Potty Training A Pug In The Winter? (When They Hate The Cold)

When you add a pug into the family, you train them on a few basics. Potty training can be challenging, especially for young pups. Eventually, they catch on and establish a routine. 

Unfortunately, winter sets in, and all that training goes out the window. Your precious pug hates the cold. You have to train them specifically for the cold season. The first few days of training might be a challenge. 

When it comes to potty training a Pug in the winter, you need to establish a routine, be ready for them to resist, and take precautionary steps to protect your pooch from the harsh elements.

potty training a Pug in the winter

We’ll uncover everything you need to know to potty train your pooch in the cold harsh temperatures. Check out our potty training Pugs resource that helps new owners get their Pugs trained quickly.

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Brace for initial resistance

The cold and the pug’s stubbornness are a recipe for resistance when you start potty training your pug in the winter. Stay patient. Potty training a pug can take up to 3 months. 

It may take the entire winter to fully train your pug to potty outside. 

Learn their routine

If you have already trained your pug to go potty, you know their schedule. This breed has a small bladder. As such, they require frequent potty breaks. Pugs typically relieve themselves after an hour or two. Keep the same routine during the cold season. Note that the frequency might be higher in the winter. 

Your pug might not want to go outside in the winter. Since you have established a routine, keep them close while you’re in the house. You can react faster when it’s time for them to go in the snow. 

Get the pug a coat

Your pug hates the cold as much as you do. Still, you don’t want them going potty inside the house. You also don’t want them getting too cold when they’re out. 

Get a coat that covers the back and the sides and ties around the belly. Keeping them warm makes them less resistant to potting outside in the cold. Eventually, you can get a coat that covers more parts of the body, including the legs. 

Create a path

All your efforts might go to waste if your stubborn pug has to be neck-deep in the snow every time they have to go potty during winter. Make it easier for them by creating a clearance to their potty place. Take them outside and put them on this path. They will associate it with the potty place. 

If you live in an apartment building that allows dogs, work on getting the pug out of the house as fast as possible. Choose the shortest route. Bonus points if you have an elevator that doesn’t have too much human traffic. 

Carrying the pug is a great way to help them hold it in a while longer. Their small bladders can’t withstand excess movement during pressing calls. 

Mark a specific spot

housebreaking a Pug in the winter
Housebreaking a Pug in the winter can be challenging, especially for older Pugs

Create the path to a place you can access quickly from the house. The goal is to reduce outside time and make the pug relieve themselves even when you are not around. To make it easier, select a location that doesn’t require frequent snow shoveling. 

The pug needs to be comfortable going outside to potty without you worrying about them getting stuck in the snow when you are not home. 

It’s a different case in an apartment. A balcony is a great place to set up a doggy potty area for your pug. Install a potty patch to make it look like the regular outside spot. 

Speed up the process

Train your pug to go as soon as they are outside. You can do this by giving them a command once they are in the designated spot. 

Use something like “Be quick” or their name and a one-word command. Snow works to your advantage since they will not spend time trying to play in the cold. 

Reward positive behavior

The first few trials of potty training your pug in winter might have some accidents. Don’t freak out. Instead, use a language or a command to show the pug that it was an accident, and you are not upset. 

You can start by rewarding successful attempts with treats. However, remember to keep them in shape by not feeding them too many treats. They might not want to move around too much, even when they’re inside during the winter. Shower them with compliments after they are done. 

Train the pug to alert you

Your pug needs to learn how to let you know they’d like to go potty outside. They might sit by the door and wait if there is no one around. Unfortunately, that might lead to a messy accident. 

If they’d had some previous training on going outside, you might notice they start looking around, sniff around the door, and bark. Take them out as soon as you notice some of these cues, especially after meals. 

Training your dog how to bark on command is a different exercise. However, dogs can understand language. Note when the pug starts a certain fussiness around the door.

Use this as your cue to command them to speak. Try using a firm tone and command. Say, “speak,” and when they complete the command, mark the response. You can mark the response, reward it, and open the door for them to head outside. 

Proceed to train them using longer chain words. You can tell them to speak when they want to go potty. A question might work well in such a scenario. Be direct in your question. 

“Do you want to go potty?” At this point, they might bark in the affirmative. Let them go outside on their own. Congratulate them if they find the spot you assigned them. 

Stay ready for accidents

It’s highly unlikely that your training tactics will fail. However, it would be best if you stay prepared to deal with any slip-ups. Get some puppy pads. 

Puppy pads will be a big help if your pug hates going outside. Set the pads in a designated indoor area and train them to use that area only when they are in the house. They will come in handy when you are not in the house. 

Being ready for accidents also means keeping an enzyme cleaner within reach. The enzyme cleaner helps eliminate smells. Unlike ammonia cleaners, enzyme cleaners make sure the pug doesn’t associate the accident site with potty time. They won’t use that area again. Clean up as soon as the accident happens. 

Potty Training A Pug In The Winter: How To Protect Your Pug

The fact is, your pug will get cold in the winter during potty training. It takes time for them to adapt to the new commands. Before they take to the cold weather, prepare them to deal with the effects of being outside every hour or two. 

Check the paws

Dry the pug’s toes as soon as they are back in the house. If you use ice melting products to prepare a path to the pugs outside potty place, the products might damage their paws. It would help if you dried their paws after checking and confirming no sign of damage from sand, sharp objects, and sand. 

Also, take note of any signs of discomfort from the bugs. Small bits of ice getting stuck between the pug’s paws can be painful. You can line the path with soft material to reduce possible damage. 

Protect the nose

Constantly being out in the snow exposes the pug to a dry nose. This is because when humidity dips during the winter, a pug will draw moisture from the skin. Pugs love licking their nose. Constant licking might lead to a chapped nose. 

Get a nose balm for the pug. It might go a long way in making them more receptive to the idea of getting potty trained to potty outside. 

Develop a play area in the house 

Harsh winters could mean your pug doesn’t get any activity that stimulates their limbs and sense of adventure. If the pug associates outside with zero playtime, your training tips and tricks will go to waste. 

Avoid letting them stay inside for too long to reduce the chances of them developing heart and weight issues. You can clear out an area around the house for playtime. Pugs might hate the cold, but your warmly dressed pugs will be happy to play even for a short while. 

Get the necessary vaccinations

You’d want to have your shots too if you had to go outside in the snow to relieve yourself every hour or two. Make sure your pug is vaccinated in time for the winter period. Train them to go outside without worrying they might get sick from all the times they’re being yanked out. 

Plan their training around weather-appropriate times

Some people will take a hard stance on potty training your pug to go outside during the winter. However, your pug might become hostile due to going out in the cold. You have to check the weather first to ascertain if it’s okay to take him out. 

Pugs are a stubborn little dog breed. They might refuse to go, especially during the initial stages of potty training. However, your pug doesn’t want to annoy you. If you make the potty time more pug-friendly, you can establish a working pattern faster.

 Final Word

In summary, your Pug will not want to go outside in the cold. Some may even hold it too long until they have an accident inside.

Be prepared to pick them up and carry them outside to their designated potty spot!

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