Things You'll Need
If you plan to bring your dog outside, you may find it helpful to hang a set of bells from the front door. Just before taking your dog outside for a potty break, help her ring the bells with her nose or her foot. Soon your dog will associate the bell with potty breaks and will begin ringing it herself to let you know she needs to go outside.
Do not scold your dog harshly if you catch him urinating in the wrong place. Calmly say, "No," and bring him to his potty place with a piece of soiled paper towel. Only scold your dog for going in the wrong place if you catch her in the act. Do not drag her back to a puddle to scold her. She will not understand that it is the location of the urine that is the problem and may even begin to fear urinating in front of you.
The amount of time it takes to teach a dog varies greatly from dog to dog, and potty training is no exception. Some dogs need to hear a command repeated 100 times before they really understand what you saying; others can begin to grasp it in under 10 repetitions. How you deliver the command can have an enormous impact on the length of time it takes your dog to catch on. The more frequent and consistent your commands, the quicker your dog will put two and two together.
Develop a potty procedure before you start training, and then stick to it. Decide in advance where you want your dog to go potty and which cues you will give her to indicate that it is time. For example, if you plan to train your dog to go potty outside, then start training directly outdoors. Beginning with newspaper or a litter box will only confuse her and extend the training process.
Determine how often your dog is likely to need potty breaks. Ask the breeder or shelter from which you are receiving your dog to give you an estimate. Remember that if you want to train your dog quickly, it is better to take your dog out too often than to risk an accident.
Set an alarm to remind you to take your dog to his potty place at the regularly scheduled times. If he is a puppy, you will also need to bring him to his potty place immediately after waking, eating, playing, or drinking lots of water.
Give your dog the cue to go potty as soon as you reach her potty spot. If she goes, give her lots of verbal praise and a treat. If more than a minute passes without any indication that she is about to go potty, then leave the potty place and return in a few minutes to try again. If you are training indoors, it is best to go to another room. If you are training outdoors, you should go back inside before returning.
Mop up any accidents with a paper towel and immediately bring a small piece of the soiled paper, along with your dog, to the potty place. Place the paper towel in the location you would have liked him to go potty and encourage him to sniff it while praising him. If you can, leave the soiled paper behind so that your dog can smell it again the next time you return.
Clean up after accidents with an enzyme cleaner to be certain that you do not leave any traces of urine behind which could attract or confuse your dog. Shining a black light on your floors can help you find puddles you would have otherwise missed.