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How do you potty train a dog using positive reinforcement?

I’m doing the whole ‘positive reinforcement’ training with my dogs (they’re a lot happier now, which I love) and I was wondering how you could potty train a dog using positive reinforcement…? I mean, I don’t want to yell at them or anything, but I’m not sure exactly how I should go about training them not to go in the house without correcting their mistakes.

Could you possibly help?
Maybe a link to a website that explains it good?

Thanks in advance. 🙂

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9 Responses to “How do you potty train a dog using positive reinforcement?”

  1. Melissa said :

    You praise them when they potty outside, give them treats so they associate pottying in the correct spot with food.
    When you catch them having an accident you sternly say “NO!”

  2. Tea said :

    Try to give treats whenever your dog goes where you want him/her to go. Maybe this site can help some:

  3. Aduial said :

    I am a positive reinforcement trainer. Using it to potty train your dog is easy. Here’s what you do:

    Set up a schedule to take your pup outside on leash every couple of hours. Stay outside for around 20 minutes at a time. When he goes outside then you praise and reward. When he has an accident in the house you don’t yell at him or scold him. If you catch him in the act you can give him a “no”. Then you leash him up and take him directly outside. Again, praise and reward when he goes outside.

    The whole point of positive reinforcement training is that you reward them for doing something good instead of disciplining them when they’re bad. Dogs learn much faster when they get excited about what they should be doing instead of being afraid of what they should not be doing.

    If you’re interested in more about positive reinforcement training then check out It’s Dr. Ian Dunbar’s site. He’s the leading positive reinforcement trainer in the world right now.

  4. airsoftpaintkiller1 said :

    1 never shove your pets face in pee spots or poop its a cruel mean thing to do.
    2 always praise with a treat for when your pet goes in the right spot.
    3 take your dog out as much as possible every half hour or so is good and never ever yell at your dog for making a mess on the carpet floor.
    be persitent too and always keep trying never give up cause once youu get past this hump you will have a loving compainion that doesnt leave you gifts on your carpet

  5. Michelle said :

    i was taught ( and it worked) when they do something in the house don’t shout or any thing just ignore them while you clean it up. dogs don’t like to be ignored so they learn mess in house means she ignores me for a minute.

    take them out side every hour and 20 – 25 mins after food or drink and when they does some thing outside praise like they have won the oscars.

    they soon learn outside i get praise and attention, inside i get ignored

  6. Z said :

    Great way to train, isn’t it!
    And the answer is – just don’t correct them. Put them on a feeding schedule and a potty schedule. Praise when they pee and poop. Assign a verbal cue, and use it only when they go so they associate that noise with eliminating.

    When indoors, observe like a hawk. if they start sniffing around, just take them out. If they have an accident, don’t correct. They had to go because they had to! They’re not being naughty. Just scoop them up and take them out. Clean all pee/poop spots with Natures Miracle or Simple Solution

    And here’s the website:

    Add: Ian Dunbar’s great, and don’t forget Karen Pryor.

  7. lily said :
  8. moof said :

    Positive reinforcement consists of encouraging desired behaviors by rewarding them with good things. All you have to do is insert the behavior you want into that formula. In this case, the action you’re looking for is for the puppy to relieve himself outdoors, right? So, in order to housebreak a puppy using positive reinforcement, you reward him every time he eliminates outside. Every single time he performs the desired behavior, throw a party! Praise him, pet him, play with him, give him tons of super-delicious little treats. Of course, utilizing positive reinforcement isn’t all there is to housebreaking. In order to set the puppy up for success, you need to do a lot of managing, which typically includes close supervision and crating. For a more thorough break-down of how to efficiently and humanely housebreak a puppy, I second the recommendation of visiting Dr. Ian Dunbar’s site. Here’s his page on housetraining:

    As for your question on correcting, well, there’s no need to correct the puppy because all of the puppy’s accidents are your fault. (I know, that’s putting it pretty bluntly!) If you walk into a room to see an accident, then smack yourself for not supervising your puppy and taking him out to relieve himself when you should have, and clean up the mess. You can’t correct the puppy because the accident happened in the past; he literally cannot associate any consequences with an act if more than two seconds has passed since the behavior took place. If you actually catch him in the act, then correcting him should be the least of your worries — instead, your priority should be rushing that puppy outdoors!

  9. Bam said :


    I tried this when I was training my dog to use the potty. It has also helped me with a lot of things like his behavior around other people. Also it has very positive training techniques. I got it for $70.00 but now its half price.

    Here’s a link if you would like to try it out.


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