Potty Training A Stubborn Puppy — Don’t Lose Your Mind Just Yet
Potty training a stubborn puppy may seem like mission impossible at first. After all, we all know that stubbornness is a trait one cannot get rid of without putting in the effort. Yet, I think it is still possible, purely because I’ve gone through it with my dog too.
Today, I’m going to shed some light on why potty training a stubborn puppy is difficult and the most common problems that may arise. In addition, I’ll talk about breeds that give dog owners the most trouble, as well as some other tips that may not be directly related to potty training but can make your life a whole lot easier. Let’s get started!
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The gist of potty training — why we ought to potty train a dog as fast as possible
Now, I know what you might be thinking — potty training is important because we don’t want to step into a puddle of urine every morning. More importantly, we don’t want to ruin our shoes by failing to avoid a poopy obstacle.
However, potty training can bring you additional benefits. First of all, any sort of training can help the dog live a long and prosperous life. Think about it — if we weren’t “trained” by our parents, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Thus, raising a puppy properly means we will have to resort to some training techniques at least once in their lifetime.
Besides, puppies (and older dogs too) thrive when they have an authority figure nearby. They are eager to please, cannot talk back to us and generally want to make us happy — or at least it seems that way. In any case, we ought to tweak their behavior whenever possible, as that will enhance our friendship and truly make them our BFFs.
The greatest benefit of potty training, apart from a well-behaved dog, is a clean house. Furthermore, if our puppy learns where it can and cannot relieve itself, our floors will stay damage-free for many years to come.
However, we mustn’t forget that having urine and feces-covered floors is not just unhygienic but downright dangerous. Bacteria love when our house looks like a total dump, so they will do everything in their power to spread as much as possible and make themselves at home. We, however, have to stop that by either cleaning up after our dogs or, better yet — potty training them so well that they never even think about soiling the floors again.
As stubborn as a mule — which breed will give us the most trouble?
Now, before I mark these breeds as “a bit troublesome — still cute,” I want you to know that every puppy is different. Just because your furball belongs to one of these breeds, it doesn’t mean it will cause you trouble while you’re trying to potty train it. That being said, these breeds have become notorious due to their stubbornness:
Even though this is one of the cutest dog breeds out there, Beagles are the equivalent of a curious, stubborn toddler. They will sniff everything in the house, try to destroy as many things as they can, and even get revenge on you if you cross them. They are sometimes too independent to be tamed, but it’s possible. Just know that you will have to put in extra effort to make them comply with your rules.
Jack Russell Terrier
Have you ever seen those battery-powered stuffed animals that can walk, talk, and possibly even jump up and down? Well, that’s what a Jack Russell Terrier does too. This breed is mischievous, energetic and quite independent. Calmly talking to them about how important potty training it won’t do. In essence, this breed, at least when it comes to potty training, is not for the faint-hearted. You’ll need to be patient throughout the whole process and work on it every single day.
Rottweiler and Dogo Argentino
I’ve put these two breeds together, as these dogs are not stubborn because they are too energetic and possibly have ADHD (I’m looking at you, Jack Russells of the world). They are highly intelligent, yet ever so stubbornly independent. When trained properly, they are a dream come true. However, you won’t just need patience and perseverance to potty train them — you’ll also have to be strong enough to protect yourself if they decide to give you a nice, warm hug. These breeds can get quite big, and if you haven’t shown them who’s the boss in your house by then…well, let’s not go there. The point is — with these two breeds, you have to start potty training them as soon as possible.
Scottie is definitely one of the most beloved breeds in the world. However, that isn’t to say it’s easy to train them — but not for the obvious reasons. Indeed, Scotties share their origin with William Wallace, so you can expect them to be very strong-willed. Still, they thrive when they find an authority figure, which is why it’s crucial to have just one person train them. Otherwise, they won’t know who they should obey and will probably decide not to “play” anymore.
Potty Training A Stubborn Puppy. Other Breeds
Other breeds that might cause you some trouble if you’re not sure how to approach potty training a stubborn puppy:
- Afghan Hound
- English Bulldog
- Chinese Shar-Pei
- Siberian Husky
- Tibetan Mastiff
Remember — all these dogs can be good-natured, wonderful pets. However, they have a stubborn streak only the most persistent dog owners can handle. Thus, it’s crucial to learn a bit about how you can handle a stubborn puppy on a daily basis.
Potty Training A Stubborn Puppy. Dealing with a stubborn puppy
You may use these tips whenever you’re trying to teach your dog something. However, they are especially useful when you’re potty training a stubborn puppy. In most cases, dog owners who have failed to teach the pooch where to poop or pee have forgotten to consider a few important factors:
You cannot teach a stubborn puppy anything in just a few days.
Rushing through each “training session” and hoping to get it over within a day or two will only lead to a total disaster. Puppies are too young to understand why you’re angry about them peeing on the floor. More importantly, their bladder is tiny; they need to be taken outside to pee or poop at least every hour or so. Therefore, know that the process will be long and hard, but eventually, you will succeed.
If you’re not consistent, you’ll fail.
There’s no need to beat around the bush here. In order to train a stubborn puppy to go potty outside or not to jump on the couch, you have to hold your ground every single day. You cannot say it’s alright one day and then show your anger the next. It doesn’t work like that, and it never will. You have to be persistent with your verbal cues, potty training schedule, and rewards so that you don’t confuse the puppy and hinder its progress.
You cannot use punishment to manipulate the puppy.
Spanking the puppy or any other type of violent behavior is a huge no-no when it comes to training. We’re much bigger than dogs, and in the end, they are our pets, not our equals. As such, we must never engage in potty training a stubborn puppy by spanking it when it pees on the floor or shouting at it if it poops under the table. The puppy will just get scared and then resort to doing the same things all over again so as to comfort itself or take revenge on us.
You have to provide the puppy with an incentive.
The most useful incentives when it comes to training a puppy are rewards. However, you cannot just pet the dog and call it a day. You have to offer something they really want and are eager to make an effort for. Otherwise, they won’t see a point in it all and will stop listening.
If mistakes happen, clean up and move on.
No need to shout or fall into despair. If the puppy makes a mistake that you believe it shouldn’t have made, you cannot punish it or even pout because of it. If it soils the floor, just clean it (preferably with something that will eliminate the odor) and move on. Making a big deal out of it won’t help the puppy learn faster — you’ll just get frustrated.
As I said, the tips given above will help you train a dog in no time at all. However, when it comes to potty training a stubborn puppy, you’ll have to gather some supplies and stick to a schedule.
Here’s the strategy I would use if I were you:
Get the supplies
If you have a backyard, then great — you have a real shot at potty training a stubborn puppy. However, even if you don’t, there are a few things you could get that would make the whole process a lot easier.
If you’re home a lot or have someone who can check on the dog during the day, you can get a crate. These will serve as sort of a barrier between the puppy and your floors. You can place its bed and a potty pad (or line the floor with newspapers) in the crate.
In any case, a crate will serve as a den for the puppy, and since it will never want to soil its own habitat, it will refrain from peeing or pooping there. Still, keep in mind that you cannot leave the puppy there for more than a few hours (even an hour is too much for some puppies). You’ll get the best results if you potty train outside from the start.
Also, throughout the process, you’ll need a leash, some treats, and cleaning products just in case the pooch has an accident.
Figure out when the puppy has to “go”
Most dog owners use a simple formula to determine how much the puppy can hold it in. Usually, it works — just add 1 to the puppy’s age in months. For example, if the puppy is three months old, it can hold it in for four hours. Or, in other words, we’d have to take the puppy outside to go potty every four hours.
Still, I wouldn’t rely on this if I were you. You can easily figure out when the pooch has to “go” by closely monitoring it (if possible). Until it learns how to go potty outside, you’ll have to keep an eye on it. It will be with you 24/7, either inside or outside. So just take your time and watch out for the signs that it has to “go,” which are:
- Sniffing the floor
- Wandering off even though it was playing just a few moments ago
- The puppy seems distracted in general
- It doesn’t want to play or get a treat
- The puppy is trying to get to the scene of one of its previous “accidents.”
Take the puppy outside so that it can go potty as often as possible
This is the tricky bit: potty training a stubborn puppy will require you to take it out as much as possible. That way, you can use verbal cues often and take the dog to the same suitable potty spot every time. By maintaining a routine, the dog will pick up on the cues, and it will develop a HABIT. That’s what we want — peeing or pooping outside has to become a norm for the dog.
So what should you do? In the worst-case scenario, the puppy would have to “go” every hour. Therefore, set the alarm to remind you to take it outside.
You have to establish this routine and stick to it every single day. However, note that there are certain times when a puppy usually has to pee or poop:
- After a play session
- In the morning
- After it has eaten or drank some water
- When it has been active for a decent amount of time (running around, rolling on the floor, etc.)
- During the night.
Potty Training A Stubborn Puppy. Use verbal cues
Finally, remember that all these steps should be enhanced with a few verbal cues. If you just take the puppy out and stare at it until it “goes,” there’s no way it will understand what you want it to do. However, if you take it out and say something like “Go potty” every single time, it will take that as a hint. Over time, it will learn that it should pee and/or poop on that cue.
Granted, it won’t always work, as we cannot predict when a puppy has to “go,” no matter what formula we use. But it will definitely help with potty training a stubborn puppy. After all, such puppies just need an authority figure who will show them the ins and outs of being a dog. Sure, you don’t have as much hair as some of their friends, and you certainly don’t love chewing shoes — but you are their owner (and future BFF). In essence, you’re all they have in this world.
Common problems with potty training a stubborn puppy: setting ourselves up for failure
Finally, let’s address some things that might stop us from successfully potty training a puppy:
Expecting the dog to tell us when it has to go
We can keep an eye on the signs, but we cannot possibly expect the dog to remind us to take it outside.
Failing to teach the puppy to hold it in
Potty training also entails showing the dog that it will sometimes have to wait a bit until it can go potty. However, if we leave the door to our backyard open all the time, for example, the puppy will roam around, peeing every few seconds. Thus, it won’t know when it has to wait — it’ll want to “go” immediately, even when it’s not urgent.
Not cleaning properly
If we don’t clean up after a dog has an “accident,” the odor will linger. Given that most dogs love coming back to the scene of the crime, if they sniff out some of their previous misdoings, they may do it again. Therefore, we have to clean up each mistake with something that won’t harm the puppy but will leave that area squeaky clean.
Refusing to wait
Potty training a puppy is both awaiting and a guessing game. We have to guess when it has to go, and then when we take it outside — we have to wait for the results. That means we should stay out for about 10 minutes or so. If we take the dog inside after just a minute or two, it might pee or poop on the floor. It didn’t have time to relieve itself “completely,” so it has to finish the job indoors.
Regularly brushing off stubbornness
In order to win this battle, we have to make the puppy yield to our commands and our wishes. We will NEVER use violence to make it comply with the rules. However, we cannot let it repeat its mistakes over and over again just because we’re too lazy to do something about it. We have to take a firm stand, be consistent and never budge. Only that way will we become an authority figure in our puppy’s eyes.
Final thoughts on potty training a stubborn puppy
Hopefully, you are now ready to tackle potty training and are willing to do it the right way. I’ve given you a basic strategy, but don’t be afraid to tweak it a bit according to your needs and preferences.
Potty training a stubborn puppy takes a lot of patience, not to mention time and effort. It’s the same with any other type of training — we have to tap into our dog’s hidden intelligence and give it the tools it needs to thrive. Therefore, never despair and learn to enjoy this time with your pooch. The whole process will help you bond and build a long-lasting friendship with the newest member of your family!