A potential client recently called Robin and mentioned that he was in the middle of potty training his four month old Bull Terrier puppy and things are going relatively well when he is home.  The problem is that he works in Hoschton and he can’t get home for lunch to take his puppy out.  What can he do when he has to be gone a long time?

Many of our clients who get new puppies have to leave them while they go to work.  The mistake often made is that they either leave them in the crate or allow loose in the house. The length of time that they have to leave the puppy without taking him out for potty is often physically too long for him to hold it.

We will first discuss what our clients are doing incorrectly and then what they can do to be successful…

When our clients leave their puppy in the crate for a long time, they are setting their puppy up for failure.  Most dogs don’t want to go to the bathroom in their crate.  They perceive the crate as their den and they don’t want to leave their smell where they live. In their mind, this could attract “their enemies”.  They also don’t want to potty on themselves because of the same reason.  They will try to hold it as long as possible.  If our clients are gone longer than their puppy can hold it, thee puppy will unfortunately potty on himself and in his crate.


If our clients continue to force them to potty in their crate, the puppy’s instinct to try and hold it while they are in there will stop.  Since our clients use the crate as a place where they do not potty, they have eliminated an important potty training tool.

Having our clients allow their puppy out in the entire house or a large portion of the house while they are not there is also not good.  Since our clients are away for a period of time that is longer than their puppy can hold their potty, their puppy will obviously potty somewhere in the house.  The key word here is “somewhere”.  Sometimes it is very hard or impossible to find where our client’s puppy may have pottied when they aren’t there to watch.  When this occurs, our client’s puppy has left the smell of a toilet somewhere in the house.  One of our potty training rules deals with “If it smells like a toilet, it must be a toilet”.  This smell will continually drive our client’s puppy to that place to go to the bathroom.

When our clients are going to be away from the house for a long time and believe that their puppy won’t “hold it”, we offer the following solution:

  • Locate a little room with a tile or linoleum floor. A laundry room or powder bath room would be perfect.
  • Remove all the things that your puppy might destroy.
  • If the puppy can get to any “inappropriate area” such as behind the washer; do something to block access to those places
  • Clean the floor with vinegar and then a mild cleaner.  We suggest Lavender Fabuloso.
  • Shut off the room using a dog gate that your puppy can’t knock over, climb over, or jump over.
  • Put some toys, his bed, and a small amount of water & food in the room.
  • Place a wee-wee pad in the room. (Entice him to go in that area but not require him.)

We then tell our clients to put their puppy in that room when then need to leave for a long time.  What they have done is to keep him to a comfortable area that our clients can manage once they return.  The important thing is that this area is not the crate or the entire house

When our clients return home, they should immediately let him out from that location.  If their puppy has gone on the wee-wee pad, throw it away and put a new one down the nest time they have to leave for a long time.  If their puppy has pottied somewhere else in the enclosed area, simply clean that up with an appropriate cleanser.  It is important that they next close the door to this room and do not permit their puppy in the room except when they are going out for a long time.

We have created a “time out” area within the potty training process for our clients and their puppy.

You can call us at (770) 718-7704 with all your dog training questions.  We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Hoschton Georgia.  Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Hoschton Georgia.