Housebreaking is the most important skill for domesticated dogs to master. It keeps the home environment sanitary, preserves your furnishings, and delineates for your dog which areas are used for what. That bolsters future training and makes for a more harmonious relationship. Though it’s certainly possible to figure out how to train a dog to pee outside, it’s always best to start them out as soon as possible, as puppies.
Training puppies to pee outside is much easier for numerous reasons. Their mothers clean up after them when they’re very small, so they are not accustomed to smelling their own urine. They also may have the experience of observing their mother and other adult dogs using the bathroom elsewhere, but not in the nest where they spend their infancy. Many dog owners consider crate training to be the best method. Any time that you are not engaged with your puppy, they should be cordoned off in a crate proportionate to their size. They instinctively do not want to pee or defecate in a closed-off area that they cannot escape, and will likely wait to be taken out. For this reason, the puppy, or even an adult dog, should not be left alone in the crate for long periods of time, such as several hours. If they hold it, the strain on the kidneys and bladder will become unhealthy and uncomfortable. Similarly, if they go inside the crate because they were left alone too long and cannot hold it, they will be very uncomfortable with the mess in their crate, and will not have been trained to pee outside. This tells them that they can only go where the mess is unavoidable to them, and that will make them miserable, on top of being lonely and caged in too tightly for hours on end.
How To Train Dog To Pee Outside
Puppies have very fast digestive systems, and will pee and poop very shortly after eating or drinking, so that gives you a clockwork timeframe in which to take the puppy outside to pee. Always take them to the same spot outdoors- the smell will remind them that this is where they go.
But what if you have an adult dog in need of training? It will take longer, but if you stick to the program, it can be done in a matter of weeks. To train a dog to pee outside, you must be able sacrifice swaths of your personal time, amend your schedule to suit the dog, and keep your resolve strong. All of this will pay off.
Schedule frequent trips out, and stick to it. Training a dog to pee outside involves making sure they can rely on the fact that you will be taking them out to pee before it is too late. The dog should be taken outdoors first thing in the morning, last thing in the evening, and several times in between. As with training a puppy, take them to the same spot, and be sure to praise them and offer a small treat when they begin to get the hang of it. Praise and positive reinforcement during housebreaking should begin to take place just as the dog is finishing their business. Do not wait even thirty seconds, and definitely do not wait until you have already taken them back inside. You want the message to be very clear- you approve of the behavior that they are doing at that exact moment. As housebreaking begins to work, reduce the amount of times you offer a treat, tapering down to none, but continue to offer lots of verbal praise. Dogs definitely understand and react to our tone of voice, whether they recognize the word or not.
Monitoring fluid and food intake is another important aspect. Remove water dishes two hours before bedtime to reduce the chance that your dog will have to pee at night, and have an accident while you’re sleeping. As to food, don’t leave it out where the dog can eat at will. Feed them twice a day, and take them outside an hour after they have eaten. Be patient; your dog may want to mosey around outside for a bit before deciding that they’re ready to go. These times are also optimal for a full-on walk around the neighborhood, because the system will be stimulated and bodily processes will be engaged, as opposed to laying around waiting for something to happen.
Do not become too discouraged by the odd accident. If you catch your dog in the act of peeing on the carpet, clap once. Afterward, be sure to clean the area with the right cleanser intended for this kind of mess. If any odor remains, it could attract your dog back to that spot. If accidents are happening too frequently, you should not leave your dog unattended. Staying alongside your dog at all times gives you the opportunity to look for cues that your dog has to go, such as circling, small whines, and sniffing the floor.
Finally, patience is the most important part of training a dog to pee outside. Do not punish the dog for having accidents. Punishing a dog by yelling, or worse, rubbing their nose in the mess does not teach them anything but more bad habits. In the future, this can teach a dog to avoid you and go pee or poop in rooms where you cannot see them. Even worse, they may have no idea what they have done wrong to anger you, and will simply start to fear you, leading to a host of anxious behaviors. Be wary of your emotional reactions, and adjust your behavior, especially if you notice that your dog does not want to use the bathroom in front of you, inside or out. It is not the dog’s responsibility or fault, it is all up to the owner. The owner is the mastermind of the whole idea, and the owner requires the most discipline of all. Be patient, be kind, remain focused, and your pet will follow.