6 Tips for Potty Training a Stubborn Puppy

All your friends can’t stop talking about how cute your little doggy is and neither can you, except for one thing: that puppy is stinking up your house! But don’t fret, now you have it exactly where you want it to be. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. A puppy can be taught or molded whichever way you want, so even though there are a few mishaps, he/she can still be taught the way to go, unlike older dogs. So chin up, strap on a positive attitude, and let’s get this dog-trained positive reinforcement style with these surefire Tips Potty Training a Stubborn Puppy!

1. Set Up Boundaries

The first thing you need to do when Potty Training a Stubborn Puppy is to set up boundaries. Your dog has to be confined to a certain area while young for a couple of reasons, such as its own safety and the protection of your home. Puppies will bite everything and potty everywhere and that’s a deadly combination. Whatever they don’t bite, they’ll soil…. or both and it can get really messy, so you have to keep it in a confined space.

The comfort zone can either be a small room with a child-proof door or a playpen. Wherever you choose has to be well ventilated, free from dangerous objects, and of course, comfortable. Give your puppy room to move. Some people call it a safe zone, while cynics call it the danger zone, presumably because of all the mess that would be going on there, but that’s only for untrained dogs.

One advantage of the comfort/safe zone is that you can leave your puppy there for extended periods without supervision, which will happen when you are either asleep or at work.

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2. Teaching Your Dog To Use Paper Pads

There are two ways of house training your dog. One is to paper train and the other is to go straight to the exterior. Paper training is helpful when you can’t take your puppy out every time it needs to tinkle, or you don’t want to because it has not yet received all of its vaccinations, or there is a puppy-munching eagle on the loose. Whatever you choose is up to you, and both work effectively as an alternative means for Potty Training a Stubborn Puppy.

The easy way out is to begin by putting pads all over the dog’s area. It is going to the toilet on any part of the pad it wishes, but this is acceptable. After a few days, take away some of the pads. The pad is more comfortable to potty on, and your dog would have started getting used to it. After a couple more days, take out more pads. If your puppy hasn’t gotten the idea that it should only go on the pads, then put some more back in, or maintain the amount you have.

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3. Teaching Your Dog to Potty Outside

Once your dog is used to the pads, you can then move the pads outside when you want your dog to go potty outdoors. After your puppy has gotten used to going on the pad outside, remove the pad altogether, and then you will have an outdoor pooping puppy. Once your dog is used to doing this, you can then stop using the pads inside and out.

If you decided to forfeit using pads even at the start, you would have to do some guess-work. Typically, a puppy would want to relieve itself within 30 minutes of eating. Take your dog out five minutes after it has eaten, to a spot that will become its go-to area. Choose somewhere safe and comfortable. Dogs don’t like to go under pressure, so avoid the side of the highway if you can.

Dogs like routine, so wherever you pick, your dog would naturally want to return to it. You want somewhere close to the house as well. If you don’t have a garden, you can borrow your neighbor’s, you know, the ones who keep complaining about your dog. Kidding. Maybe. Some people put the paper on the street so it’s easier to pack-up, or an actual potty.

You should also take your dog out first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. What you don’t want is to ignore your dog until you’ve had some breakfast and be thrown-off by a foul stench while you’re trying to digest your cereal.

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4. Use The Magic Word

It is possible to use word-association to train your puppy when to use the toilet, but you need to start early and be consistent. As with all other commands, you can give one for doing its business, such as ‘go potty’ or whatever else you choose, and another for urinating like ‘go pee’. Keep the word simple and relevant. I can be very silly with dogs, so I like ‘tinkle’ and ‘boom boom’. Use the word or short phrase as soon as your dog is relieving itself. That will build the association and will in the future serve as a trigger for potty-time. Once done, follow it up with some words of praise and playtime, only if it did it outside, of course.

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5. Signs Your Dog Wants To Go

A sign of a successful Potty Training a Stubborn Puppy to handle its business outside, it will begin to show signs of discomfort when it wants to go. Dogs are unique, so it differs per dog. Some dogs start circling, and that’s a sign it wants to do a number 1 or a number 2. Whining, barking, or scratching at the door are other signs that it needs to go outside. Pay attention to whichever code your dog uses, as these attributes could mean different things. My dog circles when he is feeling bored and wants a good run around the neighborhood, so it is entirely unrelated to using the toilet.

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6. Building Consistency

Can I be honest with you? House training your puppy is a fantastic achievement, but it is not going to be easy or all that convenient. To develop the habit, you must be consistent with it. Using the pads, taking your dog out, and using word-associations to get your dog to pee or potty will require a lot of time, which you must be willing to give constantly.

If during your training your dog wakes you up in the middle of the night and shows signs of wanting to toilet, you have to get up, take it outside and wait for it to perform its duties. Yes, even when you’ve had a long day at work and all you want to do is sleep, because if you give it the impression that it is okay to toilet inside the house just once, the cycle could be broken and you would have to start your training all over again. It is easier when you have someone sharing responsibilities for training your puppy, but if you don’t, you can still get your dog fully trained in a couple of weeks or even less.

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These steps are for how to train a dog using positive reinforcement, and it is highly recommended to use this method for any breed of dog, even those you think might be really stubborn. You may have seen or heard of alternative methods which suggest that you should shove your puppy’s face into the mess it made (if it does its business inside the house) as punishment, but not only is it unhelpful, it is also rather cruel. The dog does not understand immediately why it is being made to smell its excrements, and it might even give it the idea it is supposed to eat it. Reward your dog for every good move it makes, and it will learn quickly that using the toilet outside will get it a reward.

House training your puppy must start immediately your dog enters your house. It is never too early to train a puppy. From the time they are about two months old, dogs are particularly easy to train, to about four months. If your dog has not yet reached this window or has passed it, just go for it anyway. As long as you want a civilized dog, you have to be persistent with training. Don’t ever get discouraged and give up. Keep going, keep doing everything you know how to do positively, and wait for the rewards. If you use the pads first, then the training might take longer than going outdoors directly but don’t make decisions based on time, but on what is right for you and your dog.

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