Spike’s Guide to Potty Training

24 10 2008

First, I start off by singing my little potty training song…

Music: Bon Jovi
Words: Spike
Tune: You Give Love a Bad Name

Pee on the floor and you’re to blame
You give dogs a bad name
I told you to bark if you had to go
But you peed on the floor
And got thrown out the door.


  1. If you cannot physically keep your eyes on the dog, he must be in his crate or a small confined area.
  2. You should leave a six-foot NON-RETRACTABLE leash on your dog at all times during the training period.  Remember, you cannot train what you cannot control)
  3. Potty training dogs are not allowed to free feed.
  4. You must catch the dog in the act of soiling.  If not, you cannot correct him.  See rule #1.
  5. NEVER allow your dog to see you clean up his accidents.
  6. Dogs should go outside before and after play, sleeping, and eating.
  7. Training sessions (sit, stay, etc) should be taught to a hungry dog and last for 10 minutes only.
  8. It is recommended that puppies under 8 months of age eat 3 times a day.
  9. Generally food and water are not allowed in the crate.

***  Spike’s Special Note: If your vet recommends that food and/or water be left out for your dog to free feed, DO IT!  Your dogs health may be at risk.  Dogs that free feed may take longer to potty train.  Also, younger and smaller breeds may need to have access to food at all times.


Part A

  • Take your dog from his crate and put on his six-foot non-retractable leash.
  • Go directly outside.  If there are any supplies you need to take with you (baggies, hat, gloves, etc.), gather them BEFORE your leash your dog.
  • Always use the same door to go outside and go to the same “potty spot” in the yard.
  • Do not walk your dog.  A walk is a completely different activity.  For this training, stay in the “potty spot.”
  • Give your dog a command word that signifies the business at hand. (“Tinkle”, “Get Busy”, etc).
  • While you are standing near the “potty spot,” do not talk to your dog, do not look at him, and do not accept any gifts from him!
  • Remember, this is a business trip!
  • Potty time should last 15 minutes.
  • When the dog does potty, give him lots of praise (“Good tinkle,” or “Good busy”) and GIVE HIM A TREAT.

Part B

  • Feed your dog his breakfast of a premium brand dog food. Yes, these foods do cost more, but dogs will need to eat less of the food and produce less stool.
  • Always measure the food. Feed the recommended amount based on your dog’s size, weight and age.
  • Feeding time should last 20 minutes.
  • At the end of feeding time, take up the food and water.  Keep your eyes on the dog.  He will give you a signal (circling, sniffing the ground, approaching the door) when it is time to go outside.
  • Take your dog outside.
  • Potty time should last 15 minutes, using the same methods from Part A
  • The morning routine is now over.  Your dog should go in his crate or confined area.

Things NOT ALLOWED in the crate or confined area:

Blankets, pillows, paper, bedding of any type.  Your dog must earn these with good behavior.  Because dogs are denning animals, they will use these items to clean up any mess they may make in their area.

Things ALLOWED in the crate:

Kong toy: stuff with treats, seal end with peanut butter and freeze.
Rope toy: soak in chicken bouillon, drain on sink and freeze
Frozen carrots


Provide water and take the dog outside, using the steps of Part A in the Morning Routine.


Repeat Part A
Repeat Part B


Provide water and take the dog outside, using the steps of Part A in the Morning Routine.


Repeat Part A
Repeat Part B


Provide water and take the dog outside, using the steps of Part A in the Morning Routine.  Try a 10 minute training session on other areas of interest.  Dogs, especially young pups, will need to make another trip outside before midnight.


When your puppy is 8 weeks old (2 months), they should be taken out every 2 hours.  As your puppy ages, for each month, that period between trips outside can increase by one hour.  For example, at 12 weeks old (3 months), they should be taken out every 3 hours, and at 16 weeks old (4 months), they should be taken out every 4 hours and so forth.  Once your dog is 32 weeks old (8 months), they should be going out every 8 hours.  After training from 8 weeks old, a dog should be able to wait at least 8 hours to go out.  Adult dogs may be able to move through the the increased times a little faster, but don’t rush things.

The key to all training, especially potty training, comes down to positively reinforcing the correct behavior.  That means lots of praise when he goes in the right place (outside).  The other significant thing is to manage your dog to prevent him from using the wrong places.

When you give your dog too much freedom in the house, he will make a mistake, and if you do not catch the dog in the act of soiling, then you CANNOT correct him.  There was an old wives’ tale about rubbing a dog’s nose in his stuff.  As dogs, we just thought that was a weird ritual practiced by some humans and even though we did not like it, it got us attention and we LOVE attention.   Any kind of attention.  Even mean, rotten attention.

This article is a part of our Potty Training Page.



12 responses

1 11 2008
Spike Says: Who Would I Like Most To Meet? « Ask Spike

[…] Spike Says: Who Would I Like Most To Meet? Who would I most like to meet?  Jon Bon Jovi, of course.  He saved us from getting a speeding ticket one time.  Oh, and he wrote the music to my potty training song. […]

13 11 2008
Spike Says: Baking Soda Trick « Ask Spike Online

[…] Says: Baking Soda Trick If you are still working on potty training your dog, and he has a pee accident inside, don’t panic.  Soak up most of the wetness with a […]

26 11 2008
Butt Dragging 101 « Ask Spike Online

[…] a dog does a Big Busy, or poop if you have not read my guide to potty training, it should cause some pressure on the anal sacs and empty them. Sometimes this does not happen, and […]

30 11 2008

I just got a new puppy and she has the excitability factor! when she gets excited or nervous she pees every where. i haven’t punished her but i do think she senses my frustration and now she refuses to go outside! What do i do to help her want to go outside to potty and also is there anything I can do to help her not pee when she is excited?

22 12 2008
Why Does My Puppy Pee When She Sees Me? «

[…] everything checks out, then it is time to work on training.  First, I would suggest that you read my guide to potty training and begin following it immediately.  Next, I suggest that you get your pup a crate and keep her in […]

8 01 2009
Why Will My Dog Not Poop Outside In The Snow? « Ask Spike Online

[…] remedy this issue, my suggestion is to find Dude a potty spot in the yard like we talked about here.  Even when it is not snowing, take him to that spot every time he needs to go.  Remember, you […]

9 01 2009
Are You A Retriever Person? « Ask Spike Online

[…] dogs, from labs to poodles, need to be potty trained.  This is something that should be accomplished before a puppy reaches six months of age.  […]

18 01 2009
How To Teach Your Dog To Come When Called « Ask Spike Online

[…] To Come When Called 13 01 2009 Mom was right.  I should have discussed this right after potty training.  This is one of the most important things to teach your dog, as it can save their life should […]

27 01 2009
Potty Training Problems « Ask Spike Online

[…] people and some things they are expecting from her in the potty department.  She is in step with my potty training guide, and she even likes to sing along with the song, but things just are not clicking […]

3 02 2009
My Dog Will Not Go Outside My Home. HELP!?!? « Ask Spike Online

[…] lately, we must address the weather.  It has so cold lately, that I only go outdoors to “get busy” and to bark at the neighbor’s dog.  Domesticated animals like cats and dogs feel the […]

27 02 2009
Is Your Dog a “Beggar”? « Ask Spike Online

[…] you and your family are eating.  Remember when we talked about keeping your eyes on the dog being Rule #1 during potty training?  It is also Rule #1 when we are working on getting rid of begging.  Train your dog to go to his […]

21 03 2009
Teaching (Go To Your) “PLACE” And “PARK IT” Command « Ask Spike Online

[…] many different basic training commands, SIT, COME when called, TAKE IT, LEAVE IT, DROP IT, Potty Training, HEEL, and STAY and WAIT.  This would be the final command necessary to complete a “basic […]

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