I was in Hall County last week working with a new Home Dog Training client and his Dalmatian named Perdita.  She is six months old and, for a puppy, doing pretty well.  We focused on some advanced socialization skills such as fear of the vacuum cleaner broom sweeping as well as standard obedience exercises like come, sit, and walk.  I explained to my client that Dalmatians are normally a little high strung and he should take that into consideration during the teaching process.  He understood and was very happy with the lesson.  As we were finishing up for the day, he had one more question.  He told me that Perdita was doing very well with her pottying, but she was always going on the back patio and not the grass.  He didn’t want to do anything to make her afraid of going outside, but would rather she go on the grass. 

I praised my client for not wanting to force Perdita with her pottying, because he was correct that it could create a negative experience and detract from her willingness to potty outside at all.  I told him that we needed to continue to reinforce the correct response of going outside to potty while creating a natural redirection to the place he would like to use as the outside potty location.

One of the cardinal rules of “doggie potty” is if it smells like a toilet, it must be a toilet.  Perdita’s continual potty on the back patio is allowing the potty to soak the pavers and make it smell or urine.  This smell, as she is walking outside to potty, naturally sends her in that direction and to that location.  We must remove this distraction.  I told him to use a strong cleaner that has been approved by the manufacturer of the tiles to thoroughly clean the tiles.  I told him he might have to do this several times.  After that, I told him to use Lavendar Fabuloso as the final cleanser on the tiles.  This will remove any of the “industrial cleanser smell” and leave a “natural outside lavender scent” over the area.  He might have to do this more than once.

While he is doing this, he needs to put Perdita on a twenty-foot leash and walk her out every time she needs to potty.  Take her across the patio and into the grass.  He should play a little with her while he holds on to the leash and keeps her within the twenty-foot radius of the leash.  Slowly move the play time over to the area he would like her to potty.

Now, slow down the play and let her slow down.  This will also naturally slow down her metabolism and will allow her focus to deviate from the exuberant play to the smells of the grass around her.  These are both natural “I want to potty feelings” for dogs.  He should allow Perdita to wander the specified area while he keep his distance.

Within a few minutes, Perdita should potty.  He should praise her for her action and allow her to stay outside in that same area for a few more minutes.  This will just assure him that Perdita doesn’t have to go to the bathroom attain.  I also told him to leave the potty on the grass.  Although he probably won’t smell the potty odor, Perdita’s keen sense of smell will pick up on it the next time they come out and will naturally encourage her to that spot.

He should repeat this exercise until Perdita naturally crosses over the patio with no direction or assistance from him.  When that happens, he should replace the twenty-foot leash with a six-foot leach and let Perdita continue to cross over the patio.  The purpose of the leash is to still give that feeling of direction without his interaction.  After another week or so, he can remove the leash completely during Perdita’s outside potty experience.

Please call us at (770) 718-7704 it you are in need of any dog training help.  We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Hall County Georgia.  Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Hall County Georgia.