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Thread: How to Teach your Pup to Potty on Command

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    Dog Park Attendant hnhammond's Avatar
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    Talking How to Teach your Pup to Potty on Command

    Til and I just moved to a new apartment where there isn't a whole lot of grass to go potty on. A lot of our neighbors, when I tell them we just moved in, have looked at us and said something like "Well good luck taking her to the bathroom!" because of the grass situation, and express that their dogs take up to 45 minutes to find a suitable place to potty. When I tell them, "Oh, it won't be an issue, Matilda potties on command", everyone looks at me like I grew an extra head and asks how on earth I managed to teach her that.

    So I thought that along with telling everyone in my complex, I will tell all of you how we did it. If you're like me and don't have a yard, this will save you so much time!


    Keep in mind that we taught Tilly at 8 wks old, so it was very quick to teach her because she used the bathroom every 30 minutes. I definitely think you can teach an older dog, but it will take much more time (as repetition is key and puppies can't hold it for very long).

    Here's what to do.

    Find a potty spot that is about 2x2 ft (or just keep the leash short so your pup can only wander in one area). Matilda learned on a patch of fake grass on our balcony (as we didn't want her in the communal apartment bathroom areas until she's had all her shots). The trick is to keep your dog in this small area until he/she potties. Why? Because if there isn't a whole lot of space to sniff around, your dog will get used to just picking a spot right when he's outside.

    At first, it may take awhile. Just make sure to keep your dog in the potty spot area until he goes. You can also buy products (there's one called Skip to My Loo that we used to get her used to the fake grass), that you spray on the ground and it makes your dog want to pee to "mark" over the smell. You probably will only need to use it a few times in the beginning, because once your dog smells his scent on the potty spot, he'll want to keep going right there.

    Make sure you have treats with you. The second your dog begins his potty, say your command, like "Go Potty!". And say it very excitedly over and over again, and give your dog a treat. "Go potty! Good dog! Go POTTY! Good! Here's a TREAT! Go Potty!"

    Do this over, and over, and over again, and make your dog use the same "potty spot" if possible.

    When you are walking your dog, don't worry about keeping him confined to a potty spot. Let him sniff and decide where to pee. However, most of your potty breaks should be in the 2x2 potty spot. If you walk every time you're out, wait for dog to use the potty spot FIRST, then continue the walk.

    After a while, your pup will understand that this is the place to potty, he has already sniffed every inch of it, and as soon as he potties, he will get a treat. So he wants to rush the potty process just as much as you do. So, you'll be able to walk outside your door, say, "Go Potty" and he will do his business.

    After he knows the command, and gets used to relieving himself the second you get out to the grass, you don't need a potty spot anymore. Matilda generally picks the same spot to potty, but it takes her .2 seconds to find a new spot if she decides to move it. If she has to go, she will go the second we ask her to (or at least try to go). We can be anywhere, in any expanse of grass, and she will go potty the second we ask.

    That's it! That's what we did. Let me know how it goes for you, and if you have questions. It has saved me so much time, and because it's VERY hot where we live right now, keeps me from having to force Tilly out into the heat for too long.

    And not only is it convenient, but because Tilly knows what "potty" means, we can ask her if she needs to potty, and if yes, she'll run to the door. If not, she'll stay where she is. Great communication tool that keeps you from taking your dog outside, only to discover he doesn't have to go.

    I hope this was helpful

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    Default Re: How to Teach your Pup to Potty on Command

    Yes..we have always done this with new pups..and we have a private yard! I just carried them to the same spot..said go potty and it usually worked! They like their own scent, which helps immensely! It is really nice at 2 am!

    great info!

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    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: How to Teach your Pup to Potty on Command

    Excellent info/post... We did similar with our two and it worked great.... This little Frenchie, hmm, not so much


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    Default Re: How to Teach your Pup to Potty on Command

    Dudley's phrase -- go tinkle! Out he goes...I say Go tinkle...and he does! Love it!

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    Filling an emptiness we don't even know we have. -- Thom Jones

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    Default Re: How to Teach your Pup to Potty on Command

    I wonder if that would work in my backyard?!! ... Roxie goes by the fence which is great so my grandson won't run into it, but Winston barely gets off the patio... little !!! Drives me crazy... LOL

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
    RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie

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