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Home Advanced Training Techniques Master Stubborn Dogs: Advanced Potty Training Techniques & Tools

Master Stubborn Dogs: Advanced Potty Training Techniques & Tools

by Kimberley Lehman
Kimberley Lehman

If you’ve ever found yourself cleaning up after your dog for the umpteenth time, wondering if they’ll ever get the hang of potty training, you’re not alone. I’ve been there, and let me tell you, it’s no walk in the park. But don’t lose hope just yet! With some patience and a few advanced techniques, even the most stubborn dogs can learn where it’s appropriate to do their business.

I’ve spent countless hours researching and trying out different methods on my own stubborn pup. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered some game-changing techniques that have transformed the potty training process. It’s not about working harder, but smarter, and I’m excited to share these insights with you.

Understanding your Dog’s Behavior

When it comes to potty training, understanding your dog’s behavior is key. I’ve realized it’s not just about teaching them where to go but also about understanding why they might resist in the first place. Dogs, much like us, have their own personalities and quirks. Some are stubborn for the sake of being stubborn, and others might have underlying reasons for their resistance.

Key behaviors to watch for include:

  • Hesitation: Reflects uncertainty or discomfort.
  • Circling or sniffing: Indicates they’re looking for the right spot.
  • Going to the door: A sign they’re learning but might need encouragement.

Identifying these behaviors can offer insights into their training needs and what adjustments might be beneficial. For example, I discovered one of my dogs hesitated because the outdoor area was too open, making him feel exposed.

Let’s jump into the concept of a ‘happy place’ for dogs. Dogs, like people, have preferences for where they feel most comfortable doing their business. By observing your dog’s habits and preferences, you can often find a spot that resonates with them. This spot becomes their go-to, making potty training more natural for them and less of a headache for you.

Creating a ‘Happy Place’ involves:

  • Experimenting with different areas to discover their preference.
  • Ensuring the area is quiet and has minimal distractions.
  • Maintaining consistency by encouraging them to use the same spot.

Patience plays a monumental role in this process. It’s tempting to think some magical trick will speed things up, but reality often paints a different picture. Every small step forward is a victory, especially with a stubborn dog. Celebrate those victories, no matter how small.

Finally, I’ve learned the significance of reward systems. Finding the right incentive can be a game-changer. Not all dogs are motivated by the same rewards. While some may leap for joy over a tiny treat, others might prefer a few minutes of playtime or a cheerful voice praising them. Experimenting to find what truly motivates your dog will make the training process smoother for both of you.

  • Treats they don’t get at other times.
  • Extra playtime with a favorite toy.
  • Verbal praise in an excited tone.

Establishing a Consistent Routine

When it comes to potty training, consistency isn’t just key; it’s the whole lock and door. I’ve found that stubborn dogs aren’t really stubborn—they simply thrive under a routine that makes sense to them. Let me walk you through setting up a potty routine that even the most headstrong pup can’t ignore.

First thing in the morning, right after their breakfast, and before we say goodnight, my dogs know it’s time to head outside. Like clockwork, we stick to these times. It’s fascinating to watch how quickly they catch on. Their internal clocks become just as accurate as mine, sometimes even more so!

Here’s a breakdown of our daily routine:

  • Wake Up Call: We hit the yard. It’s a gentle nudge to start the day right.
  • Post-Meal Patrol: About 15 minutes after eating, we’re out again. This helps them associate meal times with potty times.
  • Evening Round-Up: Just before bed, we take one last trip outside. It rounds off the day and sets us up for a good night’s sleep.

In between these main outings, I keep an eye on the clock. Puppies especially might need to go out every 2-3 hours. For older dogs, it’s more about reading their cues but sticking closely to the routine helps prevent accidents.

Beyond the clock, consistency in the location we choose is crucial. I’ve got a special spot in the yard that’s theirs and only theirs. It’s become their “happy place” for doing business. Establishing this spot has made a remarkable difference in how quickly my dogs have been able to stick to the routine.

But here’s the kicker: flexibility within the routine. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But, life happens. Weather, work schedules, or even just a spontaneous day out can disrupt the best-laid plans. I’ve found it indispensable to teach my dogs that while the routine is sacred, we can adjust. This doesn’t mean abandoning the routine at the slightest inconvenience but rather gently guiding them back on track as soon as possible.

Engaging with their natural rhythms and showing a little understanding goes a long way. For instance, if my dog’s sniffing around more than usual or hasn’t “gone” at the usual time, I’ll offer an extra trip outside. No fuss, no stress, just adapting to their needs.

Using Positive Reinforcement Techniques

In the journey of potty training a stubborn dog, I’ve learned some critical lessons. One standout revelation is the unequivocal power of positive reinforcement. Here, I’ll share some strategies that have been game-changers for me and could do the same for you.

First off, treats are your best friend. But it’s not just about tossing your dog a random treat; timing and choice are key. When they successfully go in their designated spot, immediately reward them. The treat needs to be something they go bananas over, something they only get during potty training sessions. This ensures they make a solid connection between the act and the reward.

  • Rewards to consider:
  • High-value treats like chicken pieces or cheese
  • Playtime with their favorite toy
  • Verbal praise in an excited tone

Secondly, let’s talk about consistency in praise. Being consistent with your verbal praise and affection will help your dog understand that they’ve done something great. I’ve found that saying, “Good potty!” in a cheery voice works wonders. It’s all about making them feel like they just won a gold medal.

But here’s where you need to be a bit of a detective. Pay attention to your dog’s potty cues. These can be subtle, like sniffing around or circling in a spot. Catching these signs early and promptly taking them to their potty area can prevent accidents and provide more opportunities for positive reinforcement.

Adapting to setbacks with a positive attitude is crucial. Stubborn dogs will test your patience. They might have accidents even after you thought they were trained. Instead of getting frustrated, assess what went wrong and adjust. Maybe you missed their cue, or perhaps they need more frequent trips outside. Use these moments as learning opportunities rather than setbacks.

Finally, consistency doesn’t equate to rigidity. Be flexible in adjusting your approach based on your dog’s progress and feedback. Some days might be challenging, but remember, it’s about the long-term gains. Keep reinforcing the right behavior, and gradually increase the time between potty breaks as they get more reliable.

By integrating these positive reinforcement techniques into your training, you’re not just teaching your dog where to relieve themselves. You’re also building a stronger bond based on mutual understanding and respect.

Addressing Challenges and Setbacks

When potty training stubborn dogs, we’re bound to hit a few bumps on the road. I’ve learned that understanding and patience are my best tools. Let me share a bit on how to tackle these challenges without losing your cool.

First off, expect setbacks. They’re not just possible; they’re part of the process. Your pup isn’t being stubborn on purpose. Sometimes, they just don’t get what’s expected of them right away. Here’s what’s worked for me:

  • Stay patient. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a perfectly potty-trained pup.
  • Keep it positive. Negative reactions only scare your furry friend and can make things worse.

Next, mistakes are learning opportunities. Missed a potty cue? Took your eyes off them for just a second, and oops? It’s okay. Each mistake is a chance to learn more about your pup’s needs. The key is to:

  • Not overreact. Clean up, move on.
  • Look for patterns. They’ll show you what needs tweaking in your training.

Adapting your strategy is crucial. What works for one dog might not cut it for another, even if they’re the same breed. Be flexible. If treats and praises aren’t doing the trick, maybe it’s time to try a new high-value treat or change the reward system. Just remember to:

  • Test different rewards. Some dogs go crazy for a particular treat or toy.
  • Vary the praise. Sometimes a good belly rub is more appreciated than any treat.

Consistency is your best friend. Dogs thrive on routine. The more consistent your cues and reactions, the quicker they’ll learn. This means:

  • Sticking to the same potty spots whenever possible.
  • Maintaining consistent times for meals, play, and toilet breaks.

Attention to cues is paramount. As we progress, staying alert to our dog’s signals becomes second nature. A little twitch or a certain look can mean it’s time to head outside. Keeping an eye on these cues and reacting promptly can save a lot of carpets and frustration.

  • Reaffirm the

Implementing Advanced Training Tools

When diving deeper into the world of potty training stubborn dogs, I’ve found that incorporating advanced tools can significantly turn the tide. It’s not just about being patient and understanding; it’s also about being smart and strategic with what you’ve got.

One game-changer for me was the introduction of a potty bell. Here’s the thing, teaching your dog to ring a bell whenever they need to go outside not only adds a layer of communication between you two but also empowers them to take control of their needs. Setting up is a breeze:

  • Hang the bell by the door you consistently use for potty breaks.
  • Every time you go out, gently nudge their nose or paw to the bell.
  • Praise them and open the door immediately after they ring it.

It might sound like a magic trick at first, but with consistency, they’ll catch on.

Next, there’s the high-tech approach: Smart potty mats. These aren’t your average mats. Equipped with sensors, they alert you the moment your dog uses them, making it easier to track patterns and manage clean-up. And let’s be honest, anything that simplifies cleanup is a winner in my book.

Training Treats always hold a special place in the toolkit. But, the key here is not just any treat but those that turn heads. Finding that irresistible treat can make them eager to follow through with the training. Remember, it’s the quality, not the quantity, that counts.

Finally, consistency is your best friend. No tool will work miracles without it. Each dog has its unique pace, and recognizing and respecting that will make all the difference. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered:

  • Potty Bell: Teaches communication and independence.
  • Smart Potty Mats: Offer convenience and pattern tracking.
  • Training Treats: Motivate and reward with their favorite treats.

Armed with these tools, I felt better equipped to tackle the challenges that come with potty training stubborn dogs. It’s all about finding that perfect blend of technology, treats, and timing. And while the journey may have its ups and downs, the results are always worth it. So, if you’re during this potty training saga, consider giving these advanced tools a whirl. They just might be the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.


I’ve seen firsthand how stubborn dogs can become potty-training success stories with the right approach. Using advanced tools like potty bells and smart mats isn’t just about making training easier—it’s about understanding and communicating with your furry friend on a deeper level.

Remember, consistency is your best friend throughout this journey. Don’t get discouraged if progress seems slow. Every dog has its pace, and you’ll both get there with patience and the right tools. Happy training!


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