out every 20 minutes on the dot, there are several other times when you need to take your pup outside immediately. These include after meals, after he drinks a lot of water, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and any time he indicates he needs to go.
Say the word
Choose a cue word, then each time you take your pup outside, say the word and go to the potty area. This helps him associate the cue with the action, and the positive reinforcement he gets for doing it right.
Slowly work your way up
At this point, you should start adding more time in between trips outside. This will help build his stamina and make it easier for him to stay in your home for longer periods of time. Keep working at it and your pup will master this very important skill.
The Every Hour Method
Set a timer
Set a timer to to remind you to take the dog out at regular intervals. While you are putting him on a schedule, you also need to take him out after he eats, drinks a lot of water, wakes up from sleeping, or after a strenuous playtime.
Start small and work your way up
Start by setting the timer for 30 minutes. Once he gotten the hang of going potty outside on one of your regular trips, you can start adding more time between each time he needs to go out. While he is under one year of age, never go more than a few hours as his body has not developed enough to hold for longer than this.
Don't forget the rewards
Each time you take your pup outside and he goes potty, be sure you shower him with praise and give him a treat.
Watch him closely
Anytime your pup is in the house and not in his crate, be sure you are keeping a very close eye on him. At the first sign, he needs to go potty, be sure take him straight outside to do his business. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Work it on out
Keep working with your pup until he no longer makes a mess in the house. Be patient, it may take time, but in time your pup will master this vital behavior.
The Mark Your Turf Method
The special spray
Run out to your local pet supply store and pick up a bottle of potty training spray. Then pick a spot in your yard where your pup can go potty and spray it liberally with the training spray.
Go inside, put your pup on his leash, give him the cue and take him outside to the area you previously marked with the spray. Let him wander around for at least 15 minutes. During this time, he should get a good whiff of the spray and then mark his territory for himself by going potty.
No go, no worry
If he doesn't go potty after 15 minutes, no worries. Just take him back inside and then keep an eye on him. If he shows any signs of needing to go potty, go ahead and take him out immediately. If not, head back out in another 15 minutes. When he does go potty, be sure to praise him highly and give him a treat.
Those instant potty breaks
There are several times when you will need to take your pup outside immediately. These include when he wakes up, when he eats or drinks, right before bed, and after a busy play time.
Practice makes perfect
From here there is nothing left to do but keep practicing with your pup until he no longer feels the need to go potty in the house. At this point, mission accomplished!
By PB Getz
Published: 02/22/2018, edited: 01/08/2021