Too well housebroken?

Posted by paulandabby
Aug 13, 2007
The basics: We think our puppy is about three months old; he was rescued off the street by another family, but they didn't have the time to devote to him and their two small kids, so we took him on about a week ago. The first family had him for about six weeks, and they crate trained him pretty well - we still have the occassional accident, but he's pretty good about going in the yard.

A little too good. He will not go potty of any sort when we are out on walks or visiting friends. Yesterday, we took him on a playdate with two grown dogs at a friend's house. (We think he was separated from the litter way too early, and we're doing our best to introduce him to other dogs to play.) With the walk to and from our friend's, we were out and about for around four hours. That included a little walk with our friend and his grown male dog, who marked territory every block or so. Still, our pup held it in until we were back, inside our gate, where he relieved a very full bladder.

How can we teach him that it is OK to go potty outside of our own yard? I'm worried about what would happen if we take him away for a day trip, or even an overnight.

Posted by Alpha-Dog
Aug 14, 2007
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Hi there,[/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][FONT=Calibri]Thank you for your post. It’s great that you have managed to adopt a dog who is already housetrained! Housetraining can be quite a frustrating process for new puppy owners! However, I can see why you would be concerned about him holding his bladder for too long. [/FONT][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][FONT=Calibri]It is completely normal for a dog to have a regular place that they go to relieve themselves, and in many ways that should be encouraged because it means that there will not be messes all over your lawn. [/FONT][/SIZE]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]In order to teach your puppy that he is allowed to eliminate while out walking, I recommend that you start introducing a command when he relieves himself. In doing so, and once he recognizes the command, you can use it to let him know the other occasions when it is appropriate for him to eliminate.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]The command can be anything you like. “Be Quick” is a very common command used in this situation. Next time you see your puppy heading to his bathroom area, follow him, and while he is doing his business you should repeat this new command over and over in an encouraging voice. Once he has finished you should make a big fuss of him so that a positive association is formed.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Try to do this as often as possible, and once you think he is connecting the command with the action, try using it when you are out for a walk. Hopefully in doing so he will obey, and if you praise him he will have learned that it is ok to relieve himself while out walking. You can then start using the command on other occasions when you want him to eliminate, such as last thing at night, or if you are away from home for the day.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]I have taught all of my dogs this command, and I have found it very helpful in many different situations.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]I hope this helps. Good luck![/SIZE][/FONT]