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Housetraining a dog is the first priority for a new addition to your home, whether you have added a puppy or a recent rescue. Fortunately, training your Pit Bull to pee outside is a straightforward process once you have a strategy. The key to success will be consistency.
This guide will offer three different methods to teach your Pit Bull to pee outside that will work with both puppies and adults. All of the methods we suggest use reward based training methods that will help you raise a confident and secure Pit Bull.
You don’t have to punish your Pit Bull over and over for accidents in the house. If your dog is having accidents, chances are she just does not yet understand the rules. Your Pit Bull wants to please you, but it is your job to show her what you want in a way that she will understand. Read on to find out how.
The process of training your Pit Bull to pee outside mostly comes down to managing your dog’s access to being free in the house during times when she is likely to have to use the potty, and heavily rewarding her when she goes outside.
To do this, make note of the following potty triggers:
- First thing in the morning
- After a meal
- After a nap
- Every 1-4 hours, depending on the age and health of your canine
Your Pit Bull may have other potty triggers as well, but these are the most common. By being aware of when your pup is most likely to want to go to the bathroom, you can make sure to time your trips outside to give her the best chance to be successful.
Until your Pit Bull is housetrained, it is best to either be supervising her or have her resting in her crate. This will prevent her from being able to have an accident when you are not looking – behavior that can be very hard to fix after she “gets away with it” a few times.
Training your Pit Bull to pee outside starts with first realizing it is your job to try to prevent accidents in the house by getting him outside before he has an accident. You will also want to be ready to give huge rewards for every outside potty.
High-value food rewards are often the best choice, especially for Pit Bull who are usually very excited about food. Have some tasty treats on the ready by the door so that you can always grab one on the way outside. When he is a good dog, you will be ready to let him know!
If your dog does have an accident in the house without you being aware of it, there is nothing you can do but clean up the mess. Your dog will simply not understand if you try to punish him after the fact. All this will do is make him feel distrustful of you. Keep your dog under close supervision in the house before you are sure that he is completely housetrained.
The Crate Method
Why crate train?
If you have a Pit Bull puppy on your hands, we recommend that you crate train her. Not only will this help make house training a breeze, it will give you a lifetime of freedom to be able to have your dog travel ready with her portable crate. Start by making sure her crate is a welcoming place with plenty of soft bedding, fresh water, and some toys that she enjoys.
Every time you take your dog out of the crate, immediately go outside for a bathroom break. Make sure to reward every success with both praise and a reward such as food. In addition, take her out first thing in the morning, after meals, after naps and every hour (for puppies) or every two hours (for adults).
If you see your dog sniffing around suspiciously, it is another sign that she may need to go outside. Instead of using a corrective tone, excitedly go to the door and call your Pit Bull to go outside with you. Reward generously when your dog pees outside.
Put your dog in the crate for short periods if you cannot supervise her while she is in the house. This will prevent her from having an accident and give you another chance to trigger an outside potty by immediately taking her outside after a rest.
If you catch her in the act of messing in the house, use a very stern tone in your voice as you quickly get her on a leash to go outside. Then, make a huge deal out of any potty outside with praise and rewards.
The Pee Pad Method
When to use pee pads
Some folks find the pee pad method easier, especially for very young puppies that need to potty every 30 minutes or so, or adult dogs with incontinence issues. Think of a pee pad as a temporary solution that is a step towards a totally housebroken dog. This method will show you how to start with pee pads and end with a Pit Bull that will only pee outside.
Strategically place pee pads in each room that you regularly spend time with your dog. Put them as close to the exit in each room as you can. Make sure to change the pads often so they stay fresh. Meanwhile, try to get your puppy outside for regular potty breaks since your ultimate goal is to have a fully housetrained dog. Take her outside after meals, naps, in the morning and at night. Reward and praise every potty outside.
You will need to closely supervise your puppy when she is inside to catch her looking for a spot to urinate. As soon as you see the signs, guide her (or pick her up if she is small) to the pad. Keep your tone very positive and encouraging, and reward her with lots of praise followed by a food reward for successful use of the pad.
Over time, start trying to guide her to the pad rather than taking her all the way there. This will help her realize that she is making a choice to use the pad.
If you catch her using the pad on her own, make a big deal out of it with tons of praise and rewards. In addition, continue to praise and reward every single potty outside.
If you catch her in an accident, use a stern tone, take her to the pad, and immediately change your tone to a positive and encouraging one once you get there. You do not need to rub her nose in the mess she made off the pad – dogs don’t understand what that means. It is more likely to just make your dog afraid to use the potty near you, which will make it even harder for her to pee when on a leash.
To transition from using the pee pad to going to the bathroom outside (for instance, once your puppy can hold it for a few hours and you are ready to commit to getting him out that frequently) then start to only reward those times when he goes pee outside.
After a few days to a week of rewarding only outside, take the potty pads away indoors. Be sure to get your dog outside quickly if you see him over by where the pee pad used to be.
The Puppy Party Method
In order to use this method, you will need to keep an eye on your Pit Bull at all times in the house during the training period. Every time your dog has an accident in the house, especially if you do not catch him in the act, it will be harder to break him of the habit.
Be aware of the signs and triggers for when he may need to use the potty: Right after a meal, after he wakes up from a nap, and first thing in the morning. Also, if you see him sniffing around, chances are good he may need to go out.
Put some treats by the door so that you can grab them on a moment’s notice on the way out for a potty break. Whenever your Pit Bull pees outside, throw a Puppy Party! This means giving tons of praise for making the decision to go outside.
Just in time
If you catch him starting to have an accident in the house, use a very stern tone and move to him quickly to startle him. Then immediately get him outside, making sure you make your tone very positive once you are outside. This will give her the signal that going outside makes you very happy.
If you miss him making a mess inside, do not try to punish him for it. It just won’t do any good. Clean it up quickly to prevent a future accident and try harder to keep him closely supervised until housetraining is complete.
By Sharon Elber
Published: 03/14/2018, edited: 01/08/2021