Potty training a puppy is the same as any breed, but there is no question that some breeds are more difficult to potty train than others. Then there is each individual puppy and their unique personalities that can either make it surprisingly easy or pretty frustrating, to say the least. However, there are a few tips and steps that can make the potty training process simpler, and that’s what we will dive into today.
Let’s first get to know the breed a little better. Understanding what will work or not work for your pitbull puppy depends on really interacting and knowing your pup, and to do that, the breed history and overall tendencies are important.
There is no debate that Pitbulls get a bad rap, that that is in part due to some historic events. These pooches have a pretty strong bite force, which can make a single chomp deadly, but these dogs are generally sweet by nature. The breed history of the pit bull can be traced back to the late 1800s in the UK and was an offshoot of the traditional English bulldog.
They were used in the unfortunate activity of bull-baiting, which saw to the aggravation and harassment of a bull for hours on end until the bull collapsed due to its wounds or exhaustion. This was cruel beyond words, but it also attests to the strength and resilience of the pit bull breed.
Unfortunately, this led to the dogs eventually being turned on each other by their owners in dogfighting rings following the outlaw of large animal blood sports. This undoubtedly contributed to the aggression this breed is known for, which has trickled down to modern day. Many dog lovers and Pitbull owners have tried hard to break these impressions.
Are Pitbulls Hard to Potty Train?
Are Pitbull puppies hard to potty train? This is a common question people ask to know what they are in for when they welcome a new pit puppy into their homes. In general, no, a pitty puppy is not hard to potty train, as long as owners come at the process with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.
It’s much easier said than done, because, for some pit bull puppies, it can take months to finally get it right. You may be a lucky owner and manage to get a Pitbull puppy that manages to get it within a month with accidents few and far between, but by no means should you expect that.
There must be ways to minimize the difficulty and effort as well as the time it takes, and you would be right! Just follow our tips below that will help you get started.
Housetraining Your Pitbull Puppy
What You Need to Get Started
Before you can actually get started on the potty training process, you need to make sure you have all the accessories and tools prepared.
The first step to how to potty train a pitbull puppy is to decide where you will allow him to go. Some owners prefer letting their dogs only do their business outside, while others will allow them to relieve themselves both indoors and out. If you prefer to give your Pitbull puppy the freedom to do both, then you will need potty pads and even a puppy pad holder, which you won’t need outside.
Items you will need for both training methods include:
- Pooper scooper
- Waste bags
- Puppy wipes
- Leash, harness and/or collar
- Enzyme cleaner
- Cleaning cloth
All of the above accessories are available at the pet store. You may not need them all depending on how you carry out housetraining, or you may need additional items.
Aside from tangible things, you also have to have enough time to do so. The potty training routine is exactly what it sounds like – a routine. A routine isn’t a routine unless it’s carried out every day, so it needs to be done with consistency. Get ready to take your Pitbull puppy for bathroom breaks every couple of hours, and even in the middle of the night!
Have a Potty Spot and a Keyword
After you have decided on whether to allow your dog to go outdoors or both in and out, you have to find a designated location that will be the potty spot. Dogs are attracted by the scent, and they have the tendency to “go” where they have already gone before. Once your dog has established the place to go, it makes the potty training routine infinitely easier because he will frequent that area again.
You should also pick a keyword. With consistency, every time your Pitbull puppy hears the keyword of your choice he will know exactly what to do. For example, if you repeat “pee-pee” multiple times every time during the potty training and reward your dog once he does his business, he will understand exactly what the word means and what you want.
As the potty training progresses, you will eventually hit a stage when you can just say the word and your dog will automatically understand.
Pitbull Puppies and Positive Training
Punishment and aggression during training are never recommended by experts, vets, trainers, breeders, or really anyone. In fact, when a dog is met with aggression, it’s more likely to bring out a retaliation or induce trauma in your Pitbull puppy. Instead, many of us have found that dogs, especially puppies, respond the best to positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement, or positive training, is the best way to house train a Pitbull puppy. This could entail plenty of encouraging words, bully rubs and pats, plus their favorite treats. The purpose is to link certain actions to favorable results so your Pitbull puppy will want to do well and please you – even if it’s for the treat.
Dealing with Accidents
Accidents happen during house training, and that is an inescapable fact. The key is to have as few accidents as possible. When your dog inevitably has an accident, do not rub his nose in it or yell at him. Yes, be firm and say “no” in a low and assured voice, but only if you catch him in the act. Although dogs are intelligent creatures, they won’t be able to connect their mistake to your unhappy “no” after the fact – especially if he had an accident hours before you discovered it.
If you don’t catch your dog during the act or immediately after, your only option is to just clean it up and try to correct him next time. When you’re cleaning, we strongly suggest using an enzymatic cleaner, which will break down the poop and urine at a molecular level. Why is this necessary? Because dogs, Pitbull puppies included, of course, have a heightened sense of smell.
You may think the spill is clean and odor-free, but to a dog’s sensitive nose, the mess is still there – even at a molecular level. The role of enzymatic cleaners is to break down everything, even the molecules so it was almost like the mess never happened there and it won’t interfere with the training process any further.
Steps to Potty Training Your Pitbull Puppy
Before we give you a step-by-step on potty training, it’s important that we introduce the two types. You can either use a crate or not. We advise our readers to utilize a crate because crate training is more than just a potty training support method, but it carries more benefits as well.
Crate training can be used for socialization – if it’s done the right way. When you first bring your Pitbull puppy home, it can be overwhelming for him. When you let your friends and family members come over to meet your Pitbull puppy in an effort to socialize him, it’s a good idea to give him a safe space to where he can retreat, and that is where crate training comes in as well.
Crate training is especially handy for those that leave the house for work. Your Pitbull puppy needs a place of confinement where he feels happy and relaxed. The crate is also a safety precaution for your pup as well because he could get up to stuff, destroy your furniture and ingest dangerous items around the house without your supervision.
How does crate training come into play during potty training? Well, it gives owners more control over the dog’s roaming area, which can limit accidents, and it can teach the Pitbull puppy to hold it. However, puppies can only hold for the number of months old he is plus one, so we do not suggest pushing the limits. For example, if your Pitbull puppy is 4 months old, he can only hold it for 5 hours at most.
Just because your pitty pup can hold it for that long, it doesn’t mean he should every time. That limit should only be reached during unavoidable circumstances or your Pitbull puppy could develop urinary issues such as UTIs.
Take them Outside to the Same Spot as Often as Possible
Some pitbull puppies may need to go every half an hour or so or immediately after meals at the very least. The younger the puppy is, the smaller the bladder, which means it can’t hold it as long. For those who train inside and outside of the house, letting them know where the puppy pads are in your home is just as important as taking them outdoors to the same spot.
The logic we mentioned above about puppies and dogs, in general, returning to the same spot to do their business can work to your advantage. Because the odor of its previous bathroom break is still there and you’re taking him to the same spot saying the same keyword, your pup will be potty trained in no time.
We mentioned this before, but it’s a very important step, which is why we are touching on it once more. Whether you use the crate training method or not, positive rewards will definitely speed the training process along rather than hinder it. Make sure to reinforce the positivity with verbal confirmation and maybe even a pet or a belly rub.
The more positivity you associate with pottying in the right place, your new puppy will learn faster. It also gives you the choice to reward them with a pat rather than treats every time.
Be Patient, Consistent and Build Up a Routine
Puppies don’t do well when we deviate from the norm. In order to create a very predictable environment and a relaxed puppy, we recommend building a routine and sticking with it. When puppies are learning, they need consistency to remember and understand what to do. Consistency is the key to the routine, and make sure you meet your puppy with nothing but patience during potty training.
Believe it or not, your puppy will also get frustrated when they don’t do things right or when they don’t understand what you want. Imagine dealing with another species that’s trying to tell you what they want but you just don’t speak the language. If you can put yourself within your puppy’s shoes (or paws), you will understand the enormous task they have to tackle.
Hopefully, it will also give you more patience and compassion when dealing with an especially tough puppy.
Pitbull Puppy Potty Training Tips
We have some extra tips down below to make sure your puppy is potty trained even faster. Not every puppy is the same, so it’s very likely that you may have an unpredictable one or a Pitbull puppy that is especially stubborn. Don’t let it defeat you, because you can handle it if you take some of our advice below!
What if My Pitbull Puppy is Stubborn?
If your Pitbull pup is especially tough, it will definitely take more patience on your part. You could even ask a professional about a more suitable training method, but taking more frequent potty breaks and rewards EVERY time he does something right and not giving in until he does his business will usually do the trick.
Control Their Water Intake
It’s generally not recommended to give your pups water within 3 hours before bed. If they drink a lot, it’s very likely that they will end up soiling their crate and giving you a midnight cleanup session, which isn’t pleasant -trust us. Don’t worry, you aren’t depriving your dog of water, you’re creating a routine for him.
It’s important to remove the water at the same time every day. We can’t say this enough – consistency is key. Just as you would feed your Pitbull pup at the same time every day so you can gauge when they would need to go potty, removing the water will have the same effect. You will be able to control when he urinates.
Take Them for a Potty Break First Thing in the Morning
The first thing you do when you wake up is to take your pup to the puppy pad or outside to do his business. Just like most of us, after holding in our urine all night during sleep, it’s one of the first things we do when we wake up. However, your pit bull puppy shouldn’t have been holding it in all the time because, depending on how young they are, you will need to have let them out once or twice at night.
Take Them After Meals
After meals are incredibly important. You would be surprised at how quickly food and water go through your Pitbull pup’s system. Your pup will need a potty break anywhere from 10 to 3o minutes after drinking a lot of water or eating his food. Keep your eye on your Pitbull, because he may go through the motions quicker than you think.
Once you notice the excessive sniffing, twirling, whining, or even squatting, that’s when you should scoop him up and place them in his potty spot. Once he does his thing, make sure to give him plenty of rewards.
Try to avoid overfeeding your pup, especially when it comes to snacks because once your pooch gets full, it’s time to “go”. For any type of training, we always recommend using small snacks. Mini pieces that are 2 calories each such as Zuke’s Minis, are great options.
Take Them During the Night
There is no way around it, you will need to take your dog out at night or at least let him out to do his business in his spot in the house. When they are young, you may need to do it once every 2 hours, but it can be pushed to 3 once your dog is 3 to 4 months old. It really isn’t what you want to be doing on a cold winter night, but it’s something that must be done during house training before your dog is at least 6 months old.
Take Them Before Bed, Confinement and Leaving the House
Another crucial time to take your dog to urinate or poop is before bed or before you leave the house and get in the car for a trip somewhere. It’s not the most convenient to have puppy pads laid out in your car, and it’s definitely not the most sanitary, so you should stop every now and then during a road trip to give your dog a potty break. It’s also good to stretch your legs as well on a long drive.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does potty training take?
Potty training can take as little as 2 weeks to a few months. It all depends on the training method and how consistent you are in your training. It’s always better to start young, but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach an older dog new tricks. With the right training, you can foster the desired behavior, and that includes proper rewards and encouragement.
Why is my dog soiling his crate?
Dog’s don’t usually go where they sleep, but there are exceptions. For example, your Pitbull pup may be too young to hold it for long hours, or he may have just drunk a lot of water before you put him in the crate. Don’t rule out the possibility of an illness, especially if your dog has loose stools.
New dogs from shelters may feel very anxious in a new environment, and this too can trigger bowel movements. Remember that accidents happen, just make sure you clean up the mess really thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner and don’t scold your pup unless you catch him in the act.
Pitbull puppies are not the most difficult to train. There are a ton of stubborn breeds out there and Pitbulls are not as difficult. Toy dogs also have smaller bladders that may need more time during housebreaking. All your Pitbull pup needs are your understanding, consistency, positive rewards, and your love and patience.