How to Potty Train an American Eskimo Dog

Medium
1-6 Months
General

Introduction

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.

Defining Tasks

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. 

Getting Started

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

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Step
1
Set up
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!"
Step
2
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.
Step
3
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.
Step
4
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.
Step
5
More time
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.
Recommend training method?

The I'm Watching You Method

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Step
1
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.
Step
2
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.
Step
3
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."
Step
4
Confusion
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.
Step
5
The rest
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.
Recommend training method?

The Pee Spray Method

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Step
1
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.
Step
2
Mark the zone
Use the spray to mark a spot on your lawn that will become your pup's potty place.
Step
3
Introductions
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.
Step
4
Good job
When your pup finally decides to go potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Step
5
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.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Axle
American Eskimo
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Axle
American Eskimo
1 Year

Hi! Axle was potty trained for a few months and then we moved, I figured he would have a few accidents in the house and it would be normal, he eventually was doing really well not having any incidents in the house. Recently he has been peeing again in the house and last night he pooped. I don’t know what has changed, he goes outside and is out side for about fifteen minutes when let out and goes for about half hour walks every week. If you can help me figure out a cause or maybe some tips to help retrain him it would be very helpful!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
115 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaitlyn, First, when you let him outside, he likely needs you to go out with him and keep him focused. There is a good chance that he is simply playing when you let him out and is distracted by something in your yard like a mole, neighbor's dog, or digging. Take him outside to go potty on a leash, walk him over to where you would like him to go or he tends to go, tell him to "Go Potty", and then give him one or more treats when he goes. If he gets distracted, keep him slowly moving around so that he will sniff and find a spot. Do this for about a month, then if he is going quickly when you take him potty and tell him to "Go Potty", start sending him off-leash into the yard from somewhere that you can see him from and he can hear you, like your porch. Tell him to "Go Potty" when you let him out and watch him to make sure that he does so. As soon as he goes, praise him loudly enough for him to hear you from where he is, and when he comes back over to you, give him a treat for going potty. If he never comes back over, then go to him to give him the treat. He should start coming over to you if he realizes that you always have one typically. Doing all of this should motivate him to go potty when you tell him to, even when you are not present. After he gets his treat, you can either let him back inside or let him stay outside to play in the fenced-in yard for a bit, whichever he wants and is convenient. You want him to get into the habit of peeing before he plays or goes for a walk though. If you think he needs to poop also and he has not yet, then remind him to "Go Potty" again and wait for him to do that also, then give him a second treat when he does. Most dogs need extra encouragement to remember to poop when they are outside. I suspect distraction is the main issue, but there also might be pet smells inside that are causing confusion. Make sure that you clean up all of his accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes, to break down the poop and pee at a molecular level, which will fully remove the smell for even his sensitive nose. Other sprays do not remove the smell well enough for a dog not to smell it still. Also, avoid cleaners that contain ammonia, because Ammonia smells like urine to a dog. If the house smells like pee or poop from his own or other animals' accidents, then that can lead to potty accidents. If you know that the previous owners had pets, then I suggest renting a carpet cleaner and cleaning the carpet with a carpet safe cleaner that contains enzymes, like Nature's Miracle and similar brands. Look on the cleaner bottle for the word enzyme. Clean any rugs or carpets that may have had pee or poop on them before. If you have hardwoods or tile, then mop the floor with an enzymatic odor removing cleaner also. Third, if Axle is peeing more often than every four hours, take him to your vet to check for a urinary tract infection or similar issue. Finally, go back to the basics for a while. Crate him at night and whenever you cannot watch him, and when you are home, clip him to yourself with a six or eight-foot leash, so that he cannot sneak off to pee. Take him out every three to four hours if he is not in the crate. Since you will already be going outside with him to take him potty on leash, teaching him the "Go Potty" command, and rewarding him with treats when he pees or poops, then the extra supervision to prevent accidents should help to ensure that he has lots of opportunities to be rewarding for peeing in the right spot while he gets used to the new location, and does not create a long-term bad habit of soiling the new home. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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