You’re thrilled with the bundle of cuteness that is your new pitbull puppy, but you’re barely home when the question arises.
How to potty train a Pibull puppy? What should I do when (it’s not an “if”) he makes a mess in the house?
And, as you clean up the latest little doo-doo or pee-patch, you start wondering if you’re ever going to get this right.
That’s when you go online and type in “How to potty train a Pitbull puppy,” cross your fingers and toes, and hope that someone, somewhere, has the answers you need.
Rest assured, you’ll get them right here. Get all the info on the dos and don’ts of Pitbull potty training, the methods you’ll use, what to do when you find an accident or catch him in the act of decorating your home, and how to get your Pitty to “tell” you when he’s gotta go! First, a few facts you need to know.
Puppies Need to Go A Lot
It’s important to remember that puppies need to go a lot more often than adult Pitbulls do. How often that will be depends on a lot of factors, so don’t expect it to go like clockwork.
If you want a rule of thumb to base your schedule on, assume that a three-month-old Pitbull puppy needs to go every three hours or so.
A more effective way of knowing when a puppy’s gotta go is to look at his activities. After sleeping or napping, there’s a good chance he needs to pee.
Pee or poop often follows playtime, and anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes of a meal, there’s a good chance your baby Pitbull needs to go potty.
Don’t expect a puppy to “hold it,” even if you think he already knows the drill. It’s a case of “When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go!” He simply can’t hold it for long.
If You Punish Them, They’re Going To Get Confused
Just as there’s no point in punishing a human baby when he wets his nappy, punishing your Pitbull pup for messing in the house isn’t going to help you with housebreaking.
Your puppy will be confused. Why are you angry? Even if he links his punishment with his mess, he might even decide you don’t like him peeing or pooping at all. It’s going to wreck your relationship.
So, rule number one of potty training a Pitty: don’t punish him for accidents! It’s cruel, it’s unnecessary, and it’s going to destroy his trust in you.
Since you really need that bond of trust throughout your Pitbull’s life, don’t wreck it from the get-go when potty training.
Face the facts. There are going to be “accidents.” It goes with the territory of having a puppy. Take the good with the bad. The good? Your adorable puppy!
The bad? He’s going to need time to learn how to behave around the house, and that includes potty training. You’ll get through this in due time.
The best way to reduce oopsies in the house is to make sure there are lots of outdoor potty breaks. But how will your Pitbull pup know what you’re taking him outside for? We’ll get to that in just a minute.
It’s Going To Take A While
You want your puppy potty trained as fast as possible! That’s understandable. But we all have to face facts when it comes to this all-important training milestone. Getting there is going to take time.
As you and your Pitbull puppy get to know each other better, he’ll start to learn, but he may still backslide.
If you’re observant, you’ll start picking up on the right times to go potty and the signs that Pitty’s got to pee or poop. So, it gets better if you work together as a team.
But, here’s the bad news. Housebreaking takes four to six months on average! Before you panic, do remember that it’s a process.
During the time it takes him to become fully housebroken, he’ll go through being “a little bit” housebroken, half-housebroken, and mostly housebroken. It’s progress!
In time, you’ll get to the point where your Pitbull “tells” you when it’s time to go outside to potty, but the important thing to take out of this is that you are going to need patience.
If the whole process takes six months, that’s not abnormal, and your dog isn’t being naughty.
On the upside, you’ll notice the frequency of potty breaks becoming less over time as your puppy’s “capacity” grows.
So what starts off as a really intensive process becomes progressively easier with the passage of time.
Now that you’ve got an overview of Pitbulls, puppies, and potty training, it’s time to get started with the methods you’ll use to reach your goal.
Pitbull Potty-Training Step-by-Step Plus Tips (100 intro optional)
1. Identify A Potty Spot
To help your Pitbull puppy to learn a new routine, you need to follow set patterns so that you can repeat everything down to the smallest detail over and over again.
So, the first thing to do is to identify the “potty area” you’ll take him to when it’s potty time.
Whenever you go out to potty Puppy, you’ll go to exactly the same spot. At first, you’ll carry him or take him there on his leash, but later, he’ll start heading straight for it even when he’s running free. That’s progress!
Do clean up the potty area of your yard fairly frequently. Apart from keeping things pleasant for your dog, it will help to keep flies away, so everyone benefits.
2. Go Potty Often
The longer you wait between your Pitbull puppy’s potty breaks, the greater the chance that Pitty’s going to go indoors.
As a reminder, after sleeping or napping, after meals, and after play are top potty times – but don’t think they’ll be the only ones! If it’s been awhile since the last potty, take your Pitbull pup to the potty spot.
Wondering about how that’s going to affect your sleep? Let’s be honest: it’s going to!
Animal babies aren’t quite as demanding as human babies, but you can expect some disturbances at night. More on this when we discuss night time routines.
Apart from reducing the number of messes you’ll find in the house, going frequently helps your puppy to build the right habits.
The more often your baby Pitbull goes potty in the right place, the sooner he will learn, and the more quickly you’ll get over this hurdle.
3. Say The Magic Words And Don’t Forget Treats!
As we just saw, you’re going to be taking puppy to potty a lot. Always follow the same route and go to the same spot.
Now to start teaching him the magic words. The first one of these is the encouragement: “Go potty” or whatever phrase you choose. Just make sure it’s always the same one.
Now for the next set of magic words and the reward! When that Pitbull pup lets fly, you’re delighted! “Good potty!” you say, in your happiest tone of voice, as if he’d just done something totally amazing.
Meanwhile, you’re passing on that treat and petting him. Triple rewards! Your puppy is loving it!
He may not be sure why you’re so happy with him just at first, but he’ll figure it out. So repeat the rewards, praise, and petting every single time.
It becomes a positive association: “When I potty there, things are great! And it keeps being great, even when he’s fully housebroken and the potty rewards aren’t as intense.
4. Set Up A Feeding Routine
Routine is great for all dogs, and especially puppies. It helps them to feel that life is predictable and helps them to know when to expect what. It also helps you to know when to expect a poop!
Between three and six months, your Pitbull puppy’s daily feeds will be divided into three meals. Always give them at exactly the same times of the day.
Soon after eating, there’s a good chance that Puppy’s going potty and with times set, you’ll start getting an idea of when what went in is likely to come out.
From six months on, your Pitbull should be ready to switch to two meals a day and won’t need to go quite as frequently.
He or she might be able to last up to 6 hours without a potty break – closer to what you can expect from the adult Pitbull. Just don’t count on it!
5. No Water From Two Hours Before Bedtime
During the day, allow your pup free access to fresh water, but in the interest of a good night’s rest, or at least, as good as possible, you don’t want Pitbull baby to drink a lot of water before night-night time.
Don’t worry that it will be bad for him. Experts say that even at three months, a healthy Pitbull puppy can go without water for eight hours or even an hour or two more with no ill-effects.
Do be sure to put water out first thing in the morning – after potty break, of course!
You can stop taking water away at night once you have a potty trained adult Pitbull on your hands. They’ll be able to hold their water until morning.
A puppy is going to need one or two potty breaks overnight even if he does potty before bed time.
Improve your night’s rest by taking him out for his last Pitty potty before you go to sleep. If he doesn’t go, give him a second try at the potty spot after a few minutes.
6. Use That Crate To Help
Adult Pitbulls, and even growing puppies, will try their very best not to potty where they sleep. You can use planks to adjust the available space in the crate.
Make sure that your pup has enough room to lie, stand up, and turn around, but no space to go pee in a corner of the crate.
Keep the crate in or near your room. It’s a baby! It needs to know you’re near. Also, there’s a good chance that a crated puppy will whine when he starts feeling the urge to pee.
Just in case you miss your cue, line the crate out with potty pads or newspaper.
Do try to avoid him having to mess in his crate, though. You want that crate to have positive associations. It’s your Pitbull’s “nest,” and safe haven and NOT a punishment cell.
7. Advanced Potty Training: Yes Your Pitbull Can Do It!
Would you like to add a touch of style to your Pitbull’s potty breaks? You can try teaching him to ring a bill when he wants to go outside to potty.
Hang a bell on the door, and start by ringing it every time the two of you leave the house to potty.
After a while, use your dog’s paw to bump the bell as you go out. As an adult, he might start using it on his own to alert you when he needs to go.
The pattern you want to build is: “bell equals going outside to potty. Potty outside equals reward.”
However, hang it a little too high for him while he’s still very young – you don’t want him deciding the noisemaker is a fun toy!
Pitbull Potty FAQ
Now that we’ve gone through the basics steps of potty training a Pitbull puppy, it’s time for a few extra tips to help you. Some of these are quite important, so keep reading!
1. What If I Catch Him In The Act?
Oh no! Puppy is peeing on the rug right now! Here’s what to do. Say “no!” quite sharply. Now take him outside immediately and escort him to the puppy do-do spot outdoors.
Because you startled him in the act, he might have something extra to get rid of. If he does, praise him! Treat him! Love him!
2. How Can I Clean Up Pitbull Pee-Pee And Poo Properly?
It’s extremely important to get rid of every last vestige of puppy pee or poo smell when your Pitbull puppy messes in the house.
Remember – his sense of smell is much stronger than yours! If the smell remains, his nose is going to tell him that’s the right place to pee or poo, and that’s the last thing you want!
Start by blotting up pee with paper towels or scooping up the poo. Now use a specialized enzymatic cleaning product for the last vestiges of the puppy mess and smell.
You can get one from just about any pet shop and it really works.
3. What Signs Show That My Puppy Needs To Go?
Unless you know about them, you might easily miss signs that your Pitbull Puppy needs to go potty.
Look out for sudden changes in his behavior. Perhaps he stops playing mid-game, or he was quite happy sitting with you, but suddenly gets up and heads off.
He might start getting restless or get a sudden case of the zoomies.
If he starts walking in circles, maybe sniffing the ground, that could be another sign. Whining is another possibility, or he might head off towards a spot in the house where he messed before.
As you get to know your Pitbull puppy better, you’ll recognize the signs, but to get there, you’ll have to start by being observant.
3. Why Is My Pitbull Pup Slow To Learn Potty Protocols?
It’s important to give your Pitbull pup time to learn potty training, but if you simply aren’t making any progress, you might need to consider whether or not you’ve been going about it in the right way.
Top culprit would be potty breaks that aren’t frequent enough.
Remember, the more he gets it right, the more quickly he’s going to learn.
If you’re too slow with a lot of potty breaks, it’s going to take longer, because your dog is learning to find quiet corners in the house for potty.
Other factors to consider could be whether you’re sticking to the same feeding routine every day, or whether you’ve left “this is my pee spot” smells that you can’t detect floating around for him to pick up on.
Troubleshoot your training methods and routines. Chances are, your Pitbull isn’t to blame for being a little slow!
In closing, we’ll wish you luck with potty training your Pitbull puppy – and along with that, patience and forbearance. You’re going to need them!