This blog post will share some tips for successfully potty training a stubborn puppy. So read on and get started.
The gist of potty training — why we ought to potty train a dog as fast as possible
Does your puppy seem to think that they are the boss of you? If so, congratulations, you have a stubborn puppy on your hands!
While this can be frustrating at times, it’s important to remember that you can potty train your pup with some patience and perseverance.
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.
A clean house is the most significant benefit of potty training. Apart from a well-behaved dog, potty training 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.
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 possible 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?
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 doesn’t mean it will cause you trouble while 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 possible, 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 make 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 entirely independent. You are calmly talking to them about how vital potty training it won’t do.
This breed, in potty training, is not for the faint-hearted. You’ll need to be patient throughout the process and work on it daily.
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 brilliant yet ever so stubbornly independent. When appropriately trained, 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 friendly, warm hug.
These breeds can get quite extensive, and if you haven’t shown them who’s the boss in your house by then, let’s not go there.
The point is that with these two breeds, you must start potty training them as soon as possible.
Scottie is one of the most beloved breeds in the world. However, that isn’t to say it’s easy to train them — but not for 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, so having just one person train them is crucial.
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, beautiful 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 take a stubborn puppy daily.
Dealing with a stubborn puppy
You may use these tips when trying to teach your dog something. However, they are instrumental when you’re potty training a stubborn puppy.
In most cases, dog owners who have failed to teach the puppy where to poop or pee have forgotten to consider a few critical 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. 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 massive no-no in training. We’re much more significant than dogs; 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 get scared and then resort to doing the same things again to comfort itself or take revenge on us.
You have to provide the puppy with an incentive.
The most valuable 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 want and are eager to make an effort for. Otherwise, they won’t see a point in it 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, 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 get frustrated.
Potty training a stubborn puppy: A basic strategy that WORKS
As I said, the tips above will help you train a dog in no time.
However, when potty training a stubborn puppy, you’ll have to gather 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, 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 easier.
You can get a crate if you’re home a lot or have someone who can check on the dog during daycare. These will be a barrier between the puppy and your floors.
In the crate, you can place its bed and a potty pad (or line the bottom with newspapers).
In any case, a crate will serve as a den for the puppy, and since it will never want to soil its habitat, remember 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, treats, and cleaning products just in case the puppy 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 — add 1 to the puppy’s age in months.
For example, if the puppy is three months old, it can hold 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 quickly figure out when the puppy 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 out.
So 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 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.
You can use verbal cues often and take the dog to the same suitable potty spot every time.
The dog will pick up on the lines and develop a HABIT by maintaining a routine. That’s what we want — peeing or pooping outside has to become a norm for the dog.
So what should you do? The puppy would have to “go” every hour in the worst-case scenario. 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 Puppy. Use verbal cues
Finally, remember that all these steps should be enhanced with a few verbal cues.
If you 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 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 help with potty training a stubborn puppy.
After all, such puppies 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: 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 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’s “accident,” the odor will linger. Since most dogs love coming back to the crime scene, they may do it again if they sniff out some of their previous misdoings.
Therefore, we must 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 had to finish the job indoors.
Regularly brushing off stubbornness
We must make the puppy yield to our commands and wishes to win this battle. We will NEVER use violence to make it comply with the rules.
However, we cannot let it repeat its mistakes repeatedly just because we’re too lazy to do something about it. We have to take a firm stand, be consistent and never budge.
Final thoughts on stubborn puppy
Hopefully, you are ready to tackle potty training and willing to do it correctly. I’ve given you a basic strategy, but don’t be afraid to tweak it 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 pup.
The process will help you bond and build a long-lasting friendship with the newest family member!