How can I potty train my dog?

by Maya Baram
(Florida)

Okay so I have two cute boxer dogs and one of them we just got around a month ago and he wont stop peeing in the house. I’ve researched and researched and all I have found is that it might be a territorial problem but when he pees in the house its like huge puddles.

We have a doggie door so he can go through it whenever he wants and pee outside at all hours of the day but for some reason he just tends to pee in the house still. He knows the doggie door is there and he goes through it all the time and pees but he still pees in our house. Please help me solve this issue. We have tried punishing him and then placing him in a crate for 10 minutes but that doest work. We really want to keep him but its been going on for so long :/If he has to pee, he will pee on the spot even though he had access to the outside 24/7. please help me!

Our Response

Hi Maya – punishing your dog is not going to work at the moment – mainly because it sounds to me that he doesn’t know (A) Why he is being punished and (B) He doesn’t seem to know where he should be peeing. You can cure this problem – you will need to be consistent and fair – stop punishing your dog and start reinforcing positive behavior.

1. Attach a leash to your dog and take him outside – put a cue on this ‘potty time’.

2. Pick your moments to do this and start to follow a schedule – after eating, drinking and waking up (before bed time and first thing in the morning).

3. Take your dog outside and keep the leash attached to your dog – (have some treats in your pocket). Wait for your dog about to show that he is about to poop or pee – as soon as he starts to go – say another cue ‘Go Poop’ or ‘Go Pee’ something short and snappy and use the same cue every-time.

4. As soon as he does his business – give him lots and lots of praise (make a really big deal of it) – also give him a treat and some play-time.

5. If your dog doesn’t go – take him inside and place him in his crate – watch him like a hawk and if he looks like he is going to do his business – take him outside and follow the same instructions.

6. You need to constantly remind your dog where he should pee and poop. Please don’t punish your dog as he is not doing it on purpose he is doing it because he needs to be re-trained.

7. Remember that male dogs will also display different behavior patterns depending on their age – we have covered this is in our section on puppy behavior.

8. We would advise you keep your dog – take him to local vet first (to make sure there are no medical issues), then to puppy training classes – find a local dog trainer who can support you and work through the process – out of all the problems you could have – this is very curable.