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How to Potty Train a Border Collie: 8 Tips & Tricks

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

Short Haired Border Collie

How to Potty Train a Border Collie: 8 Tips & Tricks

Having the privilege of caring for a Border Collie can be rewarding and exciting. This breed’s intelligence and affection make them awesome companions for kids and adults alike. But one thing most Border Collie owners quickly find out is that their dogs are strong-willed and can be stubborn at times. So, how should you go about potty training your Border Collie puppy? Here are eight tips and tricks that should help make the process less stressful and more successful overall.

The 8 Tips and Tricks to Potty Train a Border Collie

1. Always Practice Patience

One of the most important things that you can do while potty training your Border Collie pup is to practice patience, no matter what happens during a given training session. These dogs are energetic, headstrong, and sometimes stubborn, so your pup might try to “test” your limits instead of following your lead.

Getting upset or angry will not encourage them and in fact, will result in your dog treating potty time outdoors as a bad experience that they want to avoid. Keep in mind that puppy bladders don’t always cooperate, so you should expect a few accidents, no matter how far along you are in the training process. With patience and consistency, your dog should be fully potty trained within about 3 months.

2. Stick With Positive Reinforcement

Utilizing positive reinforcement tactics while potty training your Border Collie can help speed up the process and ensure that your pup feels good about the progress that they are making. Never use a shock collar, a loud voice, or physical punishment. Instead, consider the following ideas:

  • Give your dog a few head strokes every time they successfully go potty outside.
  • Offer them a tasty treat whenever they let you know that they have to go potty so you can take them outside.
  • Provide verbal praise in a calm and loving tone when your dog goes the night without an indoor accident.
Border Collie puppy during obedience training outdoors
Image by: sonsart, Shutterstock

3. Establish an Official Potty Spot

You can help build confidence in your dog while they learn the ins and outs of household potty rules by establishing a dedicated place for them to go potty outdoors. Consider using a rope or hose to create a large circle for potty time, or simply choose a bush or tree. This will help your dog stay focused and ensure that they don’t get sidetracked or confused when practicing their potty skills. It will also make cleaning up after your dog easier and less time consuming.

4. Keep Enzyme Cleaner Handy

You can count on your Border Collie having a few bathroom accidents inside the house while you potty train them. The chance of your dog peeing on the floor in your home will rise dramatically whenever you are not there to supervise them. So, it’s a good idea to keep enzyme cleaner on hand.

This cleaner works by breaking down the enzymes in urine and feces that are responsible for all the bad smells. Cleaning the spot where your dog has an accident with an enzyme cleaner will help keep your home from smelling like an outhouse and reduce the chance that the spot will be used for future potty relief.

Cleaning spray
Image by: polina_tankilevitch, Pexels

5. Constantly Watch for Potty Signs

Learn what signs your dog displays when they have to use the bathroom, so you can get them outside to relieve themselves before an indoor accident takes place. You can do this by paying close attention to your puppy’s movements and behaviors for a few days.

When they have to go potty, you may find that they start to sniff around on the ground, looking for a suitable place to relieve themselves. Alternatively, they might pace and release a whimper or two. They might simply stop playing and get quiet. Whatever their unique cues are, the sooner you learn them, the easier it will be to stop potty accidents before they happen.

6. Use a Leash

Putting a leash on your pup and leading them to their potty spot is a great way to teach them where to go once they’re going potty of their own accord. After a few days of using a leash, your Border Collie should be able and willing to head directly to where you’ve been leading them without any encouragement on your part.

man training a leashed border collie dog
Image by: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

7.  Consider Kennel Training

Dogs do not like going to the bathroom in the same spot where they spend their time; for example, they would rather hold it than relieve themselves while inside their kennel, where space is limited. Confining your dog to a kennel at night or when you leave the house is an effective way to minimize the chance that they will have an accident indoors before you can get them outside for a potty break.

Just keep in mind that puppy bladders must be relieved often, so your pup shouldn’t be kept in a kennel for longer than about 2 hours at a time without a potty break. Once they are potty trained, you should be able to abandon kennel time and let them hang out in the house when you’re sleeping or away.

8. Create a Potty Keyword to Use

By you using a keyword of some kind every time your dog goes potty, they will learn to associate the word with the action of relieving themselves. Therefore, when you say the word, they will know that you’re saying that it’s time to go potty! The word can be something as basic as “potty” to something as fun, like “Yowzah!” No matter what word you use, your dog will associate it with bathroom breaks.

blue merle border collie dog lying down in the daisies
Image By: L.A.Kennedy, Shutterstock

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How to Know When Your Border Collie Is Fully Potty Trained

There are a few signs to look for that will indicate that potty training has been successful and can come to an end. These include:

  • They will bark or whine at the door to indicate the need for a potty break.
  • Indoor accidents are few and far between.
  • Your Border Collie goes to their bathroom spot every time you head out for a potty break.

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In Conclusion

Border Collies are smart and relatively easy to potty train, though their stubborn side might make the process feel overwhelming or frustrating at times. Hopefully, the tips and tricks outlined here will help make the process easier for everyone involved. Even with setbacks, it shouldn’t take longer than a couple of months to fully housetrain your dog.

Featured Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock

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