Dog Potty Training is Easy if you Follow These Simple Rules!

Dog Potty Training is Easy if you Follow These Simple Rules!

by Vish P.

Even if you’re the most positive person in the world – dog potty training can be REALLY exasperating!

Whether you’re dealing with a puppy with no previous potty experience (always the easiest to train with sound methods) or a Pween (pup tween) or even an older dog with serious potty backlog, you’re going to run into all kinds of stuff that will have you questioning your very being!

Ok it might not be all that bad – scratch that – it’s BAD in all sorts of ways! Especially if you’re not equipped with the right information to be the head human in charge of the puppy potty training experience.

Successful dog potty training depends on a lot more than just positivity.

Good-bye Idealist! Hello Patient Teacher!

You’re the boss. And I don’t mean that in a bossy-boss kind of way. Your dog needs you to teach him where and when it’s appropriate to let loose. No matter how you look at the situation, you’re in charge. Your four-legged companion does not know any better. Even if your dog looks like he’s got it all figured out – he doesn’t. If he’s peeing and pooping where he shouldn’t on a regular basis, he hasn’t figured it out.

Accidents can and will happen even with trained dogs or pups in potty training transition but I’ll get to that later.

I just want to make it really clear that you, as the human parent, have all the tools necessary to shape, teach, guide and communicate with your dog.

I’ve written a lot about this topic and the most common feedback I get is how quickly one can start doubting oneself or the potty system we teach. It’s normal. Yes it can be difficult. Just hold off on the doubt and remember that no matter what happens – you’re in charge! Your dog potty training success relies heavily on your ability to be persistent, patient and on point at all times.

Reading Material

I’ve written quite a few posts on this topic and I’m going to keep writing about it. I’ve even written an entire step-by-stop guide with answers to the most common questions and solutions to potty problems. You must read the material. We only teach positive dog potty training tips and techniques. This material is pure gold when it comes to this stuff. Here are the links:

If you do one thing and one thing only – get our free ebook. Sure I want you to subscribe to HBD and would love to have you follow our blog. What I want even more is for you to have all the information at your fingertips in one easy-to-follow instruction guide so you don’t have to keep Googling for dog potty training help!

Da Potty Code!

The CODE is everything in lay terms. Pick up the reading material I mentioned above to understand how and why your dog does what he does when it comes to potty. Learn the different techniques available to you. Whatever you do – remember the following CODE because it’s everything you need.

Dog potty training simplified in its most rudimentary form:

    - Manage the Environment. Use a friendly dog crate, leash, specific room in your home and a puppy safe space to keep your dog localized during potty training.

    - Limit free roaming and playtime to when you’ve achieved successful potty in the appropriate place. An empty bladder means all-access play for a determined period of time.

    - Constant Supervision. When it’s time take your dog to the right place, look for signs. Use a friendly crate to let the bladder fill up so you can predict potty time. Then shape a schedule that works for all parties.

    - Punishment: No hitting, yelling, screaming or scaring your dog. This will potentially make your dog not want to do business around you. He will look for hidden spots or wait until you’re not around (which should not happen if you follow the previous step) to make ninja potty.

    - Mistake Management. Interrupt mistakes as they occur by directing your dog to the right location. Clean up the mistake using a cleaner that ensures no odor trace is left behind.

    - Positive Reinforcement. Praise and Reward. Let your dog clearly know when he’s done the right thing. High value rewards, lots of praise and love. GOOD DOG!!!

    - It’s Not Personal! Don’t take anything personally and own up to mistakes just as much as you do for progress and success.

    - Rinse and Repeat… Patience, persistence and focus are everything. All it takes is a few weeks of the regimen to see real results and oftentimes, solve the problem completely.

Dog Potty Training Warning!

Once you get the CODE – it’s easy. As I’ve always said – your dog will have you question the fabric of your being. Your puppy will have you doubt the entire process and system. Don’t fall for it!

The CODE works. Believe in it and do NOT deviate. The main reason why you might NOT succeed is because of a lack of confidence or focus when it comes to the really easy stuff. It’s not your fault.

Dogs and Puppies are masters of unintentionally (and I stress unintentionally) screwing with our heads. It’s one of the joys of caring for, teaching and loving any animal.

As I’ve already mentioned – accidents can and will happen when potty training your dog. Accidents don’t mean things aren’t working. No living creature is perfect and a dog with past experiences needs time to adjust. It’s perfectly fine – just follow protocol and realign your efforts. Everything will fall into place. Just be extra careful to clean up all trace of accidents to prevent recurrences.

Any healthy and happy dog can be trained to do business in the right place. Any healthy and happy dog can follow a potty schedule with practice. Whenever something goes wrong or a mistake occurs, use the right course of action (see complete guide and walkthrough) and everything will be fine.

Potty training a dog can be difficult but, if you keep everything I mentioned above in mind, it doesn’t have to be.

It’s one of those things that’s kind difficult even though it’s kind easy – mostly because we humans can be an impatient bunch sometimes and we forget we’re dealing with animals.

All I can say if that things will be a LOT easier if you trust in positive methods using the HBD system. Follow Da Potty CODE and you’ll do just fine!

If you do one thing before you leave this page – make sure you grab your free copy of the ultra comprehensive HBD potty manual. It’s got housebreaking covered from A-Z and doesn’t cost a single penny.

Share your potty stories!!! Good and bad – we want to hear them – sound off in the comment section below!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jana Rade June 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm

It also seems to depend on the dog. Without much training skill on my part, Jasmine was potty trained in one week! I kid you not! We used the same methods with JD and it took six months before he was completely and reliably potty trained.


Vish June 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Oh Jan – you definitely hit the mark with that one… It definitely depends on the dog. I completely forgot to mention that – thanks!!!

Every dog is diff for sure, as Asia wrote about in your special dog is an individual too. One of my fave reads!

Much respect to Jasmine… 1 week is tremendous but a testament that ‘it’s all good’ if you know what you’re doing. Halle took a couple of weeks to be 90% and another week or two max to get it right.

Charlie is another story. Being a rescue – came with all kinds of discrepancies, we had to work with him a few months to get him on a good potty schedule. Lots of supervision too. We’re sure he was allowed to potty indoors in some capacity – mistake or not. He picked up a routing and having a big sister helped I’m sure.


Jana Rade June 24, 2011 at 11:28 pm

They do tend to learn from each other.

I’d be also really curious whether there is a difference between males/females. Seems to me there would be (in favor of females that is)


Jennifer June 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

A dog is only as good as the human doing the potty training. If your dog is a stellar example, that means you did a good job. If an accident happens, it’s because people weren’t being as attentive and on top of things as they should be. 3 dogs later, I am still teaching my husband this. He thinks he can “watch” the puppy while watching football or playing computer games. Is it any wonder why all of the puddles happen when I’m not home? ;)


Jana Rade June 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Hi Jennifer. I mostly agree with you. But we did exactly the same thing with Jasmine as we did with JD and the rate in which they picked it up was very different.

So I agree that what the human does has a huge influence, I believe that some dogs just pick up things faster. Jasmine is also able to get creative. She’ll try one thing and if it doesn’t work she’ll try another. Our late Bruin, for example, tried one thing and if it didn’t work he’d just keep doing it anyway.

He’d walk up to the door and stand there. If somebody was around to see it it, good. If there wasn’t (people in different part of the house), that was that. Never crossed his mind that he could try barking or something.

For this reason we installed a bell on the door. Jasmine picked up immediately what the bell can be used (and abused) for. Bruin never really noticed it.


Jennifer June 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Of course. You covered that angle, quite well in your comment, Jana, so I didn’t feel the need to reiterate.


Vish June 29, 2011 at 2:17 am

Very good points…
Not quite sure about favor in terms of male vs female… wondering? interesting?

I do often come across pup owners that have issues with Males marking indoors (speakers, shoes) stuff like that which can hinder potty training if the marked areas aren’t properly cleaned using the right solution.


Jana Rade June 29, 2011 at 2:52 am

By male x female I meant: do females pick up things easier. Recently there was a study comparing male x female observation skills. Females won as more observant and deeper thinkers. And it is my observation also.

Recently we also had a chat on twitter about male x female and sloppy drinkers. It seems that all the females we know are very tidy drinkers, while males splash or spill water all over the place.

Thought it would be interesting to compare males and females, how easily they get potty-trained in comparison.

There seems to be strong parallel between dog and human male x versus female qualities too. LOL


Vish June 29, 2011 at 3:03 am

Some really interesting points… I will say that our dictator weim Halle does make a whole more sense (that’s not saying a LOT lol – I joke!) compared to our lil’ charming nutcase Charlie…

Halle does tend to have a much more attentive and quicker understanding of things as a whole. Though Charlie can be quick with other things – like learning tricks – he’s super fast. Much quicker than Halle. I think the differences in general from dog to dog, male to female, breed to breed, history to history make it hard… to make an assessment.

Curious if anyone’s done a study or gathered any sort of data on this from a dogs perspective? I’m very curious…


Jana Rade June 29, 2011 at 3:15 am
Asia June 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Helloooo everyone.

I just had to jump in – I totally agree with the study … thanks Jana for that one ;)

I dunno, it just makes sense to me.
There must be a parallel to humans too. Look how quickly girls mature compared to boys!

Considering I’ve always had previous males, Halle being our 1st female, I see a huge difference in terms of just catching things much faster, being a LOT more creative, adaptable to situations and attentive too.

IMO Girls Rule :D

Males being males tend to urinate by nature more often so I wonder if their potty control switch is better?

But then again Charlie has had 4 major accidents in less than 60 minutes … he drank wayyyyyyyyy too much water LOL!


Jana Rade June 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Ha! Yes, I agree with the parallel to humans :-)

Wow, 4 accidents in less than 60 minutes, that must be a record of some kind. :-)

One thing about the girl versus boy stuff, boys have much easier lives though.


Lindsay July 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Great tips! I love that you pointed out the importance of a crate, a leash, constant supervision and limiting the “free range” time the dog or pup has. I think that’s the biggest mistake people make – they give the dog/pup too much freedom.


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