Potty training may feel like a really long time when your dog repeatedly soils in your house and you spend most of the day cleaning up messes. If only Rover could go to the door and say “Mom, potty time!” Spared from the gift of voice, your dog will never speak out those words, but he may at some point, walk to the door and even bark to get your attention. Lacking opposable thumbs, your puppy’s only hope is that you will take notice and promptly open the door to “potty world”.
When Can You Start Training a Dog to Ask to Go Outside?
If your dog never goes close to the door or gives any hint of wanting to go outside, you may wonder how to speed up the process and get him to give more evident signs. The truth is, this process can start only once your puppy has attained better bladder and bowel control. Indeed, very young puppies don’t have a clue when nature calls and by the time they start realizing something is happening, their bowels and bladder have already emptied!
In order to train a dog to ask to go outside, you will, therefore, have to start with a puppy that has already attained better control and acknowledges when nature calls. If your puppy has started to whine, pace and sniff around as if looking for something before eliminating in the house, there are good chances he is aware of an impending “accident” and can start the process of training to ask to go outside.
How to Start Training a Dog to Ask to Go Outside?
The following steps will help you train your dog to be asked to be taken outside. Close supervision is a must to let this training program work.
- Watch your puppy carefully for signs of needing to be taken out. Pacing, sniffing, whining, circling, moving to a distant part of the room are a few signs. Be watchful for your dog heading to a place you cannot see her or behind furniture. Some dogs that have been scolded for going potty indoors will want to find a place where they cannot be seen to avoid being punished. As soon as you notice any of these signs, quickly take your dog outside to eliminate.
- Go outside with your dog and say “go potty”. If your dog eliminates, make sure you promptly praise and reward your dog.
- Repeat these steps over and over again several times. With time and repetition, your smart dog will want to anticipate you and will go to the door directly on his own. Don’t let these brief attempts get by without you noticing them!
- Make sure you show your puppy you acknowledge his need to go outside. Say something like “Outside?” and then reward him by immediately open the door.
As your puppy learns to go to the door, you can make things fancier by asking him to ring a bell to go outside. Simply hang a bell on the door know and smear a bit of peanut butter on it. As soon as your puppy touches it with his nose or licks it off, he will make the bell ring, immediately praise and open the door. You must be really fast here for your dog to make the connection between the action of touching the bell and being let outside. Repeat several times and make it a habit of not opening the door until he touches the bell. With repetition, your dog will soon ring the bell on his own.
As seen, training your dog to be asked to be taken out is a feasible project. Time, consistency and repetition will start paying off once your pampered pooch learns to alert you potty time is coming.