Potty Training Tips for Stubborn Dogs

Updated On: Tuesday, August 15, 2023 16:32:18 PM America/Los_Angeles

Is your pup hell-bent on resisting potty training? Believe it or not, our canine companions don’t misbehave just for the heck of it. As creatures of habit who thrive on positive reinforcement, dogs want something as basic and routine as going potty to be a smooth process that garners treats and praise. Nevertheless, some doggos are especially stubborn when it comes to training. So how do you potty train a stubborn dogWe’re here to give you a couple of tips for a smooth potty training journey for you and your strong-willed dog! 

Photo by fatty corgi

Maintain Consistency

Sticking to a regular potty schedule is one of the most important parts of the training process. Routines help dogs learn when and where certain behaviors are appropriate. It’s especially critical to stick to a routine during training so that your pooch gets clear signs about what they should be doing and when.  

Learn Potty Cues

It’s not entirely on our pups to engage in appropriate potty behavior. Dog pawrents also need to learn and keep an eye out for cues that signal when their dog needs to “go”. Whether it’s standing by the door or sniffing the entryway, learn what behavior your fur baby is using to communicate their potty needs with you. Just make sure you engage only with appropriate signals (e.g. waiting by the door or circling) during potty training to prevent encouraging inappropriate behavior such as biting or howling. 

Use Pee Pads

Using a pee pad like DoggieLawn can be incredibly helpful during potty training, because they offer a clearly designated area to take care of business. Plus, natural pee pads draw dogs in with the smells and textures they like! Wee wee pads can be especially helpful for dealing with impatient or incontinent dogs who may not be able to wait until they’re taken out for a walk. 

Try Crate Training

For dogs who are struggling with sticking to a routine, crate training can help instill new habits. Crate training relies on a canine’s natural instinct to not go potty where they sleep. In other words, crate training works with your dog’s intuitive behaviors instead of against their stubborn streak. 

Refrain from Punishment

Punishing actions or words can be extremely confusing for dogs who are going through potty training. Punishment only freaks a dog out and makes them less likely to go to the bathroom around you. This could lead to peeing in “secret” areas or sneaking away to go potty when they’re not supposed to. Instead, rely on positive reinforcement when your furry one goes potty successfully. Offer plenty of treats and praise so that they get clear signs that they’re on the right track!

Most stubborn dogs simply need a bit more time and patience to fully grasp potty training. Others may be struggling with environmental stressors or underlying medical issues that hinder their training. Consult your vet if it seems like your fur baby’s inability to potty train seems to point at a larger problem.