Potty House Training
Limiting Sophie to one room and slowly adding house space taught her that the home was home. She couldn’t choose one room as her “potty” room and another as her “living room”. My job was the biggest help with potty training since I worked from home. I lived in the family room with Sophie, and every 15 minutes I would take her outside to go potty. We also used a specific term to say to her when taking her out, “go potty” was ours.
I also wanted to train her to ring a bell to go to the bathroom, so we hung a bell at the back door. When my 15 minute timer would go off, I would pick up Sophie and walk her to the back door. I would use her paw to ring the bell and say “go potty”. With some tasty treats in my pocket, we would walk out to our spot in the yard. I’d sit her down and say “go potty” again. I’d give her a minute and as soon as she went potty, I would praise her, “good girl”. When she was done going, I’d give her a treat and say “good potty”.
We continued this gradually increasing the time limits by about 5 minutes every couple of days. After 2 weeks I felt confident that she understood what was going on. After a month we added in our back door space to her living space and she started using the bell freely to notify us she needed to go to the bathroom.
My biggest regret is that Sophie got scared off by neighbor dogs from the one spot we started training her on, so we got lazy on taking her to a specific spot in the yard so we’d allow her free choice for her bathroom. I highly regret that we didn’t immediately establish a new potty spot, it makes poop pick up much easier! And as no one wants to have to pick up excess poop, let’s talk about how important food is in bringing home a puppy!