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How To Potty Train A Pitbull (12 Expert Tips)

Gregory Iacono

By Gregory Iacono

american pitbull puppy pooping on grass field

Because of their reputation as not-so-nice dogs, Pitbulls also have a reputation for being difficult to train, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The Pitbull has a lot of energy, it’s true, but they are no harder or easier to train than any other dog. But, you might ask, what about potty training? If you’re worried about potty training your new Pitbull, we have 12 valuable tips below for potty training your remarkable dog.

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Top 12 Tips to Potty Train a Pitbull

1. Don’t Throw Away Your Pit’s Poop if it Goes Inside

hand holding a plastic bag full of dog poop
Image Credit: Pam Walker, Shutterstock

Like most breeds, Pitbulls go to the same place every time to do their business. That’s good news because once they start going outside in your yard, they will go there all (or close to all) of the time. To help them pick a pooping spot they like, if your dog poops inside your home, pick it up with a bag or gloves and place it outside where you want your dog to go. This is an excellent trigger for them and can help your Pit remember that outside the house is where they need to go.

2. Clean Up Your Pit’s Urine and Feces Thoroughly

As we mentioned in tip #1, most dog breeds, including Pitbulls, go to the bathroom at or near the same spot every time. The problem is, if they have an accident inside your house, your Pitbull will go back to that place, smell its urine and feces, and go potty again, thinking it’s okay to do so.

That’s why it’s imperative you thoroughly clean up when your Pit goes potty inside the house so that there’s no scent left behind to trigger it to do it again. You can find cleaning products on the market that remove urine and poop smells well, and experts recommend you buy one right after you adopt our new Pitbull puppy.

3. Use an Enzymatic Cleaner to Remove the Smell of Your Pitbull’s Urine

Spraying carpet cleaner on the carpet
Image Credit: Syda-Productions, Shutterstock

Several manufacturers produce special carpet and floor cleaners with enzymes that thoroughly break down the chemicals that cause urine to smell, like ammonia, urea, and electrolytes. Urine is a very difficult smell to remove completely. If you don’t remove the urine smell thoroughly, your Pitbull will likely find it again and pee in the same area again.

4. Keep Close Tabs on Your Pitbull as a Puppy

Training any dog takes quite a bit of time, effort, diligence, and repetition. It’s not an easy job, and many people find it a bit overwhelming, especially if they’ve never owned a dog. However, you must keep a close eye on your puppy for the first few weeks while training.

That way, you know exactly what’s going on and can plan to give your Pitbull a potty break before they have an accident in your home. A good example is watching for sniffing, squatting, or circling in an area with their tail straight out. If they do that, they need to go to the bathroom, and you should take them outside immediately.

5. Go Outside with Your Pitbull to Praise Its Potty Efforts

pitbull puppy sitting outdoor with owner
Image Credit: CoreRock, Shutterstock

Many new Pitbull owners let their Pitbull puppies go outside to do their business while they stay inside their homes. That’s the worst thing you can do because your Pit won’t know if they “did good” or “did bad.” Every time you let your puppy outside to go potty, go with them so that you can praise them.

Many dog trainers recommend giving your Pitbull a treat when they go potty outside rather than inside. Your praise will show them that going potty outside is the right thing to do. With time, even the slowest of Pitbull pups will understand and, eventually, go potty outside every time.

6. Don’t Play or Talk with Your Pitbull While they Go

Another big mistake many new Pitbull owners make when they adopt their puppy is to play with it or talk to it when it’s time to go potty. This is the worst thing to do because it takes the focus off potty time and turns it into playtime, which is not what you want. It’s also difficult because everyone wants to play and talk to their puppy rather than ignore it.

However, ignoring your Pitbull puppy completely while they go potty is the best thing to do and will help you successfully potty train them in less time.

7. Use the Same Potty Command All the Time

pitbull puppy sitting on grass
Image Credit: McCann Michelle, Shutterstock

Dog trainers highly recommend using a simple command to let your dog know they must go potty. Something uncomplicated like “go potty,” “do your business,” or even “go” is great. When you first start training your Pitbull puppy to go potty outside, you should whisper this command every time they go.

The benefit is that once your pup has been fully potty trained, you can use that command to get them to go potty quickly.

8. Make a Potty Break Schedule (and Stick to It)

Depending on the age of your puppy, it will need to go potty at different intervals. For example, a very young Pitbull puppy might have to go potty every 10 to 15 minutes, while an older puppy might be okay going potty once every hour. Experts recommend making a potty break schedule and sticking to it so that you can be proactive and bring your Pitbull puppy outside before they have an accident.

One of the best ways to do this is to set a timer on your smartphone based on the age of your puppy and its potty frequency. You can set it to “repeat” so that it goes off at the same time all day long.

9. Don’t Get Your Pitbull Puppy a Huge Crate

american pit bull terrier dog in crate
Image Credit: Lina Petrosyan, Shutterstock

Some new Pitbull owners choose to crate train their puppy, which is an excellent plan when done well. However, one problem is when you purchase a crate that’s much too big for your puppy. The more room you give it, the higher the likelihood it will go potty inside its crate.

Why won’t a Pitbull puppy go potty in a small crate? Because, like all dogs, Pitbulls don’t like to sleep near where they poop. With a big crate, however, they can poop in one end and sleep in the other, which is why a smaller crate is the better choice.

10. Take Your Pitbull Outside to Go Potty Every Night Before Bedtime

It might not be exactly what you want to do right before bedtime, but taking your Pitbull puppy outside before you tuck in for the night is highly recommended. That way, they can urinate and defecate if they need to and not have any accidents while you’re sleeping.

11. Tether Your Pitbull to You During the Day

pitbull dog with leash lying indoor
Image Credit: Andrew P Attilio, Shutterstock

Pitbulls, like all puppies, tend to wander around if they aren’t being supervised. This, of course, can lead to a higher incidence of accidents in your home. To prevent them, trainers recommend tethering your Pitbull puppy to you or an object nearby. That way, you can keep a close eye on them, and if they start going potty inside, you can immediately take them outside.

12. Stay Away from Pee Pads

While they can be helpful, for the average Pitbull puppy and its owner, a pee pad is simply a crutch that allows them to put potty training on the back burner. It’s better to use the previous tips to potty-train your Pit in less time.

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Final Thoughts

The average Pitbull is a very intelligent dog, and if you’re diligent, follow the tips above, and are a good dog owner, they should be potty trained in a few weeks. Some Pitbulls can even be potty trained in as little as a month, but most take about 3 months to learn that peeing and pooping in the house is unacceptable. Best of luck training your Pitbull using the 12 expert tips we’ve provided today!

Featured Image Credit: LookerStudio, Shutterstock

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