Teaching your dog to use the potty outside is one of the fundamentals of dog training, and for new dog parents, it can be intimidating. The secrets to training your Golden Retriever to go to the bathroom are consistency, patience, and understanding. Some puppies will pick it up easily and others will need a little more time. You may also have to be prepared for accidents now and again while your puppy is learning.
The good news is that Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent dogs and also very eager to please, which makes them very receptive to training. If you’re new to training a goldie to use the bathroom, try the following steps and tips.
How To Potty Train Your Golden Retriever: Steps
Before we get started, it’s important to attune yourself to your puppy or dog’s signals that they need to use the bathroom. If you spot your Golden Retriever fidgeting, circling, squatting, and/or sniffing a lot, these are giveaway signs that they need to “go”.
It’s also a good idea to start your goldie’s potty training in the morning, as this helps them get into the routine of going first thing. Then, throughout the day, take your puppy outside regularly to go through the training steps again. This helps consolidate what they’ve learned.
According to the RSPCA, it’s a good rule of thumb to take puppies out to pee every 45 minutes or so and also first thing in the morning, after every meal, after exercise or play time, before bedtime, and before you leave the house and then again when you come back. Usually, a puppy’s developing bladder will retain urine one hour for each month. So, if you have a two-month-old puppy it should be left out every two hours. then every three hours when it reaches three months of age and so on.
Golden Retriever Training Tips
If your goldie is having difficulties with potty training, there are some extra things you can do to help them get the hang of it.
If your Golden Retriever goes to the bathroom inside the house or in the wrong place or you see them about to do so, don’t punish them or yell as this can damage the bond you’re working so hard to build with your dog. It also teaches your dog to fear you, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.
Instead, simply take your dog to the place you want them to use the bathroom. Keep doing this and don’t give up if it takes a bit longer than you’d hoped.
Stick To a Feeding Schedule
Having a feeding schedule is a great way to support the bathroom schedule. Without getting too graphic, knowing when your Golden Retriever eats is a surefire way of learning exactly when they’re going to need to use the bathroom as well. This allows you to better prepare for your training sessions.
Take Away the Water Bowl Before Bedtime
It’s a good idea to remove your puppy’s water bowl around 2–3 hours before bedtime to reduce the risk of them needing to go during the night. Do this at the same time every day so your puppy picks up on the routine. Be sure to take them outside again before bed and place some potty pads where your puppy can relieve itself at night.
Don’t be disheartened if your Golden Retriever doesn’t get it immediately when it comes to potty training. These are smart dogs but they’re not all the same in terms of how long it takes them to have things down packed. With patience, consistency, and a whole lot of love and praise, it will all come together in the end!
If you’re really struggling to potty train your Golden Retriever even after going through the routines consistently for quite a while, you might consider consulting a dog behavioralist or professional trainer for advice.
Featured Image Credit: JulieK2, Shutterstock