Are Blue Heelers hard to potty train?
Blue Heelers are relatively easy to potty train if you are consistent and minimize mishaps. They generally will pick up what is required of them when it comes to toileting.
Australian Cattle Dogs are extremely smart ( learn just how smart they are here.) They have the ability to learn a new command with an average of only 5 repetitions and know what you want them to do quickly. This ability to learn and understand quickly along with consistency from you should make the toilet training process not as big of a drama as you may have been anticipating.
Obviously, there will be accidents and mishaps along the way but these can be avoided as long as they have the opportunity to relieve themselves when they need to. This requires that you are aware of when they need to go.
The most common times your Blue Heeler puppy will need a toilet break is after they have eaten or had a drink, and just after they have been sleeping.
How long does it take to potty train a Blue Heeler?
The time it takes to fully potty train your Blue heeler puppy will vary depending on the individual dog. This can be as short as a few days or weeks. Allowing bad habits to form will make the whole process harder and take longer. You may still have some accidents even after they understand where they can relieve themselves.
These setbacks are nothing to worry about and quite normal when potty training any puppy. Just continue to work on the basics and stay consistent.
Ideally, it is best to begin potty training as young as possible (8 weeks old). If you start when they are older it is still possible but may require a little more time and patience. At 8 weeks old a puppy doesn’t have as much bladder or bowel control so is unable to wait and hold it. When they need to go they need to go. By around 12 weeks they will have much more control.
This is why it is especially important early on to be watching and to give them plenty of opportunities to go outside.
Methods to potty train a Blue Heeler puppy
There are a number of effective methods for potty training a puppy. It is best to teach them to go outside from the start. Many people will use puppy pads or artificial grass toilet trays. The problem with this is that you will need to teach them to go outside eventually which means breaking them of that habit and starting again.
The key to success with potty training a Blue heeler puppy is to be persistent and consistent, watch for when they need to go, and give them frequent opportunities to go in the right place.
Method 1: Frequent potty breaks
The easiest method to toilet train your Blue Heeler is to take them to the spot you want them to use as frequently as possible. This should be at least every hour and also include times that they are likely to want to relieve themselves. Those times are usually just after waking up from a nap, and straight after eating.
You should have a consistent feeding schedule giving them their food at the same times. This way it will be easier to predict when they will need to go. Also, watch out for obvious signs that they need to go outside. This can include them sniffing a spot or circling.
To use this method, take them to the toileting spot. When you see they are about to go toilet use a cue word such as “toilet” or “potty”. Reward them the instant they are finishing going. The reward can be praise and/or a treat.
A simple trick to use if you want your puppy to go in a certain spot or area is to use a potty training spray that contains an attractant to make them want to go there. You just spray in the area you want them to go and they will sniff it and relieve themselves. View potty training sprays on Amazon.
If your Blue Heeler puppy hasn’t done its business within 10 minutes of going outside to the toilet simply try again later.
This may all seem very time-consuming but it is the simplest and fastest way to potty train your Blue Heeler.
Method 2: Crate training your Blue Heeler puppy
The purpose of crate training your Blue Heeler puppy is to provide them with their own safe den and to teach them the rules and boundaries of the home. Potty training is one of those lessons they can get from crate training. Dogs don’t like to go to the toilet in their den. , When your puppy begins to associate their crate with being their den they will start to learn to hold their bladder.
It also is a place to keep them while they learn where in the home they can go and what objects they can touch. In addition, it is a great way to teach a puppy to be quiet and not nuisance bark. They learn they are not released from the crate if they are making a noise.
It is important to select the correct size crate. A puppy crate should be big enough for their bed but if it has too much excess space they will use it as a toilet. If a crate is way too big for them it won’t make them feel as secure as a den should and they are more likely to play and run around instead of settling.
How to introduce your Blue Heeler puppy to the crate
- With the door open let your puppy explore and investigate the crate.
- Praise and reward your puppy for making progress such as sniffing the crate, stepping part way in, or even entering it fully.
- If your puppy refuses to enter the crate don’t force them. After your puppy has calmly gone all the way into the crate at least once, repeat by continuing to toss dog treats inside the crate and getting them into the crate. Start using a command, such as ‘crate’. Don’t shut the door just yet.
- Once your puppy is happily entering the crate without a fuss you can stay to close the door. At this time you can confine them for short periods of time. Make sure that your puppy has gone to the toilet before shutting them in the crate.
- Repeat the process gradually increasing the time.
As you lengthen their time in the crate your puppy will learn to hold their bladder. However, during the initial stages of crating your puppy at night, you should expect to be woken a few times for a toilet break. If they do the toilet in the crate overnight, ensure you clean it thoroughly to remove the smell. You don’t want them to associate the crate with going to the toilet.
What not to do when potty training a Blue Heeler puppy
Don’t punish or reprimand your Blue Heeler puppy if they have an accident. The old wife tale that if you rub a dog’s nose in it they won’t do it again is just stupid. All this will achieve is to make your puppy afraid of you. they may even look to go when you are not looking to avoid punishment.
If they do have an accident take them outside to make sure they are finished. It is important to clean the spot they went to remove the odor. Otherwise, the smell will attract them to go to that spot again. It is best to use a puppy urine spray to neutralize the odor.
Avoid feeding our puppy at least two hours before going to bed. This will help to minimize or prevent overnight accidents. If they are toileting during the night, increase the number of toilet breaks throughout the day.