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Training Your Dog to Potty Outdoors

Part of the Housetraining For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you’re training your dog or puppy to go to the bathroom outside, the outdoor potty area can be a designated spot in your backyard or wherever you allow your dog to do his business. Here are some housetraining do’s and don’ts to help your outdoor trainee get to know his bathroom manners faster and more effectively:

  • Do set up your dog’s crate before you bring him home.

  • Do choose your dog’s outdoor potty area before you bring him home.

  • Do notice your dog’s pre-potty routine.

  • Do take your puppy out at least every one to two hours when you first bring him home.

  • Do use the same words and take the same route to the potty spot every time you take your dog out.

  • Do praise and treat your dog for using his outdoor potty spot.

  • Do distract your dog if he’s about to unload in the house, and get him outside to his potty place as quickly as possible so he can do his business where he’s supposed to.

  • Don’t punish your dog for having a potty accident.

  • Don’t give your untrained puppy or dog the run of the house unless you’re right there to watch him.

  • Don’t place your dog in prolonged solitary confinement, either in the crate or in your yard.

  • Don’t distract your puppy when he’s eliminating in his potty area.

  • Don’t expect your puppy to hold it all day while you’re at work.

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