How to Potty Train a Schnauzer

How to Potty Train a Schnauzer
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-6 Months
General training category iconGeneral

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".

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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. 

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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. 

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The Quick and Simple Method

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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.

2

If he goes

If you take him outside and he goes potty, be sure you praise him and give him a treat.

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.

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.

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.

The Crate Training Method

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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.

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.

3

Add one pooch

Get your pup comfortable in his crate and place him inside it between potty breaks.

4

Get some relief

At first, take your pup outside every 30 minutes to give him a chance to go potty.

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.

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.

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.

The Potty Spot Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

By PB Getz

Published: 02/23/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Ollie

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schnauzer

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1 Year

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Question

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Ollies formal owner left him outside most of the time.I take him out and let him walk around for at least 20 mintues . Sometimes he will pee and somtimes he doesn,t. He has never pooped outside.just in the house. He also pees in the house after I have just had him outside. I need help.

June 9, 2022

Ollie's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Janie, 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 small 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) or 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 5-7 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 dog 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 3-5 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 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. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 9, 2022

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Missy

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schnauzer

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8 Weeks

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Question

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We take her out to use the restroom and she will go, but it seems that as soon as we get back inside she’s peeing all over the place

June 9, 2022

Missy's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, After 45 minutes a puppy needs to be crated until it's time to take them back outside at the hour mark at this age. If pup is having an accident within the fifteen minutes of getting back inside, watch for patterns to see if it might be caused by submissive or excited peeing - opposed to the general need to eliminate a full bladder. Does it happen during play, when you touch pup, when you speak in a high pitched or excited or baby talk voice, or when pup gets in trouble or someone sounds angry. If you find its caused by submissiveness or excitability, check out the article I have linked below. Such peeing is common at this age; it's mostly treated by managing the environment and interactions to decrease how often it happens, then most puppies will outgrow it if you can keep things calmer to trigger it less often. Submissive peeing: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-submissive-peeing Excited peeing: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-pee-when-excited Vet perspective: https://wagwalking.com/condition/submissive-and-excitement-urination If the behavior doesn't seem to be related to excitement or submissiveness or schedule, then I recommend speaking with your vet to see if there is something causing incontinence. A number of issues can lead to incontinence and pup having to pee more frequently than normal, like a urinary tract infection or anatomical abnormality. I am not a vet so speak with your vet about anything that could be medically related. https://app.wagwalking.com/signup/welcome?utm_campaign=book_button&utm_medium=daily_wag&utm_source=web Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 9, 2022


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