Many dog owners begin the housebreaking process with an indoor dog potty. Their end goal is to eventually have their pet eliminate outside exclusively, but there are cases where the transition does not go smoothly. For some owners, teaching their dog that is used to peeing and pooping inside to now do it outdoors can prove to be a challenge.

photoTraining your young puppy or adult dog to eliminate outside instead of or in addition to using an indoor potty will require some diligence and time management on your part. Make it your priority to minimize your dog’s chances of being inside with access to the indoor potty when he has to do his business.

When you know that your pet needs to go, take him outside (you can carry him for the first few weeks) to an area that is about 10 feet wide. Walk him back and forth for five minutes without saying anything. If he doesn’t pee or poop, carry him back inside and hold him on your lap. Don’t put him on the floor because he might have an accident. After five to ten minutes, head outside once more to try again.

This in and out routine usually takes no more than a few repetitions to be successful. However, if this is your first try at getting your pet to eliminate outside, you should first spend a week or two walking him on a leash to his indoor potty. This way, your dog will become familiar and comfortable with doing his business on a leash, which is something that he probably hasn’t done before.

During the transition period, don’t give your dog free access to wander around the house even when you’re home, because he may continue using the indoor potty which will decrease the chances of a successful outdoor bathroom break. If you can’t watch your pet, tether him safely near or in his crate instead. Don’t forget to give him a couple of interesting toys to play with.

If you remove the indoor potty before your dog has learned to go outside, he might look for other areas or surfaces that are similar to it, such as doormats and newspapers. It is important to not punish your pet should he make a mistake. Disciplining him will only teach him to avoid eliminating when you’re around, which will lead him to hold it for as long as he can when you take him outside and are standing next to him.

Keep in mind that it may take your dog some time to learn the new habit of eliminating outdoors in an unfamiliar and potentially distracting environment. Your pet is relying on you to keep him from going in the wrong places and to help him understand the benefit of having a new bathroom area (remember to praise and reward him).

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