Just brought your new fur baby home and wondering how to potty train an American Bully puppy? It’s an important step in your puppy’s development and starting sooner is better.
But you will need patience. Remember, your American Bully puppy is just doing what comes naturally – and if it seems to be stubborn about learning, it could just be that you’re going about it in the wrong way.
Use these dos and don’t to help you during the time it takes your puppy to learn its indoor manners. You should get results much faster than you otherwise would.
Don’t Scold Your Bully For Pottying – Ever!
If you want your American Bully puppy to cooperate with you during the potty training process, you need to send it the right messages.
Scolding or punishing your baby for pottying in the house may seem like a way to get the message across, but your dog is far more likely to assume that pottying, rather than the place it has chosen for pottying, is the real problem.
The result? Your doggie baby decides pottying is going to get it into trouble and will try to avoid doing so when you’re anywhere near it.
Instead of learning to “ask” you to go out for potty, your pup will learn to look for a secret spot to do the deed.
And when you take it out for potty, it will hold on until you’re back indoors and then try sneaking off to follow the call of nature exactly where you don’t want that to happen.
For your dog’s sake, and your own, make pottying in the house something that’s not rewarded, but also not punished.
Try To Build The Right Habits
When your American Bully puppy has gotta go, he’s gotta go! Doing your best to ensure that this happens in the right place as often as possible helps your puppy to develop the right habits. Supervision will be key to your success.
Start your puppy’s day with a trip to a designated potty spot. Decide on a potty “command” but don’t expect instant obedience.
If your puppy potties, give him a tasty treat and tell him what a fabulously good dog he is. If he doesn’t potty, go back indoors, keep a wary eye on him, and try again after a few minutes.
Once your American bully pup has successfully pottied, you should be good for the next two or three hours, but if you can take him out to potty every hour, you stand the best chance of not missing a potty time.
Supervise him more closely as the time he’s going to feel the urge draws near. Sniffing around or circling could indicate that he’s looking for a potty spot.
Even if he doesn’t show signs of needing to pee or poop, repeat the morning performance after two to three hours at most – more often if possible.
As your puppy grows, his bladder capacity will increase and you can start spacing potty times further apart. As a rule of thumb, use your pups age in months, switch that to hours, and add one.
So, at 12 weeks, he’s going to need to pee every four hours or so. But don’t expect it to happen like clockwork!
Your aim is to get as many potties as possible to happen in the right place and to create positive associations with doing this.
Expect accidents to happen until your pup’s bladder control improves and he gets the idea of pottying outside, but try to keep them to a minimum.
Make Sure That “Accidents” Leave No Trace
You want a clean house, but there’s another reason for cleaning up accidents so that there’s not the slightest trace of them having happened.
The sense of smell is very important to your American Bully puppy. He uses it to give him signals about his environment. If there’s an indoor spot that smells like potty, it’s natural for him to assume that it’s a “potty spot.”
Your dog’s nose is much more sensitive than yours is, so apart from doing a thorough cleanup, you’ll need an enzymatic product to help you to get rid of the remaining scent.
You should be able to get one at your local vet or pet equipment shop – as a bonus, some of them are great at cleaning away any stains too.
Establish A Regular Feeding Routine
Poo time gets more predictable when your dog eats at set times. In any case, free feeding shouldn’t be on your agenda.
A puppy who always has food available will tend to eat more than he should, and that can result in an increased chance of hip dysplasia developing.
Feed your pup right after morning potty time. Leave the food bowl in place for twenty minutes or so, and take it away after that time even if some food remains uneaten.
Repeat the process at lunch and dinner time since American Bully puppies need to be fed three times a day.
Extra tip: don’t switch pet foods on a whim. A new brand can cause upset tummies because your puppy isn’t used to them. If you do decide to switch foods, make a gradual transition and be extra vigilant.
You Can Take Water Away At Night
Your American Bully puppy should have access to water throughout the day and in the evening, but you can take his water bowl away for about eight hours without causing any harm.
That might help you to reduce the number of night time toilet trips and accidents, but don’t expect your pup to cope for eight hours without needing to potty.
Depending on its age, the ideal solution for limiting night time accidents will be to get up during the night for at least one potty trip – two if your puppy is still under 12 weeks old.
Do a potty trip before bed time and set that alarm. Console yourself with the thought that by doing this, you’re speeding up the potty training process.
How To Potty Train An American Bully Puppy Using A Crate
Many people use crates to help them with potty training – and a crate has other uses too. However, your puppy will need to have positive associations with his crate, seeing it as his “den” where he is safe and can relax.
A crate also helps you to confine your puppy when you aren’t available to supervise them, but never leave him there for more than two or three hours. It’s not a jail cell.
Here’s how to use your puppy’s crate to help potty train them. Place a divider into the crate leaving enough space for your pup to stand up, turn around, or curl up, but don’t let it be too spacious. Here’s why.
Your American Bully puppy is going to try as hard as he can not to potty in his bed. When he needs to go, he will become restless, and you’ll know it’s time to try a potty trip.
Of course, he might just have decided that he’s lonely, bored, or tired of being shut in. That’s OK too!
Another approach that might work for you (and your puppy) is to provide enough space for your puppy to sleep in the crate, and use a divider with a gap big enough for your puppy to move into the rest of the space.
Line it out with potty pads, and your pup will naturally move into the second space in the crate to avoid soiling his bed.
However, do try using this strategy mainly at night and build the outdoor potty routine during the day.
While it’s all very well for your pup to go to his crate and use the potty pad, you probably won’t want your adult American Bully turning part of his crate into a toilet once he is grown.
Extra Tips For Potty Training An American Bully Puppy
Always follow the same route to the potty spot. You’re working hard to develop positive associations with that potty spot, and following the same route reinforces the idea that you’re taking your puppy outside to potty.
After a time, your puppy may even follow that route of his own accord when he’s feeling the urge, signalling you that it’s time to go.
In time, your dog may start “asking” to go out, and since scratching on the door is a no-no, you might want to incorporate a “Doggie doorbell” into the routine.
The plan is to ring the bell every time you leave the house to potty your dog, and if the association sticks, your dog might paw the bell to let you know he needs to go out.
However, very young puppies might decide it’s a great new toy, so keep it out of reach during the early stages.
Do make the entire potty process enjoyable for your puppy. Although you’re going to use a command like “potty,” to help your dog to learn what you want from him, don’t use a firm or commanding tone.
Sound happy and excited about the whole thing, and when you get a successful pee or poop from your fur baby in the designated area, make a big fuss of him.
If you have time to indulge in a little play time after potty, do so. It will help to build on the positive associations you’re trying to create.
A leash is also a helpful tool when you’re trying to teach your American Bully puppy to go in a specific area of your garden.
Apart from preventing him from wandering off, it will help your puppy to get used to the leash as a signal that you’re in charge and there’s work to be done.
How Long Does It Take To Potty Train An American Bully Puppy?
Some American Bully puppies start to learn potty training within a matter of weeks. Others take months.
Quite often, the limited time their owners have to supervise them or a lack of structured routine are partly to blame for slowness in getting the idea.
Night times are a bit harder to master, if only because you need to sleep and puppies can’t be expected to hold it all night.
Your dog will be six months old or more before it can last all night without a potty break. And since you’re sleeping, you won’t be able to spot the signs that he’s getting ready to go.
Poos are usually a bit more predictable than pees, and most times, your puppy will want to poop soon after he eats. If you keep feeding schedules regular, you’ll soon develop a feel for other times of the day when poos can be expected.
Top potty times are first thing in the morning, after meals, after naps, and after playtimes. By structuring your puppy’s day, you can predict the best times for potty more accurately.
As time passes, your dog will fall into the routine – provided you created one, and you’ll have a house trained American Bully to enjoy!