Maybe you have seen the meme circling on social media with the dog standing at the pearly gates and the gatekeeper is asking the dog, “Well, in or out?” If you have ever had to potty train a dog (or cat for that matter), you may relate.
There is no magic rule to potty training a dog. You don’t have to be the dog whisperer to do it either, although having a few helpful tips can really help. Here are three tips for potty training dogs that you might not have considered before.
- Retractable Screen Door
A retractable screen door may just replace the dog itself as “man’s best friend.” Depending on the breed and unique personality of the dog, house training can be easy, or it can be difficult.
One of the major hurdles for potty training dogs comes with the fact that the dog cannot tell you when it needs to go out. Eventually, they will learn this, but in the beginning, they realize it too late themselves.
This can be quite frustrating for the pet owner, constantly having to get up and down when they “think” the dog might need to go. We are never right however, and then accidents happen.
A retractable screen door is a fantastic way for your dog to let itself in and out when they have the urge. Once they know they have free access to the outside to “do their business,” the chances are likely they will learn very quickly. There will also be fewer accidents.
The nice thing about a retractable screen door is the fact that it does close behind anyone who walks through it (even the dog). It will let the air flow through, which is great on a warm day, but will still allow you to monitor your dog’s activities while never even having to get off the couch.
The magnetic screen door also eliminates the risk of injury to a dog getting his tail or foot stuck in a door. Moreso, there’s no danger of a dog running through a plate glass door that it cannot see. Installing a retractable screen door is easy, and a great way to not only help with potty training, but long-term convenience when your home and want your pet to have free reign of the property for potty breaks.
Puppies and dogs are a lot like us in that their bodies will regulate to go to the bathroom around the same time every day. To help potty train your dog, the best thing to do is practice consistency and make a potty schedule.
A 6-month-old puppy can control their bladders for about 4-6 hours. Keep in mind, this varies by pet and is never set in stone. You should always take your puppy out first thing in the morning. This part of the routine should be easy to work into your own. Whatever time you are up to start your day, your dog’s bladder will adjust to accommodate.
You should also expect to take or let your dog out as soon as you return to the house whether it’s briefly for lunch, or home for the day. You may also want to let them out right after a nap. And of course, about 15-30 minutes after they have a long drink or a meal.
- Patience & Praise
At no time does yelling, scolding, or punishing your puppy or dog help the potty-training efforts. In fact, it has quite the opposite effect. A puppy won’t understand the old method of rubbing its face in an accident or swatting him with a newspaper. (If you have done these things, you are a monster).
At any rate, praising your pet is the best way to positively reinforce good behavior and potty habits. You can also use food as a reward, but a calming and reassuring voice is a great consistent reward for your pet. It works with any type of good behavior and is all about the tone of your voice.
You must also practice patience when potty-training a dog. As mentioned, all dogs learn at a different pace and cannot be expected to learn a new behavior or routine instantly. Keep using positive reinforcement and always watch the tone of your voice. You don’t want the puppy to associate anything “bad” with the natural occurrence of needing to go to the bathroom.
There are several other tips and methods to help potty train your dog, hopefully these three tips will make it a little easier. There is not one right way to do it. Whatever works for you and your pet, and your schedule are what will make your potty-training efforts a success.