If you want to make the potty training process as easy and enjoyable as humanly and “beagly” possible, you need to know about these 5 secrets to success.
Secret 1 – Leverage Your Beagle’s Instincts
In the wild, dogs choose a place to sleep and they keep it clean to avoid diseases. What this actually means is that your Beagle comes already prepared to be potty trained.
Secret 2 – Train Your Beagle In Beagle Language
In case you haven’t noticed yet, your beagle DOES NOT understand human language. Therefore, it is your job to train your dog in a language they can understand you.
Secret 3 – The Three “Rs” of Potty Training
The three essentials of potty training are: Rules, Routine and Reward.
You should set the rules of house training and be consistent at all times. This is going to help your Beagle understand and forge very important connections in their brains, such as your home is their home and therefore, it should stay clean, the limit between inside and outside, where to eat, where to sleep and where to eliminate.
Crate training is the starting point of potty training. Choose a crate big enough for your Beagle to lay down and be able to turn around. If the crate is too big, your Beagle will use a sector of the crate to do their business and the whole point is missed.
A very important rule to establish is that your Beagle is going to earn freedom from the crate by going to the bathroom outside. You are going to take your Beagle out of the crate often (every two hours) and take them outside to eliminate. If they successfully do their business outside the house, they earn freedom from their crate to play and exercise. If not, they are back in their crate.
Teach your Beagle the following words and commands: “outside”, “go potty” and “go poop”. Make sure your dog gets plenty of chances to make the necessary brain connections. They need to associate “go potty” and “go poop” with “outside”.
Take your beagle outside on a leash so that you can direct them and avoid distractions. Check out that they complete their business (they won’t make that connection themselves and they can forget to do it otherwise and end up having accidents inside).
Direct them always to the same spot. Don’t walk around. It is not play time. It is potty time.
When your beagle is at home, pay attention to them. You will soon see the signals that they need to eliminate and then you can make sure to take them outside on time, even if they have already started you can take them outside to finish their business and praise them while they are finishing eliminating outside.
You have to take your beagle outside on a regular schedule to form the habit. Take them outside on the leash to be able to control them always to the same place, so they get used to associating that spot with the act of elimination.
If your beagle is a puppy, you need to remember that small dogs have small bladders. The maximum time they can spend without a potty break is the same as their age in months. If your beagle is 3 months old, they need e potty break every three hours, for example.
It is a good idea to take them out in the morning, after every meal and before bed time. At the beginning of your training, don’t leave water available during the night.
Reward by praising your Beagle verbally every time they successfully go potty outside. You should praise them during the act and not afterwards because the connection you want in their brain is go potty outside = good.
If there are accidents, clean up and don’t do anything else. Your Beagle won’t understand your anger and all you will get is a fearful and anxious dog.
Rubbing your Beagle’s nose in their pee or poop is also a very bad idea. You can embarrassed and frighten your dog, but they still cannot connect the reason for your anger with their behavior.
SECRET 4 – The Best Season For Potty Training
Winter is the best season for potty training because nobody, including your beagle, wants to stay outside too long and there are fewer distractions. However, make the commitment to take your dog outside every single time. If you let them do it inside, they will get totally confused.
SECRET 5 – How do you know that your Beagle is potty trained?
Potty training takes up to 3 months. The moment there are no more accidents, your beagle can eliminate on command and they start letting you know that you should take them outside; you know that the potty training process is successfully completed.
BONUS SECRET – Clean your floors thoroughly. I you have carpets, have them thoroughly cleaned (not only to pass your inspection but to pass your beagle’s very sensitive nose’s inspection). You want any pee or poop odors completely removed so that your beagle does not get confused about where to eliminate. This is especially important if you have more than one dog in your home.