Teaching Your Dog to “Potty” on Command
March 2nd, 2017 by Marlene Ring
Think about the last time you just wanted to go to bed at night and your dog was taking forever to “do his business” for that last trip out? All dog owners want Fido to “Hurry Up and GO!!”
Several years ago I adopted an adult dog named Dakota. He was my first personal dog that I adopted as an adult. Soon after he started living with me he urinated in the house. We are so not doing that, especially since he was potty trained…..or maybe not?? I realized that the problem was…I didn’t know when or if he had gone potty.
I knew I needed to train him to “GO POTTY” on command. My past dogs could all do this, as I had trained them from puppyhood.
Dakota learned “GO POTTY” in about 10 days.
I would take him out and ask him to “GO POTTY!” If he did, I’d run into the house and he would come with me. We would play for a few minutes with his toys and then I would continue with whatever I was working on.
If he didn’t potty, no big deal. I would go into the house and leave him outside or put him back into his crate. This isn’t about punishing him, it is about managing his behavior.
Now, is it possible to teach a dog to go “poop” on command?
The first time I tried, I was successful. I had a Golden Retriever named Willey and I read in a dog book about accomplishing this goal. The book said to name going poop after a relative you don’t like. Fun idea, but since I didn’t have a relative I didn’t like, I tried to think of a cue that would work.
We were living in Panama at the time. I had 2 mango trees and when you drove over the rotten mangos on the ground there was a terrible smell. So I decided to call going poop “mango.” Dogs obviously don’t have a concept of the English language, so all we have to do is teach them word association.
When you see your dog going poop, just say the “poop” cue until the dog understands. As the years progressed it was always fun to remember the choice of “mango” as the word we picked for “poop” while living in Panama. Basically, all you have to do is: say your cue when the dog is already pooping and be sure to always reinforce the behavior.
Even if you don’t use this technique every day, it is very helpful to have it in place anytime you are away from home. You can take your dog on vacation with confidence or even out to the lake for a day knowing you can schedule when and where they will do their business. Think how much more willing you will be to take them places because of this.
That makes for a very happy dog!
I help my clients with potty issues of all kinds more than anything else. My years of experience have given me tools for success in this area. If you are having potty issues of any type with your dog, please give me a call. I will be glad to help you.