Robin and I were at a Home Dog Training session in Canton last Monday when our client told us about his recent vacation with his Black Labrador Retriever, Geronimo. “I just don’t get it”, he said. Geronimo has been potty trained for years, but when we were on the trip, he had accidents. What is the problem?”
We told our client about our same experiences. Our family loves to take trips to Hilton Head and stay in bungalows on the beach. When we were there over Thanksgiving, we noticed that our perfectly potty trained dogs started to exhibit an accident or two. Just like the situation with our client, our vacation experience was causing a regression in our dogs’ bladder manners. After thinking about normalcy at our home and normalcy at the bungalow, we quickly concluded that we had vastly changed the potty schedule that we had historically established. With all the vacation and holiday activities that had taken charge of our focus, we were not giving our dogs the necessary focus needed to understand when they needed to get out.
When we are on a traveling vacation, it is sometimes difficult to always pay attention to our dogs and their needs. We had do think of something different so that we weren’t losing our “cleaning deposit” at every place we stopped. Here is what we came up with:
First we established a schedule based on our specific activities for that day. Whenever possible, we tried to get our dogs out every three hours, even if we had been playing with them and they had been outside earlier. We also kept them in their crates when we left the bungalow. Since they were crate trained and had established a drive not to go in the crates, being in the crates strengthened their “I really don’t want to go.”
Guess what? It worked perfectly. All the potty issues disappeared as soon as we modified our schedule to our vacation activities and made proper use of the crates. This is simply a “return to basics” based on the situation we were currently experiencing.
Even though this is simple advice, it will surely help you keep your cleaning deposit the next time you travel with your dogs!
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over fourteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.