Potty training your dog is a difficult task in general. However, for those who live in snowy states, the task of puppy training in winter time can be much more difficult. Some dogs do not like to go out in the cold because it hurts there paws, making it a complicated task when you want to teach them to use the bathroom outside. Luckily, there are strategies one can use to make the process a little easier.
The first thing to remember is that potty training is going to take time. You will have to keep your dog in sight at all times so when they start going to the bathroom, you can grab them and bring them outside. At some point they will realize that you constantly bring them outside when they use the bathroom, and they will start letting you know when they need to go outside. Once this begins to happen, your task is complete.
Choose a spot outside where you want them to use the bathroom. Although it probably does not matter to you where they choose to use the bathroom outside, it will be easier for them if they have a designated spot. This creates consistency and makes it easier to learn. If there is a lot of snow on the ground, try to shovel the area so it is easier for your dog to access.
When you are first beginning the potty training process, keep your dog on a leash. When dogs are outside, there are tons of things that can distract them. Whether it be the snow blowing by or the squirrel on the fence, it can be difficult to get your dog to pay attention. A quick tug on the leash will get your dog’s attention, and you can lead them to the correct spot to go potty.
There are common times that dogs generally need to use the bathroom. Knowing a general schedule will mean that your dog can spend less time outside wandering around in the cold until it has to use the bathroom. You should take your dog out right when you get home from work or school, 30 minutes after they have eaten, after napping and in the morning. These are the most common times to use the bathroom.
You should also try to associate certain words with potty time. Try saying the word “outside” before taking them outside to go potty. Then, when your dog reaches the spot in the yard where you would like them to use the bathroom, say something like “potty”. Your dog will eventually associate these words with the action it is expected to complete.
Make sure to praise your dog when he does things right. You should pet them a lot and use a friendly tone. Some people even like to give their dog treats to let him know he did extra good.
There are a few useful tricks that you can use during puppy training in the winter time, such as putting a coat on them. They also make little boots for puppies. If your dog will not wear boots, put petroleum jelly on their paws so that snow does not cake in between their toes.