Adopting a fully grown shelter dog is usually not considered when a family decides to get a new pet. It may actually be the best choice for your family.


A fully grown shelter dog may already be house trained, trained in basic obedience and be past the teething stage. That means no messes in the house, no damaged furniture and a dog that listens to it’s owner. That sounds like a dream dog to me. You’ll also know what you’re getting in your new dog regarding it’s size, color, temperament and personality. There are fewer surprises and you’ll have the advantage of knowing what you’re getting before you get it.


If you’re looking for a loving family pet a shelter dog just may be the answer. If your looking for a show dog it’s probably not. I say probably because I’ve seen pure bred animals, with papers, in the shelter I worked in. It was rare but it did happen. Sometimes the dog out-grew it’s family and sometimes it was disobedient or chewed up something in the house. Occasionally the owner just wasn’t responsible enough to own a pet and it was just too much work. There were many reasons why they were brought to the shelter by their owners.


When shopping at the local grocery store, most people are picky about what they choose. There are many things they take into consideration before making decisions. They check the dates on perishables, squeeze the grapefruit and look for bruising. They make decisions based on color, quantity, packaging, size, fat content, calories and price. That works well for shoppers who want what’s best for their families but for some strange reason some of the same people don’t make the same kind of careful decisions when it comes to choosing a new family pet. A pet that may be around for ten or fifteen years. This is where the “cute” factor can really work against a pet and the family as well. The cutest dog in the bunch gets adopted and that usually means a puppy.


When you adopt a puppy, especially a mixed breed, you may be in for an unwanted surprise or two. When the dog becomes mature it may be too large or not look the way you thought it would. It’s really a crap shoot. You can guess how big the dog will get but it’s still just a guess unless you know the mix. Now mind you, I’m not speaking out against adopting puppies, it’s a fine idea, what I’m saying is that there are benefits to adopting an older dog too. Besides the reasons mentioned above, you’re also giving an older dog a second chance at a happy life. He probably deserves that chance.


A pet has to become part of your family, a part of your pack. He or she has to fit in well and be of the proper temperament and size for your family. Not taking those factors into account can have disastrous repercussions for both the pet and the family. I’ve seen it happen in failed adoptions and when families turned their pet over to the shelter. A family gets a puppy, the puppy is small, cute and manageable and then it quickly grows to maturity and is larger or more energetic than expected.


It wasn’t long after becoming an Animal Control Officer that I began to believe that it wasn’t a pet problem at all, it was a pet owner problem. After all, you can’t blame it on the dog. The dog just wanted a home, a family to be a part of, in essence, a new pack. Choosing a pet carefully is very important for your family and the pet. Here are a few tips on what to do if you’re interested in adopting a shelter dog.


(1) – Speak with your family and make sure they know the dog will be everyone’s responsibility. Feeding, walking, training and loving your new pet should be shared between family members. If everyone is in agreement it’s time to search for your new family member. Bring the entire family. You’ll want to know how well everyone will get along. It’s important that everyone in your family sees, pets and interacts with the dog if it’s possible.


(2) – If you have other pets, bring them with you to the shelter and have them meet the dog you may adopt if you’re seriously considering a specific dog. It would be a good idea to call the shelter first so that they’re prepared. They’ll usually be happy to work with you and help you find a dog that will be a great match for your family. You don’t need to arrive at home with your new pet and find out there’s a big problem. Do that at the shelter. It’s best done outside the shelter with shelter staff present. In busy shelters this may be a problem which is why you should always speak with them in advance. All of the pets should be on leashes so they can be controlled easily if there’s a problem.


(3) – Speak to anyone that has had contact with the dog. You can learn a lot from the staff members that feed and interact with the dog on a daily basis. After all, they’re the people that probably know the dog best.


A good shelter will appreciate someone that makes a careful decision before adopting. The shelter staff wants the dog to find a new home. They certainly don’t want to see a dog returned. It’s depressing for the shelter staff to see a dog return after being adopted.


(4) – When you first visit your local shelter get as much information as you can on a dog you may be interested in adopting. Don’t rush, take your time. Take a few days if you have to. It’s an important decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Use your best judgement when making your decision, not just your emotions.


(5) – Ask about the dog’s history, medical records and temperament. The more you know about the dog the more informed your final decision will be. Find out as much as you can about the dog’s shelter history. Ask if he or she has been neutered or spayed. You’ll also want to know what shots and flea and tick treatments the dog was given. Ask if the dog has been adopted and then returned to the shelter. If the dog has been returned find out why. The staff will almost always know why a dog was returned.


(6) – Ask about the dog’s appetite and either check or ask if the dog’s stool looks normal. This can be valuable information especially if the dog has no medical records. There’s a lot you can do to make a good, informed decision when adopting from a rescue shelter.


(7) – If the dog is a mixed breed ask the shelter staff what mix the dog is. This will give you a reasonably good idea how large the dog will get if it’s not already fully grown. The shelter staff may know from the previous owners or they may at least have an idea just by looking at the dog. Either way you’ll get some facts or at the very least, an educated guess.


(8) – Ask the shelter staff to allow you to meet the dog out of it’s run or cage and get to know the dog a bit. It’s very important and you can learn a lot in a short amount of time. If you feel comfortable with the dog it’s also a very good idea to take it for a walk if the shelter will allow it. Just remember, any dog can be trained. If the dog isn’t perfect, that’s ok. You’ll work together to improve.


Those 8 steps are good to keep in mind when adopting a dog from a shelter. Just remember, even an older dog can be trained with a little patience, love and understanding.


I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks”. I’ve heard that saying many times and I couldn’t disagree more. As an animal control officer I was often in charge of adoptions and taking care of the dogs and cats when I wasn’t on patrol or on an abuse investigation. I spent a lot of that time training some of the older dogs in the basics to give them a better chance at being adopted. They learned quickly and some dogs already knew the basic commands. Dogs want to please, it’s in their nature and with some patience you can teach an old dog new tricks!


Shelter dogs don’t get a lot of one-on-one attention from people. They get some from the staff but it’s limited. The staff is usually pretty busy and there are usually quite a few dogs to take care of so finding the time for one-on-one attention is difficult. So try to remember that a dog may be very excited when he first meets you. Spend some time with the dog so you can find out what he or she is really like. Spend that time with the dog and you may find that the dog is a lot different than your first impression would have lead you to believe.


If you do adopt a shelter dog be sure to visit a local vet as soon as possible. A healthy pet is a happy pet. If the dog has no known medical history then you have to start developing one. If there is a medical history then it’s still important that the dog is current on all vaccinations and treatments. Let the vet tell you what the dog needs.


Good luck if you’re considering adopting a dog from a shelter. I’m sure you’ll be very glad you did. It’s a great feeling to know you may have saved your new, best friend’s life.


Roger Matthews was an animal control officer and abuse investigator in NJ. He is now the webmaster at [] and a volunteer for Ben’s Place, a dog rescue [] group in Bonifay Florida. Publication of this article is permitted as long as the resource information remains intact and the links work. Donate To Ben’s Place []


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Although many dog owners understand the essence of housetraining their dogs, only some of them realize the importance of positive reinforcement when trying to get their dogs to use a grass litter box. While using this kind of litter box is one of the best ways to make dogs urinate and defecate in the right place without disturbing their owners, it takes proper housetraining for dogs to get used to it. Combining positive reinforcement with proper housetraining can make the process easier and better for both dog owners and their dogs.

Foremost, what does positive reinforcement mean when training a dog to use a grass litter box? It is all about rewarding your dog when she does use her grass litter box at the right time. By merely rewarding the dog, you have positively impacted her and made her realize how pleased you are towards her action. There are different ways by which you can reward your dog and these include playing one of her favorite games with her, giving her a special treat, praising her or taking her out for a walk. There is also a signaling device called clicker which you can use to let your dog know when you are pleased with her actions in regards to using the litter box.

The most obvious importance of using positive reinforcement when housetraining your dog to make use of a grass litter box is that the dog will be to encourage her to use the box every time she wants to take care of herself. After all, she wants to please use and to get the rewards associated with using the litter box, your dog will be consistent in making use of the box. This will easily reduce your efforts targeted at housetraining the dog.

The use of positive reinforcement in making her use the grass litter box will create a healthy bond between you and your dog.  Since positive reinforcement does not require any special sign or language, everybody in your household can get involved in training your dog. The important thing is for the person to understand the reward you offer each time the dog makes use of the grass litter box.

Each dog, just like people, have their own unique personality and will react differently, at first, to  positive reinforcement when training her to use grass litter box; therefore, dog owners must understand that it might take time before their dogs learn to use and appreciate the system.

Separation anxiety is a fairly common problem for today’s modern dog. There are many factors that contribute to this specific form of anxiety, and it is an issue that typically takes a lot of persistence in fully resolving. If your dog is suffering from moderate to severe separation anxiety, I would strongly advise you to seek the help of a professional. For mild cases, or for the sake of prevention, here are some tips to help ease the symptoms of this problem.

  1. No big hellos or goodbyes. Don’t make a fuss about leaving or coming home, it should be the most uneventful part of your dog’s day. When leaving the house, don’t get caught up in long, emotional goodbyes to your dog. If possible, don’t even say anything, just causally leave like it’s no big deal… because it’s not! When returning home, resist the urge to give in to your dog’s excitement to see you. Wait until your dog has calmed down to greet him and give him attention/affection.
  2. Exercise. A tired dog is far less likely to exhibit behavioral issues. Make sure that your pup gets plenty of exercise in the morning before you leave for the day. Lack of exercise contributes to a build up of energy in the dog which is easily channeled into anxiety, frustration, nervousness and even panic if not given the proper outlet.
  3. Mental stimulation. Dog’s get bored too! Often times, destructive behavior is simply due to a lack of mental stimulation. If you don’t provide your dog with any activities to do in your absence, she may be forced to find her own! Best not to leave it up to chance. Leave plenty of fun and engaging activities for her while you are out. Frozen kongs, smart toys and chew toys are all great options. You can even make a game of it by leaving little treats hidden around the house. When you leave, tell your dog to “Go find” (after teaching the cue, of course) and let her off on a fun and delicious scavenger hunt.
  4. Dog-proof the home. This is important for dogs of any age, but particularly for younger dogs and puppies. There are all kinds of enticing things waiting to be explored in your house, but many of these things could potentially be dangerous to your dog. Before leaving your dog alone with run of the house, make sure to dog-proof. A great way to do this is to get on your hands and knees at dog level, and get a dog’s eye view of your home. Anything that looks like it could be chewed, tugged at, pawed at, sniffed in or curled up on should be safe for Fido to interact with. If leaving your dog in a crate, be sure that there are no wires, cords or cables within paws-reach of the crate.
  5. Cultivate confidence and independence. A great way to prevent any kind of separation anxiety in the first place is to cultivate a sense of confidence and independence in your dog. Of course we don’t want a dog that is too independent and doesn’t listen to us, but we don’t want a dog on the other end of that spectrum either. Dogs that are overly coddled and sheltered can quickly develop such a strong attachment to their owner that they fear being alone. Avoid this by resisting the urge to coddle. You can also practice confidence-building exercises with your dog, and be sure to give your dog plenty of socialization and exposure to the outside world.

For more helpful tips and tricks, please visit our blog at!blog/c1qys

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With the Christmas around the corner, getting a puppy for Christmas as a gift for yourself or your kids is a noble idea. However, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself before taking a final decision on getting a puppy for Christmas. These questions will afford you the opportunity to take a well-thought decision.

1.     Can you afford to own a puppy?

You need to be sure of being financially capable to own a puppy. The expenses attached to owning a puppy does not stop with merely purchasing her; grooming, vaccinations, feeding and insurance cost a lot too.

2.     Have you ever owned a puppy?

Consider your previous experience of owning a puppy. Was it good or bad? Were you able to cope well with the puppy? Were you able to cater for the mental, emotional and physical needs of the puppy? The answers to these questions will be pointers to what you would likely experience when you get a puppy for Christmas.

3.     Are other members of your family ready to cater for a puppy?

If you stay in an apartment with other people, you must be sure others will be comfortable staying around your puppy. If they are unwilling to welcome a puppy into the household, it is better to forgo getting a puppy for Christmas.

4.     Do you have time to take care of and train her?

Puppies are inexperienced, young and needy; hence, time must be dedicated to training and taking care of them. You need to be certain you will be able to create enough time for the training and care of the puppy before getting her for Christmas.

5.     Is your home comfortable for accommodating a puppy?

Although puppies do not require large space to grow, there are certain breeds of dogs that like playing around the house. If you are getting one of such breeds, it is important to consider how spacious your home is for your new puppy. You also need to be sure there are no poisonous substances around your home that could injure the puppy.

6.     Will your lifestyle accommodate a puppy?

Do you stay out too often? How many hours do you spend at work each day? Do you receive lots of visitors regularly? Are you physically and mentally capable of taking care of a puppy? These are just some of questions about your lifestyle you must answer before getting a puppy. In case your lifestyle is not accommodating to a puppy, it is wise to forget about getting a puppy for Christmas. You can, however, bring her home if you are ready to change your lifestyle.

7.     Is anybody in your household allergic to dogs?

While many people may not take note of this, dog dander can cause allergic reactions. Therefore, you must be absolutely sure that nobody is at risk because of your desire to bring a puppy home for Christmas.

If you can sufficiently and sincerely answer the aforementioned questions, making a decision about getting a puppy for Christmas will never cause you, your household or new puppy any problem as the decision taken will be a product of a reasonable conclusion.

Are you planning to get a new puppy to join your household? If yes, there is need for you to respect your older dog in the process of bringing in the new puppy. While you may find getting the new puppy delightful, your dog may feel otherwise, and hence, she may become agitated by the new puppy.

These are some of the things you need to consider when considering bring another dog into your family mix:

·        The hostility and aggressiveness of your dog around other dogs

If your dog is always protective of you around other dogs when they meet outside or inside your home, she would likely be protective or even aggressive towards the new puppy too.

·        The preference of your dog

Have you noticed if your dog has a preference in other dogs?  Are there certain breeds, sizes, gender, or even age s/he feels more comfortable living or playing around? There are some older dogs that will comfortably stay in the same home with new puppies.

·        Introduce the dogs for the first time in a neutral environment

To decide if your dog would be alright living around a new puppy, get them introduced to each other in a neutral environment. Just like many other animals, territoriality is one of the things dogs often encounter when another dog is introduced into their environment. To solve the problems associated with this, introduce the dogs to each other in someone else’s house or park so that neither of the dogs will feel intimidated about the presence of the other.

·        Pay special attention to your dog

Many dog owners often cater more towards a new puppy while neglecting an older one.  The simple fact is the puppy is new and you’re trying to help them acclimate to you and their new surroundings.  Your dog also is acclimating so be sure to pay attention to their needs and issues.

Finally, when the new puppy arrives, other things you can do include ensuring you have enough toys, foods and beds for each of the dogs, giving the dogs adequate training, providing them supervised time for socialization, and keeping them in separate cages whenever the new puppy first comes in.

There are several events that can trigger separation anxiety in dogs. Those that are given up by their previous families and placed in shelters often exhibit this behavioral problem. This is also the case for dogs whose families have moved to a new home and those that have lost a human family member (either because of death or moving away).

Dogs whose owners change their schedule can also experience separation anxiety. For example, if you used to work at home but then get a new job in an office, your dog might get anxious when you leave for work since he’s used to having you at home the whole day.

Separation anxiety versus simulated anxiety

Just because you have a seemingly sad dog doesn’t mean he’s automatically going through separation anxiety. He might be experiencing simulated anxiety, which has similar symptoms with the former but is actually a type of learned dog behavior.

Simulated anxiety happens when the dog mainly wants to get his owners’ attention. For instance, if your dog frequently jumps on you, you might push him away to show that you don’t like his behavior. But, while the action might have a negative connotation on you, your dog might actually interpret it as positive since he got you to notice him. As a result, he’ll develop the habit of jumping on you when he wants your attention.

So how do you tell if your sad dog has simulated anxiety or true separation anxiety? Well, if your dog has the former, he’ll usually exhibit negative behavior most of the time; if he has the latter, he’ll usually behave badly only when you’re out of the house.


Signs of separation anxiety

Different dogs exhibit different behaviors, but there are several common signs that you should look out for. These include:

  • Howling
  • Excessive barking
  • Pacing in a circular pattern or a straight line
  • Digging (particularly in points of exit like doors and windows), sometimes in an attempt to escape
  • Chewing on objects other than his toys, or excessively chewing to the point of destroying his toys
  • Urinating or defecating, with some dogs even exhibiting coprophagia (eating their excrement)

How to reduce or eliminate separation anxiety

One of the first things you should do is to remove leaving and arriving cues (such as fussing over your dog when you get in the door). Acting like going to work and coming home are a big deal can actually make your dog more anxious, so go through your routine quietly and act like it’s a normal part of the day that your pet should get used to.


If your dog has mild separation anxiety, you can calm him down by giving him an activity toy that’s filled with delicious treats when you leave. This can distract him from your departure since his attention will be focused on extracting his snacks from the toy. It will also make him associate his alone time with a positive experience (i.e. enjoying yummy snacks).

If your dog has moderate to severe separation anxiety, he won’t be easily distracted with food. Because of this, the best thing you can do is to get the help of experts, like us here at Atlanta Dog Trainer. Through our professional dog training services, we can help your pet recover from separation anxiety and develop good dog behavior. For more information and tips about dog training, please visit us Now, you and your pet are ready for this summer!! We want to hear from you, please tell us how was the experience at Atlanta Dog Trainer

I am Susie Aga, the founder of Atlanta Dog Trainer. My passion for dogs stems from my mission to want to teach people how to communicate with dogs. With 20 years of working with canines, I have refined the science of behavior modification by adding my own unique techniques. I have provided learning strategies for numerous families, countless foster families, rescues, non-profits and government agencies that work with canines.

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It would be wonderful to imagine that once a dog is potty trained, they are forever potty trained. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In fact many dogs in various stages of their lives will regress to having accidents in the house. If handled correctly, this is only a mere stepping stone that is easily fixed with the proper attention and care.



If you have a younger pup that’s just hitting their teenage years (anywhere from 4 months to 3 years old), they may start throwing fits as their hormones kick into gear. Much like human teenagers become rebellious, so, too, do your teenage pets. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for them to begin peeing inside again. Remember, don’t get angry. It’s highly likely that the behavior of going outside isn’t nearly as ingrained as you assumed. Should your testy teenager start using the floors as their own lawn, start over with the potty training. Keep a schedule and enforce the rules like when you did when they were a puppy. In only a few weeks, they should be back to behaving correctly.



If your adult dog starts having accidents, the first thing you need to do is have them checked out by a vet. Urinating in the house after a lifetime of going outside might point to something wrong with their kidney’s or bladder. If there does happen to be a medical issue, follow the instructions of your vet. If your vet gives your pup a clean bill of health, it’s time to figure out what caused the problem and how to fix it.

Older dogs get used to routine, much like humans do. They expect food at a certain time, they expect you home at a certain time and they expect to be taken on a walk at a certain time. Sudden changes in this schedule can throw off their own expectations, resulting in a dog that doesn’t know when the next time it will see green grass again and can’t hold its bathroom accordingly.

Like the teenager, you’ll need to once again assert the potty training rules. Take them out about 20 minutes after they eat and stop leaving food out for them. By controlling when they eat, you’ll have more control over when they need to head outside.


Purging the Home

One final thing you’ll need to be on top of is keeping your house clean of scents. A dog’s urine and feces leave behind an odor that often tempts them into going to the bathroom in the same area again and again and again. As soon as you find an accident inside, clean it up with an odor removing cleaner. Because dog urine contains ammonia, make sure the cleaner you use does not contain this ingredient as this can actually encourage them to soil the area further rather than deter them.

Though we don’t have to be as conscious of toy safety with our canine companions as we do with human babies, our pups are nevertheless prone to accidents and mishaps. To them, toys are a necessity and are not optional. They help alleviate boredom while you’re away, and since dogs will play with anything, it’s that much more important that you pay attention to what you leave for them to tear into without your supervision.


Size Appropriateness

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. What works for a Chihuahua isn’t always a good choice for the St. Bernard. You’ll want to make sure the toys are big enough that they can’t become lodged in your dog’s throat. From tennis balls to stuffed toys, one accidental hard inhale could lead to a very sad ending.


Dog Proof

Some toys dogs enjoy aren’t entirely dog proof. Muck like tinsel during the holidays is a choking hazard, so too is any kind of string or ribbon. Even if it seems firmly affixed to the toy itself, never underestimate your dog’s ability to loosen those bonds. Other things to watch out for are hard eyes that could pop off or any other thing that could be ingested. Make sure to always dump toys that are falling apart or are extremely ragged.


Squeaker Danger

Never leave your pet alone with a new toy that has a squeaker unless you know for a fact that they won’t go digging for it. Some dogs are driven mad by the noise and refuse to give up until they find the source – a choking hazard. If such a toy irritates them in the slightest, trade it out for a new one.



Ideally, you’ll also want dog toys that are considered to be child friendly for children under the age of three. This means the insides are probably not filled with toxic substances or those tiny beads. It should be machine washable and sturdy enough that it doesn’t fall apart after the first play session.


Rawhide Risks

Of the toys dogs are often left with, rawhides have been extremely popular. Nowadays, though, they are under heavy scrutiny and not sold the way they were. This is because the small pieces they break into pose choking risks and can even obstruct the intestines. Plus, some of the cheaper brands are taken from the fur trade. Either way, rawhide is no longer on the list of good toys to leave your dog with even when supervised.


Two Holes

If your dog has a toy that has only one hole, there is the chance a vacuum can form, sealing the toy on your dog in a dangerous fashion. Instead of throwing it out, simply make sure you poke a hole into the other end. If this is not possible, trash the toy in favor of something that won’t potentially hurt your pup.

Just as soon as it began, spring is almost over, quickly growing warmer with the longer days and hotter afternoons relegated to summer. While this means perfect outdoor weather for you and your pooch, summer isn’t as wonderful as it may seem. Complete with insane temperatures, bugs and poisonous plants, better to prepare now than to be sorry later.


Stay Cool

Even if your pup is begging to go out during the middle of the day, keep them restrained. Dogs with short snouts are especially prone to overheating along with dogs that have thick coats. Even if you go out later in the day, they could still fall prone to heat exhaustion, panting heavily, exhibiting bright rid gums and drooling a very thick mucus. To offset this, move them to a cooler place immediately. Set them on a damp towel and let them rest until they return to normal.

Also, remember to never, ever leave your dog in the car in the summer months. Winter can be passable in certain areas of the country, but even with the windows cracked, summer temperatures inside the car can rise an astounding 19 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as seven minutes.


Beat Bugs

Along with summer comes the explosion of insects we hate. Including mosquitoes, ticks and parasitic worms, these warm months prompt a breeding frenzy that leads to a burst in bug population, increasing the chance your dog will pick up something nasty. Plan ahead with a regular dose of parasite protection medicine for your pup. As for the fliers or hitchhikers, look for an insect repellent that staves away the most potentially harmful critters.

To top this all off, make sure your dog is up to date with their shots and be regular with the vet visits. There is always the chance that something won’t work as intended, so the healthier your dog is before falling prey to a nasty critter, the easier it will be to clean them out.


Fear the Fertilizer

Summer is the most exciting time for gardeners across the country. With blooms planted in winter finally opening and potential harvests starting to ripen, there are fertilizers and pesticides everywhere. Though you might think your dog is smarter than the average pooch, never underestimate just how much trouble your bud can get into.

For plants, avoid azaleas and lilies. Though pretty, both are extremely toxic and can even lead to death if ingested. For pesticides, try to find a natural brand that works. While your dog won’t feel good if they happen to eat any, the lack of harmful chemicals make these options far less dangerous. With fertilizer, keep any open bags up and out of reach. After a day in the yard, give your dog a quick wash off to clear away any of the garden soil that carries those chemicals.

Before you teach them fetch, before you teach them shake and before you teach them sit, you teach them how to eliminate outside. No matter the age and no matter the breed, all healthy dogs are capable of being trained to go potty outside. Unfortunately, such a task isn’t always easy as dog temperaments vary from breed to breed, resulting in a widely skewed teaching time. Even so, there is always one aspect of puppy potty training that remains uniform no matter the dog – patience.


Try, Try Again

Just like you will rarely be able to do something new correctly the first time, so, too, will your dog need a number of attempts before they understand exactly what you’re asking of them. Impatience is a negative emotion that fosters frustration and anger that is typically then turned toward the dog. Instead of helping your dog learn faster, these emotional outbursts teach them anxiety and shame, leading to even worse habits that are much harder to break. Now, instead of a young pup that would have taken only three months to housebreak, you have a young pup that is a year old and eliminates in the house when you’re not looking.


Consistency is Key

Unlike teaching a dog commands, potty training is one of the easiest lessons since dogs innately know to not go potty in their den. Ideally, you’ll want to take them outside on a set schedule whether they have to go or not. Typically, a young pup will need to go anywhere from five to 30 minutes following their meal. When you go outside, take them to the same place you take them every day. The scent of their older eliminations will trigger them to go again.


No Negativity

Remember that if your puppy has an accident, they didn’t do so on purpose. Puppies do not wake up in the morning with the desire to ruin your rug as vengeance for feeding them the kibble they don’t like. It’s a very bad idea to associate any form of negativity with a natural bodily function. Staying calm also means your dog won’t learn what your trigger is – something they could potentially use against you in future scenarios. Instead, remain neutral and bring them to their outdoor potty spot even if there is nothing left for them to let loose.

As a final note, be sure to clean up the accident area with a cleaning agent that will remove the smell of feces and urine. Dogs in the wild do not live anywhere near areas that smell like feces. Should this smell remain in the house, it will condition them to believe that indoors is a potty area.


So long as you remain patient with your puppy, potty training is a very simple task because it is what the dog wants to naturally do. Stay positive, and they’ll be outdoor champs in no time.