Brittany Spaniels are exceptionally intelligent and moderately easy to train. But, of course, it helps that they have a loyal personality and are eager to please. One of the downsides of Brittany Spaniel’s ownership is submissive urination, it’s not an issue with housebreaking, but you can correct it with patience and gentleness.
It’s really easy to potty train a Brittany spaniel; after all, they are intelligent dogs. But, potty training any puppy is no easy task as it takes patience and it’s time-consuming.
Potty training is undoubtedly one of the most frustrating aspects of owning a new puppy. This article hopes to explore the best way to potty train a Brittany Spaniel and what you need to be aware of regarding submissive urination.
Are Brittany Spaniels Hard To Potty Train?
There is a misconception that Brittany spaniels are hard to train due to submissive urination. First, you must understand that this condition isn’t a housebreaking issue, and it doesn’t mean your dog has badly behaved.
A well-trained, housebroken dog may pee unexpectedly for several reasons that are rectifiable.
Other than the submissive urination issue, Brittany Spaniels are as easy to potty train as any other dog. This breed is intelligent and thrives in explicit instruction given by its owner, so responding to training isn’t a problem.
Dogs show their acceptance towards a leader sometimes by rolling on their back and peeing on themselves. This is a submissive act, and it is their way of avoiding confrontation with the Alpha dog.
This condition is perfectly normal in puppies, and most outgrow this behavior. However, dogs like Brittany Spaniels remain timid and insecure into adulthood, and that’s when submissive urination becomes an issue in the home.
You will know that your Brittany has this dilemma when he pees during certain circumstances, such as the following:
- When being scolded
- When they hear a disturbance such as an argument or horn beeping
- When someone approaches them
- When someone greets them
When your Brittany Spaniel behaves this way, it’s because he’s shy, timid, anxious, or insecure. He may come from a background where he was punished severely or treated cruelly.
When your dog is unsure of the rules, he will behave highly insecurely. These dogs will pee and mimic submissive postures to placate anyone they view as their leader to prevent punishment.
How Do You Potty Train A Brittany Spaniel?
Before getting into the steps of potty training your Brittany Spaniel, you need to know how to help them get past submissive urination to build up their confidence to stop it from becoming an ongoing issue.
You must teach them commands using only a positive reinforcement training approach, making sure their routine and environment are consistent every time. It’s essential to practice early socialization to normalize them to new people, dogs, sights, sounds, and settings.
Avoid excessive greetings with your Brittany Spaniel, such as loud voices or bear hugs: as your dog will view that as an act of dominance.
So keep greetings low-key and encourage confident postures like sitting or standing using rewards. If you notice your Brittany Spaniel about to take on a submissive posture, encourage them to shake your hand or sit and reward their obedience.
Never approach your pet with dominant or aggressive postures and avoid eye contact, opting to look at their back or tail instead.
To communicate with your Brittany Spaniel, you must get down on their level and ask others to do the same. Avoid petting them on their head, always under their chin.
Do not approach your dog head-on or with the side of your body facing them. Instead, always approach them from the side.
Never scold or punish your Brittany Spaniel for submissive urination, as this will only worsen the problem.
Likewise, do not make your dog smell his pee or poo; reminding him of his actions will only make him scared of you. Instead, eliminate odors straight away whenever your dog submissively urinates.
If your Brittany Spaniel is excessively fearful, talk to your vet regarding medications that could help during retraining. But, most importantly, be patient, as it will take time for your dog to overcome this issue and eliminate it at the appropriate times.
Potty Training A Brittany Spaniel Puppy (Step By Step)
Now that we are a bit more aware of submissive urination and what to do when that happens, especially not scold or punish your dog. We can now look at the potty training steps, and it’s no different from potty training any other puppy.
Be aware that your puppy won’t have complete control over his bladder until he is over four to five months old. Puppyhood is a time of growth and development; they eat more, burn more calories, and eliminate more than an adult dog.
STEP 1. Introduce your new Brittany pup to his home and family. This helps him settle in and learn to trust everyone in his home. Only show your new pet the areas that he’s allowed to be. Do not let him roam by himself in case he does his business.
STEP 2. During potty training, keep a close eye on your pet and study the early signs of when he needs to go. This helps prevent future accidents.
Look for signs that include circling, sniffing, barking, scratching, or any sudden behavioral change, and take your dog outside immediately.
STEP 3. Interrupt accidents if you catch your new puppy about to urinate or defecate, be careful not to be too loud with your Brittany, but say the word “no” and quickly take your dog outside.
It’s a good idea to put a leash on your dog when taking him outside so you can teach him to go to a particular location. It also helps you to know when he’s done.
STEP 4. Select a potty area outside and take your dog there each time he needs to go. Ensure other dogs don’t visit the spot and that it’s easy to clean up afterward. Your puppy will remember the scent of his urine and associate the area with his bathroom.
STEP 5. Select a specific word or sound command each time you take your puppy to his bathroom. The word “go” is one of the most common commands.
Your Brittany will recognize the command and learn what you want him to do. He will eventually understand where he should go to urinate and defecate. Stick to a command and use it each time to prevent confusion.
STEP 6. Each time your puppy goes where he should praise his success. With Brittany Spaniels, you need to be low-key but use a cheerful, happy voice to let your dog know that you’re proud of him. When you are consistent, this gives him an emotional incentive to keep eliminating in the appropriate area.
STEP 7. It helps to make the potty time a more rewarding and relaxing experience for your puppy. If your puppy enjoys going to the bathroom, it makes it easier for him to hold and wait until you let him do his business.
Never interrupt your pet when he goes potty in the right place, as this stresses him out. Instead, you can offer your puppy a small treat after he eliminates to help encourage him.
STEP 8. When your Brittany has accidents indoors, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean the area to discourage your dog from going again in the same place. Use an enzymatic disinfectant not containing ammonia.
To eliminate the odor and the dog’s appeal to the area. You can also use white vinegar to neutralize the smell of ammonia.
Potty Training An Adult Brittany Spaniel
Puppies learn commands well as their brains are like sponges, it’s not impossible to train an adult Brittany, but it would take longer with an adult than with a puppy.
The optimum way to housebreak a fully grown Brittany Spaniel is to start as you would a puppy and monitor your dog more carefully.
Some owners find it helpful to keep a diary of where their adult dog goes and when. You can introduce your dog to a crate but do it gradually.
Dog crates make life easier as paper and pad training offer a temporary solution to potty training. Ensure that the crate has lots of room and is high enough for your dog to stand or lie down. Never keep a dog in a crate for over four hours.
Potty training your Brittany Spaniel is quite straight forward it’s no different from training any other puppy. However, you need to be mindful of submissive urination with this dog breed and do what you can to show your pet that you are trustworthy.
We all want a dog to be obedient but not that obedient. So, help your Brittany Spaniel understand that your home is a safe environment and that you are not trying to intimidate him.
Suppose you notice that your Brittany Spaniel isn’t outgrowing this condition. In that case, you need to consider your behavior when around this dog, never belittle or shout at this dog, approach him at his level, and encourage visitors to do the same when they around your sensitive dog.
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