Of course every dog needs adequate exercise outdoors every day. Whether turning her loose in any of the several off-leash dog parks in Charlotte or strolling through your neighborhood, exercise keeps dogs healthy and content. But for when you or your pet sitter are taking your dog out for quick potty time, wouldn’t it be great if your dog could do her business ASAP? Instead of waiting for her to sniff every tree, shrub and blade of grass in the yard for the “perfect” spot, she can go on command if you train her to.
As with teaching any dog commands, catching her in the act is the easiest way to link the behavior with the command. Select one word you will use only for prompting urination and one you will use only for defecation. Many dogs will urinate first to mark territory and then select a place where they can dig a little to defecate, so you need a word for each. Don’t choose the same word that you use to signal going outside, such as “walk” or “park time” or a term you use to potty training your toddler. Either of these tactics may cause accidents inside for dogs that listen carefully.
Say the chosen word when she performs. Give her a small treat and praise her. It won’t take long for her to catch on that good things happen when she eliminates after she hears her special words.
Notice your dog’s pattern of elimination. She may not need to defecate every time, so don’t push it. Never scold the dog if she’s not trying. Harshness may lead to accidents inside. Positive reinforcement yields the best results.
Let your dog walker know about your training so she can help your efforts. Like other types of dog training, consistency makes a huge difference, so your pet sitting service should partner with you.