What to Do When Your Dog Doesn’t Potty on the Walk
We were in Tamarac last Thursday working on a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® project for a new client and Lexi, his precocious, roaming Goldendoodle. As I was installing the perimeter wire in the front yard, a neighbor approached and asked if I also trained dogs. I told her that Robin and I have trained over 3,500 dogs in South Florida over the last eleven years and asked her if she was in need of some dog training help. She said that she had always had dogs all her life, but she was having a big problem with a one year old Pit Bull she had just rescued from the Humane Society. The dog was lovely and sweet and she takes her for walks all the time. Sue-Sue (that’s her dog’s name) loves walks, but she never seems to potty on the walk. She waits until they are home and then potties in the house about fifteen minutes after they get home. She said she has tried all sorts of things and was wondering if I had any great tips I could pass on.
Potty training and potty problems are probably the most bothersome and frustrating challenges that dog owners face. If your dog is having a problem in learning how to sit or stay, all that means is that you need to practice your consistency a little longer. When your dog is pottying or pooping on your living room carpet, that is just gross and stinks up the entire house. This just makes us mad and doesn’t allow us to focus on possible solutions.
Many dogs really love to go for that neighborhood walk. They get to be outside in the fresh air and to see new and fun things. You and your dog now have a great bonding time where you can share all sorts of great things. This is an important part of your relationship and one that is critical for your dog.
The bonding and social aspect of the walk is really a great thing, but it can also bring problems. If you are also trying to entice your dog to potty while on the walk, that may be overshadowed by all the other distractions in place. Think back to school and ask yourself how easy it would be if your teacher tried to teach history and grammar at the same time. It probably wouldn’t work. They focused on one subject at a time so we could properly focus on the lesson and the appropriate answer. We need to take this same example and apply it to our dog’s walking and pottying.
I suggested that the neighbor continue to walk Sue-Sue, but get a thirty foot training lead for the walk. She would walk her as usual, but only use the first few feet of the training lead in the same manner that she would use a six foot leash. Make sure that Sue-Sue has a great walking experience with plenty of sniffing and seeing.
Now, as they approached home, I wanted her to stop next to their house where she had a very large, unfenced side yard. At this point, I instructed her to stand in the middle of that area and give Sue-Sue plenty of lead so she could easily wander all over the area. I cautioned her not to give too much lead to allow her to wander into the street and into harm’s way.
I suggested that she also bring a ball or other toy that could get Sue-Sue’s attention and have her excitedly chase after it and bring it back to her for a “fetch game”. After a few minutes, they should stop the fetch game and she should let Sue-Sue settle down.
At this point, the dog’s adrenaline will decrease and the lack of release of energy will slow the metabolism. The removal of the direct focus of the “fetch game” will redirect Sue-Sue’s focus to the immediate smells of the area. These are natural potty inducers.
I told her that her dog will probably go to the bathroom within a few minutes because she had now set the scene for potty and not walkies. As soon as Sue-Sue had gone potty, she should praise her for a great job. I also cautioned her not to bring her back inside immediately. Give her a few more minutes outside just so that she could be sure that all the potty had been completed.
Sometimes we need to refocus our dog to allow them to do the right thing. Allowing our dog to “have a moment” after or during the walk allows them to focus on their bladder and not the “wide outdoors”. If you have any sort of dog questions at all, please go to Dog Fence Training Help Tamarac South Florida or call (954) 472-4724. There are a lot more Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® and dog training secrets at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Tamarac South Florida. Robin and I are very excited to have been your local pet experts for over eleven years in Tamarac and all of South Florida. Do you know a dog that is in need of some obedience or behavior training? Besides being really good invisible dog fence guys, we are also really good dog trainers. You can take a look at our Behavior and Obedience Home Dog Training Programs at Home Dog Training Tamarac South Florida.