How to Potty Train a Scottish Terrier

Medium
3-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

Are you tired of coming home to puddles at the end of the workday? Worse yet, you follow your nose to the fresh pile of poop sitting on the living room rug. Accidents are a fact of life when you have puppies, but with proper potty training, you will soon be able to come home to dry floors and no more landmines on the rugs. Scotties are tough little dogs that tend to be more on the feisty side. They have a stubborn streak and tend to be fearlessly independent. This can make potty training a little more challenging than with many other breeds, but with time, effort, and patience, it will happen. 

Defining Tasks

The task, hmm, let's see, the task. Ah yes, the task is to teach your Scottish Terrier to train your pup to do his business outside in a designated area of your yard instead of in the middle of your living room carpet. While this doesn't sound like it ought to be too hard, when you are dealing with a stubborn Scottie, it could easily become a battle of wills, if you let it. Your job is to remain patient and to keep working with your pup, going at his pace until he masters this very important skill.

Getting Started

You can start potty training your Scottie as soon as you bring him home. Most breeders will not allow new owners to pick up their pups until they are between 8 and 12 weeks of age. This is the perfect age to start working with them on potty training as well as other basic behaviors. To get started, you'll need a few things.

  • Crate – For training and a place to safely keep your pup if you have to go out
  • Treats – For rewards
  • Leash – To take him outside on
  • Potty pads –For training purposes

Along with these items, you need plenty of time to work with your pup and the ability to be patient and remain calm. No matter which method you decide to use, stick to it. Be consistent and your pup will master the fine art of peeing outside. 

The What's That Smell Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Start at the store
Like many training methods, this one starts with a trip to the store. This one is for a bottle of puppy potty spray and a bag of treats.
Step
2
Mark his territory
Pick a spot on your lawn that is to become your pup's territory. In time, he will do more than his fair share of marking all by himself. For now, use the spray to mark the spot, this will encourage him to start marking it by himself and keep him in the area.
Step
3
Bring out the pup
Hook your pup on his leash and take him out to the marked spot. Let him explore it, sniff at it, run around in it, and most of all give him plenty of time to go potty in it. If after a reasonable amount of time your pup doesn't go, take him back inside for a little while and try again.
Step
4
Don't forget the special potty breaks
There are certain times of the day when you need to take your pup out, even if he has gone out recently. These are: after meals, after he drinks a lot of water, first thing in the morning after he has been playing for a while, and just before bedtime.
Step
5
Make it stick
Continue working with your pup until he comes to you when he needs to go potty so that you can take him out. Remember to praise him and give him treats whenever he gets it right.
Recommend training method?

The Puppy Pad Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Shopping time
Go out to your local pet store and pick up a large pack of puppy potty pads, a pack of treats, and if you don't already have some, a spray bottle of pet deodorizer.
Step
2
Place the pad
Start by putting a pee pad in a spot where it will be easy for him to get at when he has to go. Do not move it during the first phases of training.
Step
3
Keep tripping
While you have your puppy out of his crate and everyone is playing with him, just make sure you take him to the pad frequently. If your pup is very young, you should do this every 15 minutes. Use a timer if you need to.
Step
4
Cue word
Each time you take your pup to the pad, introduce your pup to the cue word, "Go Potty" works well. This helps not only to teach the pup that he needs to go pee, but it helps him learn to do so on command. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Step
5
What if he won't go?
If after about 5 minutes your pup still hasn't gone, put him back in his crate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step
6
Moving outside
Start slowly moving the pad over several weeks from its original spot to the door and then outside to the spot in the yard you want your pup to use. Chances are good that once his paws are on the grass, natural instinct will kick in and he will start going potty on the grass.
Recommend training method?

The 20-Minute Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Check your schedule
Before you start this training method, you need to check your schedule and make sure you can get away from what you are doing every 20 minutes for the first stages of potty training your pup. When you take him out, be sure to praise him and reward him with a treat when he goes potty. If he doesn't, that's okay, go back inside and be patient. At the first sign he is making moves towards going potty, take him straight outside.
Step
2
Individual potty breaks
No matter where you are on your schedule, there are going to be times when you need to take him out. These are when you first get up in the morning, before you go to bed, and after any one of the following: meals, drinking a lot of water, or playing for an extended period of time.
Step
3
Pick your cue
You need a cue word that can be used when you are taking him out. Use it each time you take him out during the training process so that he learns to associate it with what is expected of him.
Step
4
Build stamina
Slowly start increasing the time between journeys outside. This will help him build stamina or his ability to hold it for longer periods of time.
Step
5
The road goes ever on
Every journey starts with a first step, now that you have the first step mastered, keep working with your pup until he masters this very important skill.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Vinny
AnimalBreed object
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Vinny
AnimalBreed object
2 Years

It is difficult to get him to use the bathroom outside. He will pee in his cage and use the bathroom in the house even after being outside.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
94 Dog owners recommended

I am going to send you information on both potty training and crate training. When issues start to arise while going through the potty training process, it is usually best to just wipe the slate clean and start completely over. So some of this may seem a little remedial, but this is the best route to go. 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. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Question
Annie
AnimalBreed object
12 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Annie
AnimalBreed object
12 Weeks

Potty training is maddening. She will go potty when I take her out, but doesn't ask will go in house right in front of me. Using crate,treats and plenty of praise. It has been going on 2 weeks now.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
674 Dog owners recommended

Hello Pat, First, know that it is too soon to expect her to be fully potty trained yet. That typically takes 2-3 months when done correctly. The goal right now is for your to prevent as many accidents as possible through a consistent schedule, crating, cleaning up any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner to remove the smell that would encourage her to go on that spot again, to keep her focused while outside by walking her around slowly on a leash, telling her to "Go Potty" and giving treats when she goes - so that she learns to go more quickly. Potty training is typically defined as a dog learning to hold their pee and poop between scheduled potty trips. That is what generally takes a couple of months to learn. For most dogs, they do not learn to tell you when they need to go potty on their own until at least 6 months of age. You will need to maintain a schedule for her and crate her when she is not completely empty inside your home for a while - if you do that carefully though progress should go faster and there should be far less accidents to clean up. Check out the Crate Training article linked below for details on how to set up a schedule and crate in a way that minimizes accidents that happen in your home. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside I know it's so much work and can be discouraging. Try to remember that keeping a strict schedule and working hard at it for a couple of months can result in a dog who does great in this area for 10+ years. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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