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One of the many good things about training your American Eskimo is that he is a very intelligent dog who learns very quickly. Potty training him is less about struggle than it is about time. You may need to wait until he is at least 10 to 12 weeks of age or you will be wasting your time. Prior to this, you may need to lay papers down and be vigilant about cleaning up any accidents he has. This may be the most important part of the training process as leaving a "smelly" spot on your floors will lead him to believe it’s a perfectly good place to go potty.
The most important thing to remember is that your pup only knows one thing, he needs to find a spot to go potty and when he finds it, he is going to go. In the wild, dogs have no concept of not being able to go potty anywhere they want. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to train your pup that the only place he can go potty is outside.
Eskies do not respond well to being chastised or punished. The fastest way to successful potty training is not through punishing your pup for his indiscretions, it is through positive reinforcement and rewards. Your pup will not only respond better to this type of training, but will learn much faster. You will need a few things to help you along the way.
- Crate – For training and a safe place
- Treats – For rewarding good behavior
- Leash – To take your pup outside
While these supplies are necessary, you also need to make sure you have plenty of time to work with your pup and the patience to see the training to a successful end.
The Start With a Crate Method
Set up your pup's crate with a bed, a few toys, and a water bowl. Pop your pup in the crate and close the door. Set a timer and take him out every 60 minutes so he can go potty. When you take him outside, introduce your pup to your chosen cue, such as "Time to go potty!"
5 minutes, no more
Give your pup five minutes to go potty and not a minute more. If he doesn't go, take him back inside and put him in his crate. Set a time for 60 minutes and then try again.
Relief at last
By this time, if your pup didn't go before, he should have no problem taking care of business now. When he does, be sure to praise and reward him with a treat.
Back to the crate
Take him back inside and put him in his crate. Repeat this every hour until he starts to figure out that he is only supposed to go outside in his designated area. This may take several weeks.
Start working on adding more time in between excursions outside. In time, your pup will finally come to understand where he is allowed to go potty and that going in the house is a big no-no.
The I'm Watching You Method
Grab those treats
If you want to successfully train your Eskie to do his business outside, you will need a healthy supply of his favorite treats.
Never let him out of your sight
You should never let your pup out of your sight unless he is in his crate. The moment you see him acting in any way like he is trying to find a spot to go potty, you need to say "NO!" in a firm but not angry voice. Chances are good the shock will stop him dead in his tracks.
The pick up
Immediately pick your pup up or put his leash and take him out to his spot out in the yard using your cue words, "Let's go potty."
Chances are good that he might be a bit confused at first. But, give him a few minutes and he should take care of business. When he is finished, praise him and give him a treat.
The rest is all about working with your pup on a regular basis, extending the time between outings until he starts letting you know when he needs to go potty. Then you know you have succeeded.
The Pee Spray Method
Start at the store
It all starts at the store with purchasing at least one spray bottle of potty training spray. The spray is actually designed to attract your pup to the spot and instill in him the desire to go potty.
Mark the zone
Use the spray to mark a spot on your lawn that will become your pup's potty place.
Put your Eskie on his leash and take him out to the spot. Let him wander around for a few minutes to get his bearings and take note of the spot. If he hasn't gone after 15 minutes, go ahead and take him back inside. Watch him closely, in case he should decide he needs to go potty. If he does, take him right outside. If not, try again in 15 minutes.
When your pup finally decides to go potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
The onus is on you
The rest is all about being dedicated to continuing his training, including extending the time between trips outside. Give him time and your Esky will stop messing in the house and will be asking you to take him out.
By PB Getz
Published: 03/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021