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People often fail to realize quite how cute a Pit Bull puppy is until they see one in person. They have a tremendous amount of energy and their tail seems to wag non-stop. Fortunately, your Pit Bull puppy is no different. However, there are some occasions when his tail isn’t wagging. For example, when you come downstairs and he’s had an accident and knows you won’t be too happy. These accidents are becoming a regular occurrence and you’re getting fed up with spending time on your hands and knees cleaning up pee.
Training him to pee outside will only bring benefits. No more smell of urine coming from your floors. No more holding your breath when you turn on the downstairs light each morning. No more stressing about taking him to friends' houses. Lastly, you won’t have to worry about your young children coming into contact with potentially harmful bacteria.
The good news is, training a Pit Bull puppy to pee outside is relatively straightforward. The most important part of the training will be getting him into a consistent routine. If you can do that, half the battle will already be won. You will also need to motivate him to only go outside. Fortunately, treats and toys can both make that easier. Finally, you will need to make his new outside toilet a place where he feels comfortable and relaxed.
If he’s eager to please and fairly receptive, you could see results in a matter of days. However, if this habit has already become rather cemented then you may need a couple of weeks. Get this training right and you can stop buying antibacterial spray as often as you purchase milk. You’ll also be able to relax letting him roam around the house unsupervised.
Before you can get to work, you’ll need to collect a few bits. Stock up on tasty treats or small pieces of his favorite food, like cheese. You will also need a clicker for one of the methods.
You will need to set aside time throughout the day for training. The more frequently you are there, the sooner you will be able to stamp out the habit. A training leash will also be required.
Once you have the above, just bring patience and some cleaning equipment, then work can begin!
The Routine Method
Rise and shine
Secure him to a leash and head out the door to take him for a pee as soon as he wakes up. If he knows he will get to go every morning, his body clock will soon adjust. This will also make it much easier for him to hold it at night.
Secure him to a leash again when lunch time arrives and head back to a toilet spot. Again this is about getting him into a regular routine of going outside. Puppies can typically only "hold it" for an hour for each month of their age, so you may also need to take him out mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
Once he has had his dinner he will also need to go back out for a pee. If he’s always outside when he needs to go, he will soon get into the habit of only going outside. Note he may also need to go out again just before bed.
Regular food and water
There’s no use getting him into a consistent toilet routine if you don’t feed him his meals at the same time. You need to get his body clock on your terms. So feed him his meals at the same times each day and also ensure his water bowl is regularly topped up.
Don’t punish him
If he does have an accident, it’s important you don’t punish him. Instead, clean up the mess thoroughly and remain calm. If you scare him he may start peeing out of submission and then you will have an even bigger hurdle to overcome.
The Appealing Toilet Method
Make sure you take your Pit Bull puppy to the same spot each day. If he has been there before, he will feel more relaxed and be more likely to go there again.
Make sure you give him some privacy when he’s about to go for a pee. He may look brave and tough, but just like humans, he wants some alone time when he needs to go for a pee. So turn around.
If he seems uneasy and doesn’t want to go, wipe some remnants of his last toilet visit down. If he can smell that he’s been there already, he’ll be more likely to go there again.
As soon as he does pee, give him a tasty treat. You need to get him associating peeing outside with positive consequences. You can also click if you use a clicker and give him some verbal praise. Just make sure he gets his reward within a few seconds of finishing his pee.
If you see him sniffing around inside like he is about to pee, quickly pick him up and put him outside. Every time he pees inside, the end result is pushed back further. So be vigilant when he’s in the house.
The Verbal Cue Method
Take him out to pee outside regularly throughout the day. You need to get him in a consistent routine and increase the odds of him being in the right place at the right time. Also, make sure you have some treats with you when you head outside.
When you see him sniffing around and about to pee, issue a ‘toilet time’ command. Give in an animated, playful voice. Pit Bulls, like most dogs, learn best when they think they’re playing a game. You can use any word or phrase you like for the command, just be sure to stick with the same one throughout training.
As soon as he has finished peeing, go over and give him a reward. If you use a clicker, now is the time to click. The greater the reward, the more likely he is to repeat the behavior again, so don’t hold back.
Bring forward the cue
Give this instruction every time he pees outside. He will soon start associating the command with the action. In fact, the instruction will become a trigger. You can then give the command whenever you need to take him outside or want him to go.
Lose the treats
One he’s fully used to the command and is in a regular routine of peeing outside, you can slowly start to cut out the treats. Peeing outside will now have become habit.
By James Barra
Published: 03/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021