Training Guide – Potty Training

Training Guide – Potty Training

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House Training
“How-To” Guide

This is a
step by step guide on how to properly house train your dog. If you have any
questions about this training, please contact Rebecca Panzica by phone at
(847)460-8725 or by e-mail at Thank you for your continued

Step 1: Schedule

When house
training a dog, you must stick to a schedule. This rule applies to all dogs,
young and old. You want to start out by taking your dog out every 2-4 hours
depending on the dogs’ age. If your dog is considered a puppy or a senior, you
may need to let them out more frequently due to lack of bladder control. Have
your dog outside for at least 30 minutes to give them time to relieve

Step 2: Sniff Walks

we recently discovered the power of the sniff walk. This walk allows your dog
to take you on an adventure using its nose. All you have to do is follow your
dog as it sniffs the ground and takes its own path. This lets your dog be a dog
and explore its territory. Your dog may use this time to find that perfect spot
to go to the bathroom. We recommend going on a sniff walk for at least 20
minutes each walk. The rest of that time can be used for exercise or play.

Step 3: Treats and Praise

Treats are
one of the most important tools to have with you when house training your dog.
Whether you are on a walk or just letting them out in the fenced yard. As soon
as your dog goes to the bathroom, you want to reward them with high value
treats and lots of praise every single time they go. As the days and weeks go
on, you can slowly wean your dog off the treats by switching it up by just
using praise. A mistake many owners make is waiting until the dog has come back
in before giving them a treat. While this may seem harmless, it actually can
teach your dog that they are getting treats for coming inside versus actually
going to the bathroom.

Step 4: Structured Feeding

This step
goes hand in hand with step 1. Structured feeding is all about routine. Your
dog should be fed at the same time twice a day. For example, at ISDF, our dogs
are fed at 6am and 6pm every day. We do understand that schedules can change,
but the more you stick to a schedule, the better it will be for your dog. As a
plus, you can then base what time you take your dog out, with what time they
were fed. Our dogs typically go out about an hour after they are fed. This will
depend on your dogs’ metabolism but once you know this information, you can plan
your schedule.

Notes: Accidents are bound to happen when
house training. This training takes time so please be patient with your dog. If
you are going to be leaving your dog alone for more than 3-4 hours, take your
dog out right before leave. You can also limit their water a few hours before
you leave or at bedtime. If your dog does not finish all of their food within
30 minutes of you putting the bowl down, pick the bowl back up and wait until
the next feeding.