Whether you’re exhausted after work, standing in the rain, or your pup just won’t focus, there are times when you need Rover to do his business quickly. The process is pretty basic, and nearly any dog can learn it. No matter if you are teaching your brand-new puppy, or your eight year old best friend, it comes down to positively associating a command phrase with going to the bathroom.
There are two basic steps:
1. Pick a command word or phrase like “potty” or “hurry up”, and when your dog begins to go, say the word or phrase. Try to pick something that is quick to say, and easily recognizable by your dog.
2. When your dog is finished doing his business, reward him with a treat and some positive reinforcement like a good scratch.
While you are teaching your dog his new found ability, be sure you give the command as he is going, and when you do, say it calmly so that you don’t distract him. If you sound excited or anxious he is likely to stop going to pay attention to you instead. But if you do it right, before long he will begin to associate your command phrase with doing his business, and doing his business with getting a treat and a little extra affection.
Though this is an easy ability to teach and to learn, you have to keep in mind that just as you cannot will yourself to go when you’re not quite ready, neither can your dog. You are not the only one telling him to go, nature does as well, so if telling him to hurry doesn’t work, remember that he may not need to go, and that doesn’t warrant being reprimanded. But once your dog has learned to hurry, the likelihood of you getting stuck in the rain holding on to a soggy leash is a lot lower, and you will be able to spend more of your outside time enjoying it rather than wondering if he has to go.