How to Potty Train a Schnauzer

Medium
1-6 Months
General

Introduction

Potty training is one of the most important things you can train your pup to do. Not only will this help keep your home far cleaner and fresher smelling, but it teaches him to respect your home in the same manner as he would his den out in nature. Potty training a Schnauzer can be challenging at times, but just when you think you can't get any more frustrated, your pup will suddenly figure it all out and start begging you to take him outside, so he can take care of "business".

Defining Tasks

The idea is to teach your pup that at no time is going potty in the house acceptable and that the only place he is allowed to go potty is outside. This might seem like it would be simple, but no matter which method you choose to follow, you should be aware there are going to be accidents. Unless you actually catch your pup in the act, there is no point in punishing him for the mess, he will have no clue why you are upset with him. The best way to succeed with this training is to use positive reinforcement methods. 

Getting Started

There are several things you can do to help the training process along, starting with carefully planning your training strategy. Proper planning is a vital part of any training program, as are supplying your pup with plenty of love, affection, exercise, and good quality food. Be aware that every dog has his or her own personality and you may have to adjust the training methods to suit. You will also need a few supplies, including:

  • A crate – For when you can't always have eyes on your dog
  • Treats – To reward your pup for getting it right
  • Leash – To take him outside on
  • Patience – You will need plenty of this if you want to succeed
  • Time – You need time to work with your dog every day until he is fully potty trained

In reality, the most important part of potty training your pup is your having enough patience and the willingness to work with your pup until he masters this skill. 

The Quick and Simple Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Watch your pup
Keep a very close eye on your pup while he is out and about in your home. If he whines, fusses, starts circling one spot, or gives any indication he needs to go potty, be sure you take him out immediately.
Step
2
If he goes
If you take him outside and he goes potty, be sure you praise him and give him a treat.
Step
3
Make a routine
Be sure to take your puppy out as soon as he wakes up in the morning or after a nap and shortly after he eats and drinks.
Step
4
Keep it real
Realistically, puppies can usually be expected to hold their bladder for about one hour per month of their age. Be sure to schedule potty breaks between meals and sleep times so your pup will be in the right place at the right time.
Step
5
Every day a little longer
Keep working with your pup extending the amount of time between trips outside. It will take a while, but in time your pup will learn to go potty out in the yard where his potty on the lawn happens to be.
Recommend training method?

The Crate Training Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Buy a crate
Pick up a crate for your pup. It needs to be just big enough for him to stand up in, turn around in, and lie down in, no more. Anything larger will give him enough room to choose a spot to pee or poop in while leaving the rest of the space to nap in.
Step
2
Find a spot
Choose a spot for his kennel that makes it easy for you to keep an eye on him. Find one that is in the same part of the house the family spends the most time in, so he feels like he is part of the family.
Step
3
Add one pooch
Get your pup comfortable in his crate and place him inside it between potty breaks.
Step
4
Get some relief
At first, take your pup outside every 30 minutes to give him a chance to go potty.
Step
5
Praise works
Be sure that every time your puppy goes potty when you take him outside to his spot on the lawn that you give him plenty of praise and a treat.
Step
6
Keep an eye on your pup
While your pup is loose in the house, keep a close eye on him. If he shows any indication that he is thinking about going potty (sniffing, circling, squatting, lifting a leg) take him straight outside. The longer you work with him, the longer he will be able to hold himself. Keep working with him and in no time at all, he will learn where he is expected to go potty.
Step
7
Never punish him
At no time should you punish your pup verbally or physically for making a mess in the house. If you catch him in the act, you can say "NO!" in a firm voice and take him outside to finish. Reward him when he is done.
Recommend training method?

The Potty Spot Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Choose your schedule
Start by setting up a potty break schedule for your pup, he will do much better at potty training if you follow the schedule very carefully and make sure he gets outside every hour or so.
Step
2
Spray the spot
Using puppy potty training spray available at your local pet store, choose a spot in the yard that your pup can use as his personal toilet and spray your chosen "potty spot" liberally with it.
Step
3
Bring on the Schnauzer
Put your pup on his leash and take him out to the spot. Let him have about 15 minutes to wander around on the leash and go potty. If for some reason he doesn't go, don't worry. Take him back inside and wait a little while before trying again.
Step
4
Times to take him straight outside
There are a number of times when you need to take your pup outside, even if he has gone recently. These include when he wakes up in the morning or after a nap, after a meal, after he drinks a lot of water, and right before bed.
Step
5
Work hard
Continue working on this training until your pup starts to let you know when he needs to go potty. It may take a little time, but your pup will learn to master this important skill even if he does it just to make you happy at first.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Carl
schnauzer miniature mix
3 Years
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Question
0 found helpful
Carl
schnauzer miniature mix
3 Years

Hello, i adopted my dog 2 weeks ago. He seems to be trained before because he does not pee or poop every where. We waits for me to take him either outside or does on 2 spots he chose inside the house. Whenever he pees, he holds it too much no matter if I take him outside morning and before going to bed. He waits almost 5 hours and then pees whenever he cant hold it anymore. Yet, i let him finish. After he is done, he knows he did something wrong because he did it inside so he goes and lays next to the door for me to clean. My schedule will baries starting June. How can I make him comfortable enough to let me know when he needs to pee? Also, I know whenever he wants to poop since he is walking around and following his tail but I still do not know when he really wants to pee.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
623 Dog owners recommended

Hello Arley, Check out the crate training method from the article linked below. I suggest strictly following that imethod ncluding the treats for going potty. If he seems afraid to go potty in front of you, then I suggest taking him on a long 15-35 ft leash (not retractable, length depending on his fear and how much space there is) and tossing larger treats over to him when he goes potty until he gets more comfortable going near you and you can gradually coil up more and more of the leash until you can use a 6 foot leash. Since he is older, take him potty every 3-4 hours when you are home (he should be able to hold it for longer in the crate if you work and he has to). Once he goes potty outside, give him two hours of supervised freedom out of the crate if you think his bladder is empty. After 2 hours put him back into the crate until time to take him potty again. Return him to the crate if he doesn't go potty when you take him outside. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Blade
Miniature Schnauzer
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Blade
Miniature Schnauzer
7 Years

He keeps peeing in the house and he won’t stop. If he keeps it up my parents said they will take him to the pound. Does this method work on 7 year olds in human years????

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
623 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sally, I suggest crate training him for potty training. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if he has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-8 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. You want him to get into the habit of holder his bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever he feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When he cries and you know he doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give him a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If he continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If he disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at his side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If he stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward his quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. While home, you can also tether pup to you with a leash to prevent him from sneaking off to have an accident - this isn't quiet as effective as crate training but you can combine the two a bit if you want pup to be out of the crate a bit more while you are home. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
princess
mini schnauzer
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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princess
mini schnauzer
6 Months

so i put a pee pee pad in my puppy's playpen and she pees on there fine but when i take it out and put the pad somewhere else she doesn't pee where she is supposed to anymore. what do i do?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
66 Dog owners recommended

Hello, it's great that Princess is trained to go on one spot, that helps. She has the right idea. Are you thinking of taking the pen down and that is why the new pee spot? Take a look at the Scent Method described here, which works out how to have your pup eliminate multiple places in the home. Because she has a good base of potty training, it should do the trick: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy. Good luck and enjoy your puppy!

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Question
Koda
Miniature Schnauzer
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Koda
Miniature Schnauzer
3 Months

My puppy shows signs of having to potty. When I take her outside on the grass, she won’t go. I bring her back inside and she goes on the floor. This is the case for 3 days now.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
623 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rhonda, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below and follow that method carefully. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside The Crate Training - to limit freedom inside to when their bladder is empty, teaching the Go Potty command, rewarding for pottying outside, and the instructions to walk pup around slowly on a leash can all help a puppy learn to go potty while outside. Many puppies get distracted outside so won't go. The above things from the article I have linked can help. If pup seems nervous while outside, I also suggest spending more time with pup outside on a long (non-retractable) training leash. Do fun and relaxing things with pup while out there to help them get over their fear - such as playing Tug of War, Fetch, hiding large treats in the grass, teaching commands or fun tricks using positive reinforcement and lure reward training, and simply hanging out outside for long periods of time by doing things like sitting in the grass and reading a book for an hour while pup chews on a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy -like a kong. Most dogs don't want to go potty if they feel unsafe, so if pup feels nervous, spending time outside to help desensitize her to it can help that aspect in combination with the article I have linked. Also, keep pup slowly moving while on the leash outside - the movement helps get things going and sniffing around can encourage elimination. Give pup 15 minutes walking around slowly in a calm location on leash and praise and reward if she goes. If she doesn't go during that time, follow the article I have linked's instructions and bring pup back inside and into the crate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take pup outside to try again. After a few successes and treats for it outside, pup should gradually get better at going potty when you take them. Right now she simply doesn't know that outside is where to potty - it has to be taught with crate training and rewards. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Daisy
schnauzer
9 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Daisy
schnauzer
9 Months

Our dog is not house trained. We tried but our schedules become difficult at times. She sleeps in a cage and has a bed in there. It has enough space for her bed and one single training pad. However, she is playing with the pad and also pooping and peeing in there EVERYWHERE at different times of the day. When we first got her, she was not like this. She never went in her cage. What should be our next step?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
623 Dog owners recommended

Hello, In order for crate training to work the crate needs to be just large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, and lay down. There also shouldn't be anything absorbent in there, especially a pee pad. She has essentially been trained due to circumstances to go potty in the crate. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the Exercise Pen method. The article mentions a litter box, but I suggest using a real grass pad instead, so that it more closely resembles grass outside. I suggest stopping pee pads because some dogs confuse pee pads with other fabric inside, like carpet and rugs. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad (only purchase real grass ones - opposed to fake turf): https://www.amazon.com/DoggieLawn-Disposable-Potty-Real-Grass/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=asc_df_B00EQJ7I7Y/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309806233193&hvpos=1o8&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1534281773762755126&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=aud-645589642778:pla-572651300532&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Klaus
Miniature Schnauzer
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Klaus
Miniature Schnauzer
5 Years

Not potty trained

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