I was in Acworth last week at a new Home Dog Training client helping him with his eight month old German Shepherd named Johnnie. At eight months, Johnnie is just starting to leave “puppy stuff” and entering “teenage doggie stuff”.  This means that was starting to become more physical and lose focus.  This is something you don’t want with a Shepherd, as my client understood.  We worked with Johnnie and he quickly understood that being physical was not right and that he needed to give my client the focus and respect he deserved.  As we were wrapping up, my client mentioned that Johnnie was just about potty trained, but there was just one thing that he found strange. Sometimes, when he takes Johnnie out, he doesn’t seem to want to go potties.  As soon as he brings him back in, Johnnie will have a potty accident.  This doesn’t happen all the time, but it just seems odd. He wondered what they can do to fix this and keep his carpet from being an over-glorified wee-wee pad…

I told my client that this is a question often asked by many of our clients.  To restate the issue, their dog normally doesn’t potty in the house, but sometimes doesn’t go outside and as soon as he comes inside, he potties.  This describes a situation where the general potty problem has been solved, but a question of activity,location, and observation need to be addressed.  We offer this solution to all our clients with this potty problem:

  • As soon as you take your dog outside to go potty, actively engage him in high energy play.  Do things like throwing the ball for him, hiding is favorite toys and actively encourage him to find them.  Play fetch.  Whatever you do, make sure it is high energy so that you are speeding up your dog’s metabolism.  This is the first step in encouraging “potty”.
  • Now, stop your active play and simply, quietly stand back.  Let your dog calm down and begin to focus on the smells of the yard.  This will continue to encourage his “potty now”.
  • He will now slow down and often (quickly) find a place to potty (#1).  He will then take off again, moving around the yard and sniffing.  He will normally move away from you as he continues his “sniffing journey”.  There will be a place where he will slow down and start to circle.  He will stop after a few circles and will poopie (#2).  After this, he will be more animated and run around the yard for a bit.
  • Do not bring him in right away after he has done his #1 and #2.  Let him “hang out” for a few more minutes.  Sometimes dogs need to potty more than once.  If you bring him in too soon, you may have “brought the bathroom inside”.
  • We suggest that you keep him outside for another three to five minutes.  If he needs to go to the bathroom again, this is the time he normally will do his business.
  • If you are outside and your dog hasn’t potty for fifteen or twenty minutes, take him inside but keep him on a leash right at your side.  Wait five minutes and take him out again.  Many times coming inside will heighten his urge to potty.  All you have done is to kick start the process by bringing him in for a moment and take him outside to finish.
  • Follow the steps we have already discussed when you take him out again.

Having your dog outside for potty and then bringing them in only to potty on your carpet is just outright annoying.  Try our suggestion and we think you will be very pleased with the results. Remember, potty training is not “magic”.  It is putting a repetitive and consistent process in place to educate your dog that “the toilet is outside”.

Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 or (770) 718-7716 if you need any dog training help.  We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over fifteen years.  We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.