How to Potty Train an Australian Shepherd

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The Australian Shepherd breed, lovingly referred to as an Aussie, provides a great companion with its great intelligence and loyal nature. Potty training your Aussie becomes essential in laying the foundation for a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Things You'll Need

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Pet Odor Neutralizer
  • Choose the spot outside where you want your dog to eliminate. Take the dog out, on a leash at first, to that area and encourage elimination. Also, create a schedule for your Australian Shepherd. As creatures of habit, dogs thrive on a schedule and what goes in on schedule will come out on schedule, according to the Complete Guide to Responsible Dog Ownership. Do not give your Aussie food or water close to bed time and make sure your dog has an empty bladder before bedtime.

  • Crate your Aussie when you're not at home; or when you can not closely supervise it during the potty training weeks. Close supervision is essential in teaching your dog to eliminate in the area you designate. To your pup, any place is as good as the next so the responsibility falls on you to teach accepted elimination behavior. Crating your dog prevents accidents in the home and teaches your dog to control their bathroom needs. According to the Humane Society, the space to confine your Aussie should big enough for it to comfortably sit, stand, lie down and turn around. Always take the dog outside to eliminate immediately after any length of crating.

  • Reward your Australian Shepherd enthusiastically when it has eliminated in the correct area. Offer praise in a happy sing-song voice, and reward with a treat. Giving your dog the reward as soon as it eliminates will allow it to connect the reward with the elimination behavior.

  • Never scold your dog for having an accident in the home. Actions such as spanking and rubbing the dog's nose in the mess will cause detrimental delays to any potty training efforts. According to the Humane Society, this behavior will cause your dog to be afraid to eliminate in your presence thus preventing proper training.

  • Clean up any accidents immediately with some type of pet odor enzymatic neutralizer, such as Nature's Miracle. Eliminating the scent from the soiled spot will prevent your dog from seeking out the same spot again. If you catch your dog in the middle of eliminating make an abrupt sound to get its attention, and then take your Aussie outside to finish the task.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose a keyword or phrase to say every time your dog eliminates. Examples include "go potty" or "potty time." By repeating the key phrase during elimination, you will help your dog understand what you are asking it to do.
  • Always follow crating guidelines. According to the Humane Society, dogs under six months old cannot control its bladder for longer than a few hours at a time. A good rule of thumb is one hour for each month of age.

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