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Home Training and BehaviorBehavioral Issues Master Stubborn Dog Potty Training: Bells & Grass Patch Techniques

Master Stubborn Dog Potty Training: Bells & Grass Patch Techniques

by Dan Turner
Dan Turner

I’ve been through the wringer with my own stubborn pup, so I know firsthand how challenging potty training can be. It’s not just about patience; it’s about finding the right techniques that click with your furry friend. That’s why I’ve dug deep into the world of advanced potty training to share some game-changing methods that have turned the tide for me and many others.

From understanding the psychology of your dog to utilizing modern technology, these techniques aren’t your average tips. They’re designed for those of us who’ve tried the basics and are looking for something more, something that’ll finally make the message stick. So, if you’re at your wit’s end trying to teach your dog where to do their business, stick around. You might just find the breakthrough you’ve been hoping for.

Exploring the Psychology of Stubborn Dogs

I’ve always been fascinated by the inner workings of a dog’s mind, especially those with a stubborn streak. It’s not just about being difficult; it’s about understanding what makes them tick. Through years of experience and countless hours of training, I’ve learned that the psychology of a stubborn dog is both complex and intriguing. To get to the bottom of this, let’s dive a bit deeper.

First off, stubbornness isn’t a trait unique to any one breed. It spans the canine kingdom, showing up in various shapes and sizes. What many might label as stubbornness is often a dog’s way of communicating confusion, fear, or even a lack of motivation.

Here are a few psychological factors to consider:

  • Confidence levels: Lower confidence might make a dog more hesitant to follow commands, masquerading as stubbornness.
  • Past experiences: Previous negative experiences with potty training can make a dog less eager to cooperate.
  • Communication style: Dogs and humans don’t always speak the same language. What we see as defiance might be a misunderstanding.

Delving into these aspects requires patience and empathy. By addressing the root psychological causes, we can tailor our training approaches to be more effective. For example, a dog struggling with confidence may benefit from positive reinforcement, whereas one that’s had negative experiences might need a more gradual, gentle method.

One of the most critical steps in unraveling the psychology of a stubborn dog is establishing a bond of trust and respect. This involves consistent, clear communication and ensuring your dog knows you’re both on the same team. Understanding their emotional triggers and thresholds can also play a significant role in crafting a successful training strategy.

By considering these psychological factors, we’re not just training; we’re building a deeper, more meaningful relationship with our furry friends. It’s a journey of discovery that requires as much learning on our part as on theirs.

Implementing Positive Reinforcement Strategies

When it comes to potty training, stubborn dogs can really test your patience. It’s not enough to just hope they’ll get it eventually; you need a game plan that’s as persistent as they are. That’s where positive reinforcement comes in, proving to be not just effective, but essential.

Positive reinforcement is all about rewarding good behavior. It’s the pat on the back that says, “Hey, you nailed it!” But it’s not just about treats (though, let’s be real, those help a lot). It’s about finding what makes your dog tick.

Here’s what’s worked for me:

  • Praise: Lavish them with it. When they do their business outside, it’s party time.
  • Treats: The higher the value, the better. Figure out their favorite snack and make it a potty-training exclusive.
  • Playtime: Sometimes, a quick game is the best reward. A little tug-of-war can go a long way.

Consistency is your best friend. Reward them immediately after they’ve done the deed outside so they make the connection: outside potty equals good stuff.

Timing is key. Dogs are creatures of habit. Feeding them and taking them out at the same times each day creates a routine they can latch onto. Predictability makes the training process smoother for both of you.

Finally, positive reinforcement isn’t just about celebrating the wins. It’s also about handling the setbacks constructively. Mistakes happen. Instead of getting frustrated, see it as an opportunity for learning. Redirect them gently, and keep the focus on encouragement and patience.

Implementing these strategies doesn’t just teach them where to go. It strengthens your bond and builds trust, making the journey of training not just about reaching the destination but enjoying the walk together, too.

Utilizing Clicker Training for Potty Success

I’m diving into the world of clicker training, a method championed for its effectiveness, not just in obedience training but for potty training our stubborn furry friends too. Let’s face it, getting a stubborn dog to understand where and when to relieve themselves can test our patience. But, I’ve discovered that clicker training can turn this challenging task into a rewarding experience for both you and your pup.

So, what’s clicker training all about? At its heart, it’s about clear communication. You use a small hand-held device, the clicker, to make a distinct sound every time your dog exhibits the behavior you’re aiming for. In the case of potty training, that behavior is doing their business in the right spot.

Why Clicker Training Works Wonders:

  • Immediate Feedback: The click sound provides instant feedback, clearer than any “Good boy!” or treat can convey. It tells your dog precisely what action earned them a reward.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Dogs respond incredibly well to positive reinforcement. A click followed by a treat is a powerful motivator.
  1. Master the Timing: Click the instant your dog starts to squat. Timing is crucial. Too early or too late, and you might end up rewarding the wrong behavior.
  2. Follow With a Treat: Immediately after clicking, give your dog a treat. This sequence reinforces the connection between the click, the action, and the reward.
  3. Be Consistent: Consistency is key. Make sure to click and treat every single time your dog does their business in the chosen spot.

Incorporating clicker training into your potty training regimen isn’t just about getting results. It’s a way to bond with your dog, building a language of clicks and treats that lead to clearer communication and mutual respect. It turns the sometimes tedious task of potty training into a game, one that’s rewarding for both of you.

Harnessing the Power of Crate Training

When it comes to stubborn pups, traditional potty training methods sometimes fall short. That’s where crate training swoops in, offering a unique approach that taps into a dog’s natural instincts. Dogs, by nature, seek a cozy, safe spot to rest—something a crate can mimic perfectly. Used correctly, a crate becomes a sanctuary, not a cage, helping your furry friend associate it as their very own den.

Here’s the catch though: crate training is not about confinement. It’s about creating a positive space and utilizing it to encourage good potty habits. The success of this method hinges on a few crucial principles:

  • Size Matters: The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Too large, and they might use one end as a bathroom. Too small, and it’s just cruel.
  • Timing Is Key: Short, consistent time periods in the crate teach your dog that they’ll be free soon, preventing anxiety. Regular outings after crate time are essential for potty training.
  • Comfort Is Crucial: Making the crate a pleasant place with toys and treats ensures your dog will be happy to enter.

When you’re not home, crate training can save your floors and your sanity by preventing accidents. It also teaches your dog to hold it until you return, reinforcing potty training even when you’re away. The crate method is beneficial for dogs of all ages, proving it’s never too late for an old dog to learn new tricks.

Through patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, crate training can be a game-changer in your potty training arsenal. And let’s not forget, it gives your furry friend a space of their own to feel secure and comfortable.

Embracing Smart Solutions: Potty Bells and Grass Patches

When it comes to potty training stubborn dogs, it’s crucial to think outside the box—or in this case, beyond the traditional potty training methods we’re all familiar with. I’ve found that incorporating innovative tools like potty bells and artificial grass patches can make a world of difference. Let me jump into why these solutions are game-changers.

Potty Bells: A Clear Signal for Bathroom Time

The concept of potty bells is as simple as it is brilliant. By teaching your dog to ring a bell every time they need to go outside, you’re equipping them with a clear and unmistakable way to communicate. This not only helps reduce the chances of accidents inside the house but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend through mutual understanding and cooperation. Here’s how you can get started:

  • Hang a set of bells near the door you typically use to take your dog out.
  • Every time you go out for a bathroom break, gently nudge their nose or paw against the bell.
  • Praise and treat immediately after they finish their business outside.

Through consistency and lots of positive reinforcement, your dog will soon learn that ringing the bell equals going outside for a potty break.

Grass Patches: Bring the Outdoors Indoors

Artificial grass patches are a lifesaver for those living in apartments or with limited access to outdoor spaces. They mimic the feel of real grass underfoot, which can help dogs feel more at ease doing their business indoors. Here are some benefits:

  • No Weather Dependence: Bad weather? No problem. Your dog can go anytime.
  • Easy Cleanup: Most patches are designed with a drain-through system for hassle-free maintenance.
  • Ideal for Balconies: Perfect for apartment dwellers with balcony space.

Introducing your dog to a grass patch involves similar steps to regular potty training—patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.

By leveraging these smart solutions, you’re making life easier for yourself and helping your dog succeed in their potty training journey.


I’ve shared some advanced techniques that can make a difference in potty training stubborn dogs. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for your furry friend and sticking with it.

Whether using potty bells to improve communication or setting up a grass patch for convenience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key. Don’t get discouraged if progress seems slow. With patience and these innovative strategies, you’ll see your dog mastering potty training in no time. Here’s to fewer accidents and a happier, more harmonious home!


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