My Dog Won’t Potty Train — Rebellious Dogs and Behavior Issues
Indeed, this question has been asked by many of us over the years, and the advice most experts give is usually the same. First, we should figure out when the dog must “go.” Then, we must take them out as quickly as possible or put a potty pad beneath them. Once they’re done, we give them a treat and repeat the same steps until the dog learns.
Now, don’t chuckle — I know this seems way too easy. But it isn’t. When I got my dog, I figured I could potty train it in just a few days. However, the little bugger kept rebelling until I finally screamed with despair — My dog won’t potty train, and it’s driving me insane!
Yes, a bit dramatic, but that’s what this process is like. Hence, I’ve decided to nip this dilemma by figuring out why some dogs are unwilling to comply with the rules. But first, let’s see why this issue even matters.
The importance of potty training our dogs
Figuring this out took away hours of my life. However, during the whole process, I kept one thought in my mind — if I didn’t do this now, I would regret it forever. My dog won’t potty train, and I need to know why.
Most dog owners will tell you that potty training has one sole purpose — we want to keep urine and poop out of our house, preferably as far away from us as possible. Yet, why is that such a big deal? Children poop their pants daily; some pooped on the floor several times until they are potty trained.
Well, first, there’s the property damage. A dog’s urine is slightly acidic, so you can imagine what it can do to wooden floors. In addition, if we don’t clean it up immediately, it can stain our tiles (in rare cases) or leave an odor so horrible that nothing can wash it off (very often).
But there’s also the issue of disobedience and raising a dog properly. We wouldn’t allow our children to make a mess daily, so why should we enable dogs to do so? After all, we are their “parents,” and it’s of the essence to show them how being obedient is much better than walking over their urine every day.
What’s more, a dirty house is uninhabitable, not to mention dangerous. Diseases and infections are all too common, and no matter how often we clean up after our dogs — there’s a good chance we’ve missed a piece of poop or two along the way.
What if my dog won’t potty train?
Now, notice the verbs I used here. I didn’t say “cannot be potty trained” or “shouldn’t be potty trained.” My dog won’t potty train — so it’s obvious the dog has a mind of its own and is unwilling to yield to my pressure.
And that’s where we have a problem. If you are someone who loves dogs but prefers not to train them, you’re in for a wild ride when it comes to potty training. Teaching a dog how to be obedient only gets more challenging as the dog grows older. What’s more, teaching an adult dog not to pee in the house is in a league of its own — some even say it’s downright impossible!
Yet, I say it is possible. All you need to do is put a bit of effort into it and learn how to recognize clear signs. In addition, you have to stop forgiving your dog because it pooped somewhere or peed in your bed. Of course, NEVER use force or violence. You have to implement specific incentives, so the dog realizes you don’t want to harm it — only teach it to live like a good pup.
However, we first have to see why a dog might not want potty trained to do this. Before we change the behavior, we have to find out the cause.
My dog won’t potty train because it suffers from anxiety.
One of the most common causes of why dogs refuse to be potty trained is anxiety. This impediment can be so grave that some might even resort to asking a vet for help.
Anxiety in dogs comes up due to many different factors. However, the usual culprit is that the dog is just too used to us and cannot imagine being alone for longer than half an hour. Once we are gone, they suffer internally, wondering if we will ever come back. Thus, to either comfort themselves or get revenge on us, they resort to inappropriate elimination.
Of course, anxiety in dogs is treatable, albeit we have to be careful. Just like humans who suffer from an anxiety disorder, these dogs require extra care.
My dog won’t potty train because it is scared.
We’ve all been there — we were watching a horror movie, and suddenly, something jumped out, and we immediately said: “I think I wet my pants!”
Well, that doesn’t happen only in the human world. Dogs are also prone to inappropriate elimination when they are scared. Fear is a significant cause, as the “accident” happens suddenly and without the dog knowing it’s doing anything wrong. It just gets so frightened that it immediately pees on the floor.
What’s more, fear breeds fear; if we react abruptly to this, the dog might get even more scared than before. In essence, fear makes a dog somewhat untrainable for the time being. We must first solve the root cause and develop a potty training strategy.
My dog won’t potty train because it is sick.
Of course, we can never remove illness from this equation because dogs are not themselves then. They are suffering and cannot control their bodies or behavior. We are teaching them where to poop or urinate is downright useless. They probably won’t figure it out on time, which could only cause us to become even angrier with them.
Like with fear, we must wait until the dog is back to normal before we create a potty training strategy. We will eliminate the root cause and have a “blank canvas.” From there, we can use techniques, treats, and all sorts of incentives, which will undoubtedly lead to positive results.
Or will they?
My dog won’t potty train because it hates me — rogue dogs.
Hate is a strong word — maybe the dog doesn’t like you!
All jokes aside, this is a situation we most often described as pure hatred. The dog seems to have gone rogue; even in places, we never thought it might do it!
Many things can make dogs act this way. Perhaps they are trying to mark their territory because they feel vulnerable. If we have brought another animal into the household or have children, they probably feel lonely and as if no one loves them anymore. In essence, they might be jealous, and the only way they can show it is to do what we hate the most — make our house dirty.
Sounds tricky, right? That’s because it genuinely is, especially if we are unaware that the dog feels like this. However, there’s another reason we might think the dog is doing this on purpose — we have a rebel!
Rebellious dog breeds
Below, we will discuss how you can improve your potty training strategy and help the dog understand where it can and cannot eliminate feces and urine. But before that, let’s consider a few dog breeds that might not be as easy to train as others.
You might have heard of these breeds before, possibly by talking to dog owners who were adamant about discouraging you from ever getting one such species. In hindsight, they were right, but that doesn’t mean you cannot potty train your dog.
We all love its rolls and its funny walk, but an English Bulldog is one tough cookie. This breed doesn’t care what we want, when we like it or how much we care about it. If they don’t want to do it, they won’t. Likewise, if they like what they’re doing, they will do it again, no matter how angry they get.
Jack Russell Terrier
A total furball of fun and entertainment, a Jack Russell is one of the best breeds you could get. However, when it comes to training these dogs, it resembles raising a child with ADHD. They don’t listen most of the time; even if they do, it doesn’t last very long.
A Jack Russell is more interested in how high it can jump and how much socks it can chew during the day. In addition, it is one of the most stubborn breeds out there; it’s persistent and doesn’t give up when it wants something. Unfortunately, the wishes of Jack Russell and the dog owner rarely match, so the dog wins every time.
Although it’s one of the most beautiful dog breeds in the world, there’s more to Huskies than meets the eye. This breed is clever, cunning, and able to escape even when we’re sure we’ve locked up the crate. Moreover, these dogs are incredibly smart — sometimes even more intelligent than us. Therefore, unless we’ve found an unlimited source of motivation, there’s a good chance they’ll train us instead.
We saved the best for last — the Beagle, known as My dog, won’t potty train because it’s busy sniffing the entire house.
This breed has it all — the looks, the claws, and, you guessed it, the behavior. If they find something that piques their interest (i.e., they sniff it out), they won’t care about potty training or any of our commands, for that matter. Moreover, they can sometimes be quite vengeful, especially if the owner hasn’t tried to train them properly. Most often, they have no problem peeing in the bed, the bathroom, on the floor, in the kitchen, and pretty much anywhere else.
Help, my dog won’t potty train! — tips & tricks
Now, I don’t want to beat around the bush — potty training a dog is not that easy. It can go from “He’s finally getting it” to “Oh, God, what’s that smell” in just a few seconds. Thus, before you even begin this journey, I want to provide you with a few tips and tricks that will make the whole process easier for you and the dog.
In general, we ought to start potty training dogs when they are about 8.5 weeks old. That’s when they can finally comprehend that they have needs and should relieve themselves a few times a day.
However, that isn’t to say it’s impossible to potty train an older dog. Some shelter dogs, who have never been trained, react well to a few simple techniques. Ultimately, it all comes down to your patience and eagerness to teach them.
Still, the earlier you start, the better the results. If you’ve just gotten a puppy, you’ll want to begin the training as soon as possible. Puppies have a weak bladder that won’t wait around for anyone. Thus, unless you want to clean up their mess every hour or so, you’ll create a strategy right now.
As with any training, dogs react the best to a routine. Hence, if you decide to train them in just two days, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. You ought to maintain a strict schedule when they can pee or poop and give them a treat every time they do it. More importantly, you must show them you’re not happy if they go rogue. Whether they’ve been good or bad — consistency is vital.
Be smart about it
You have to understand that dogs, and especially puppies, are sometimes not even aware that they haven’t relieved themselves completely. As such, mistakes can happen, and they’ll probably happen quite often in the beginning.
Sometimes, you will finally succeed, and your dog will relieve itself outside. But then, after 10 minutes, it might pee inside the house. Why? It’s still not aware of its own needs. The dog honestly thinks it has done it all.
So what can you do? Easy — you have to be smarter than the dog. Since dogs are primarily like toddlers, you must foresee when they need to “go.” And, even when they do, you must keep a close eye on them in case they’re still not done. That way, you can immediately take them out again to the place where they can urinate or poop, giving them yet another cue that should reinforce what they’ve already learned.
NEVER punish them
Whatever you do, never punish dogs for their mistakes. It’s your job to potty train them, as they cannot do it themselves. So even if they poop in the bathroom, they never shout or resort to violence. In the best-case scenario, they might get angry with you. In the worst, however, they might get scared so badly that you’ll have a hard time starting the training program again.
You can be strict but not passive-aggressive. Give them constructive criticism by patiently scolding them a bit, i.e., calmly tell them that’s not how you taught them to behave, etc.
As you can see, potty training a dog isn’t that difficult if you have the patience for it. However, if you have a rebellious dog, things might be a bit hard for you, especially in the beginning. Thus, learning why the dog doesn’t want to be potty trained is essential.
You have to know the root cause to treat the problem. What’s more, you need to test-run a few techniques until you find the perfect one. You might have successfully potty trained a Maltese in the past. That doesn’t mean a Bulldog will care what you want it to do. Luckily, brain training and developing the dog’s hidden intelligence will help — after all, there’s only so much urine and poop our floors can take!
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