We’ve all been there – it’s the middle of January, it’s freezing out and the snow is coming down hard. It’s almost midnight and all your dog wants to do is run around in the snow. They have no urgency to go potty and simply want to gallop around the snow and play. When you’re stuck waiting on your dog to go to the bathroom, you’re luckily wondering how you can speed this process up.
Well we are here to explain just how to do it. We’re going to walk you through the steps on how to get your pup to go potty on command, no matter where you are. Many owners struggle with their dog only going to the bathroom in one specific spot, but with some consistent training, we can speed this process up.
Use A Leash
The very first step is to understand the importance of the leash. The only way you’ll be able to teach your dog to go to the bathroom on command is by starting with the leash. Most dogs struggle to go to the bathroom with urgency because of one main reason: they are distracted!
When outside and in public, there are so many smells to be sniffed, so many things moving and blowing in the wind, dogs and people in the distance, etc. It’s extremely easy for your dog to get sidetracked and lose focus on the task at hand: going to the bathroom. When you have your dog on leash, you’ll be able to guide them and communicate much better. If your dog becomes overly distracted, you can utilize the leash to give gentle redirections and reiterate your “potty” command. Every time they get distracted, simply jiggle the leash and reiterate your command. Do not stop redirecting their attention and focus until they go!
This process can certainly be expedited if you practice in a low distraction area such as your backyard. If you attempt this process early on in a high-distraction area like a part, you will be setting yourself up for failure. Minimizing distractions will allow your pup to focus on what they need to do.
The Same Spot
In the beginning, it will really help to go to the same exact location to teach your dog to go on command. Dogs are very much so creatures of habit and will get comfortable going to the bathroom in the same spot. This will dramatically help to speed up the process of learning to go to the bathroom on command.
If you are constantly moving to new areas to practice, your dog will likely become easily distracted. Make it easier on your dog by frequenting the same exact spot whether it be out on the street or in your yard. Continue to utilize your “potty” command until they go, and don’t forget to use your leash!
Mark The Behavior
Once you have been practicing the above steps with great consistency, you’ll want to begin marking the behavior. For this, you are going to need high value treats and be ready! These treats should be hidden in your pocket to avoid overly distracting your dog.
As your dog is going to the bathroom, discretely and quietly grab a treat from your pouch or pocket and get ready. The split second your dog goes to the bathroom, reiterate your “potty” command, celebrate, go crazy, and reward them with the treat. Every single time you do this, you will be marking the behavior of going to the bathroom outside. Pairing the command with the reward will help them do it even faster the next time.
The more you practice, the quicker they are going to pick up these concepts. With that being said, you will need to be consistent. Every single time you go outside, there has to be a leash on your dog. Every single time they go to the bathroom, you will need to reward them with a treat.
If you are inconsistent with your training, it will dramatically prolong the process and will be much more challenging for your dog to learn to go potty on command. It should only take a week or two for your dog to begin going to the bathroom on command. As they progress through this simple training, begin taking them to higher distraction places to practice going to the bathroom on command. If they struggle, take a step back, reset, and try again in a lower distraction place.
Teaching your dog to go to the bathroom on command is not challenging, but it does take consistent practice. When you follow the steps we have outlined above, you should be able to have your dog going to the bathroom on command in just a week or two.
Take it slow, use your leash, be consistent, mark and reward with treats, and watch your dog rapidly progress.
If you need more assistance, you can reach out to us any time via our Contact Form and we’d be more than happy to help!