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How to Potty Train an Adult Dog

It's no secret most shelter pets are not potty trained. With a little routine, adult dogs catch on to going outside. In fact, it is often easier to train an adult dog than a puppy. Here’s some helpful tips from to end mopping the floor a little quicker with you new adopted shelter dog.

Before starting, Cesar’s Way recommends ensuring your dog’s issues are not…

  • a medical problem (consult a veterinarian)

  • a behavioral problem (consultant a canine professional)

  1. Scheduled Feed Times

Feed your dog at the same times every day. Take up their bowl in between meals, and make sure they go out at the same times during the day to create consistency.

  1. Routine Bathroom Breaks

The sooner you can get your dog on your routine, the better. Take your dog outside several times throughout the day for a walk, or bathroom break. Dog should go out at least 4x per day. Allowing your dog to relieve himself in the same area will encourage him to pick up his own scent, and encourage him to go. They may not understand the exercise at first, but eventually they will realize. Especially be sure to take your dog outside midday.

2. Use a crate

Dogs do not like to soil their sleeping or eating areas. With a crate that is the right size, your dog will learn quickly to use the bathroom during routine potty breaks. Ensure your crate is big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but no bigger. If your crate is too big, your dog will use one spot of the crate to use the bathroom. Be sure not to isolate your dog, and put the crate in a busy area of your home where people and other animals will be. Don’t leave your dog in his crate for too long or he will be frustrated.

3. Six Bathroom Breaks A Day Keeps the Messes Away

Take your dog outside first thing in the morning, before you leave for the day, twice during the day, once before dinner, and before going to bed. Once he understands the routine, you can take him out four times a day instead of six.

Make sure to…

  • Give your dog praise for going to the bathroom correctly. Use treats and praise with enthusiasm after he goes to the bathroom. You want your dog to know that going to the bathroom outside is a very good thing. Give him a treat outside right after. Don’t wait until you get inside, or he won’t connect the treat to his good dead.

  • If you catch your dog using the bathroom in the house, be sure to STARTLE not SCARE. You must catch him while in the act, not after. Clap loudly so you startle them, then take them directly outside to go to the bathroom. Be sure to praise them after going outside.

  • Scaring your dog by punishing them for going to the bathroom inside will make them afraid of you, and they will start to urinate in hidden areas to avoid being seen.

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