Potty training is one of the most important things to do when you bring a puppy home. However, it is also one of the most challenging things you will have to do. Once you have been able to potty train your dog, you will never have to worry about house soiling incidents.
Do you have a dog who won’t potty train?
If you have been trying to potty train your dog to no avail, we will help you understand why. Most people think that they are probably doing something wrong leading to failed potty training. While this might be true, there are other reasons why your dog won’t potty train.
Reasons why your dog refuses to potty training
Incontinence caused by medical problems
Incontinence is characterized by leaking or voiding bladder involuntarily. Sometimes, your dog will leak his bladder when he is completely asleep.
It usually comes from medical issues such as urinary tract infection, weak sphincter, bladder stones, diabetes, and also kidney disease. In other cases, your dog might be just suffering from neurological issues, especially older dogs. Also, a dog with genitalia abnormality is going to be difficult to potty train.
If your dog has suddenly started voiding his bladder unexpectedly, you should visit your vet. The vet is going to rule out any medical issues causing incontinence. After a conclusive diagnosis, the vet will recommend the best form of treatment.
Aging dogs may also experience incontinence as a result of age-related illnesses such as dementia and cognitive dysfunction disorder. Dogs over the age of 9 years may start soiling the house even if they were previously house trained.
Incomplete House Training
You might have trained your dog but he still won’t stop house soiling. It could be that the house training was incomplete. Understand that to be able to house train your dog completely, it takes time and skill.
During housetraining, feed your dog on a schedule and also schedule hourly potty breaks. Now, when you delay potty training or alter the feeding schedule, you will be prolonging the duration of potty training. Furthermore, your dog will not hold it and instead choose to sneak to other places.
If you are punishing your dog for small accidents, he won’t complete the training. Your dog will go to other rooms or corners in his crate. Note that potty training is among the most important training in your dog’s life. It will also make your life easier in that you will never have to deal with house soiling ever again.
Some dogs are very stubborn and will want to do everything his way. Your cat might prefer a certain surface such as carpets, or soft fluffy mats. It could also be that your dog was potty trained on a specific surface and he won’t go anywhere else.
Other dogs, especially rescue dogs are used to going on the concrete floor. You might notice that he will keep avoiding the potty place and going to the floor instead.
When you have a stubborn dog in the house, you may have a hard time training him. However, you must come up with a way to make it work. Below, we are going to discuss the tips to use when your dog won’t potty train.
Use a crate (See Crate prices on Amazon)
Crate training is among the best methods to go for when you want to potty train a stubborn dog. However, you must use the crate correctly for successful training. Ensure that you get the correct size of the crate. It should be big enough for your dog to fit, stand, lie down and turn around.
If you get a bigger crate than you should you might have issues house training your dog. Note that crate training works well because a dog won’t go to the same place he sleeps. A bigger crate provides enough space to defecate in one corner and sleep in another. Your dog will fail to potty train.
Besides, if you are using a crate to potty train a puppy take him outside or to the chosen potty place regularly. Preferably, take him outside every hour for a potty break. During potty training, your puppy should not be left alone at home. Also, always lead him to the potty place immediately he wakes up in the morning or from a nap. Dogs take about 15-30 minutes after each meal to get the urge to go to the toilet.
Crate training also helps in training your dog to hold it. This means that even when you take your dog out of the latter, chances are that he will no longer soil the house whenever he has the urge to eliminate.
Differentiate playtime from potty breaks
Most dogs fail to potty train because they are confused between potty breaks and playtime. Well, you will need to be careful to differentiate the two. For instance, when you are taking your dog out to potty, stick to that and only that. Do not engage in any form of play even after he is done.
On the other hand, let playtime be exactly that. A good way to differentiate the two is to use different doors. For instance, when taking him outside to potty, use the back door. Ensure that you use it whenever you are heading to the potty area. When going outside to play, you may use the front door to lead him out.
Always get back inside immediately he is done.
Stimulate your puppy to eliminate
There is a more natural way to stimulate your dog to poop. You can be able to emulate his biological mother. Backing up a little bit, puppies depend on their mothers for everything, including to eliminate.
A dog mother will lick her puppies’ bottom in an effort to stimulate them to poop. You can imitate this by wiping his bottom with a warm, wet towel to perform the same function.
Learn your dog’s line of thoughts
In most cases, a stubborn dog wants to do everything his way. While this may not work when it comes to potty training. I mean, you cannot let your dog choose to go wherever he wants. When you have a stubborn dog, you should learn his way of thinking. Then you can trick him to think that he is winning and you are losing.
To do this, use a bell to alert him that it is potty time. Every time you want to take him out, ring the bell. He is going to associate the bell with potty breaks. As we previously mentioned, a stubborn dog wants to do everything his way. He will now want to ring the bell as well.
Therefore, make sure that the bell hangs at a place where the dog can easily reach. He will start ringing the bell to alert you when he needs to potty. Well, you must exercise caution to dissociate the bell with play sessions. Do not use the bell unless it is potty time to avoid confusing the dog. For instance, if you ring the bell as you go out for a play or exercise him, he will always anticipate for play whenever the bell rings. This will only confuse him even more.
Check your dog for anxiety and stress
Some dogs won’t potty train because they are anxious or under stress. Now, we often forget that even dogs can get stressed some times. They are even more exposed to anxiety that often leads to house soiling.
If your dog won’t potty train, consider checking on his emotional status. Have you recently moved from one residence to another? Maybe your dog is afraid of going outside and thus he prefers to go inside instead.
An anxious dog might choose to defecate on a sofa or on your personal items. He wants to feel safe even when you are not around. However, this can also be termed as territorial behavior, especially when your dog urinates on your clothes or sofa.
To ease anxiety and stress, avoid making changes in the household. Your dog needs to be most comfortable during this potty training period. Also, treat anxiety to minimize the chances at which your dog soils the house.
If he is afraid to go outside, you must associate potty breaks with a positive outcome. Rewarding good behavior works well to reinforce potty training. For instance, carry a meaty treat with you. Do not leave until your dog is done. Only present the treat after he has completed eliminating.
Rules to stick by when training a stubborn dog
If you are training a stubborn dog, you might experience a few setbacks. However, do not give up as I have prepared four rules to keep you going. They include:
- Never leave your dog unsupervised
- Establish a schedule
- Use rewards to reinforce the training
- Never punish your dog
Rule 1: Never leave the dog unsupervised
When you start potty training, you should never leave the dog alone. Well, as we have discussed above, a dog who won’t potty train wants things done his way. He must be supervised to ensure that he does not soil the house. The goal of potty training your dog is to ensure that he learns to eliminate appropriately.
Always have someone watch your dog when you are away from home.
Rule 2: Establish a schedule
Once you bring a dog home, establish a schedule for everything, including feeding, playtime and also potty breaks. This will make it easier for your dog to settle in. It will also ensure that your dog does not get confused about doing things differently every time.
Take your dog out to potty in the morning and right before bed. You might also need to wake up at night to take him to potty.
Rule 3: Use rewards to reinforce training
To reinforce potty training, use rewards. This could be a treat or verbal praises. Wait until your dog has eliminated successfully to offer a reward. This way your dog is going to associate going outside with a positive income.
Within no time, potty training is going to become your dog’s favorite break.
Rule 4: Never punish your dog
When house training your dog, house accidents are going to take place. However, do not punish your dog for that. Instead, clean up the soiled area thoroughly and remain consistent with training.
Punishing your dog will only make your dog hide when he is soiling the house. He will now choose infrequently used rooms to potty, where you cannot see him.
Establish verbal cues to associate with potty breaks. For instance, you can use the words ‘go potty’ every time you take him out. Your dog will understand what you mean whenever you instruct him to go potty.
Training a stubborn dog can be quite a task. However, the above-discussed tips should help you out to potty train your dog.