If your puppy is to be a good companion, he needs to be trained to relieve
himself outside - not in your house. To be a Service Dog, he must also learn to relieve on
command when and where you ask him to. The "Go pee" and "Finish up" commands executed on-leash is a very important lesson for a SD to learn.
The following are a few simple techniques to teach your puppy good relieving habits:
Use this procedure when relieving your puppy on-leash:
- Start by taking the puppy, on-leash, to his relieving area at your home. Young puppies in a hurry may need, at first, to be carried to the relieving area. The goal is to have your puppy walk by your side to the relieving area in a controlled manner.
- Choose a relieving area that can be used each time you take your puppy outside.
- Using a familiar area may help stimulate him to relieve. Choosing a relieving area with concrete, gravel or asphalt early on can be helpful in teaching your puppy to relieve on hard surfaces.
- The moment he begins to relieve, say the command you choose followed by praise. It is important, in the beginning, to wait until the puppy is actually urinating or defecating to say the verbal cue. This will help him relate what you are saying to what he is doing. Once he has made the connection, you can modify your timing to teach him to relieve when he hears the command. It may take several weeks for him to make the connection.
- When he seems to understand the connection between relieving himself and the command, the next step is to say the command immediately before he starts to relieve. Do not say the command unless you are certain he is going to relieve. Once you have done this for several days, try saying the command while he is circling or showing other signs to indicate that he is preparing to relieve but hasn't actually started.
- Finally, begin saying the command as soon as he reaches the spot that you use for relieving him.
- Keep your voice calm and positive throughout. By following this routine your pup will learn to relieve on-leash and on command.
- Leash relieve every time. This allows your puppy to become comfortable with relieving on leash and gives you the opportunity to praise him for a job well done.
Be in tune with your puppy's needs
Observe the pattern of times he may need to relieve.
• Learn to know how long he can wait between trips outside.
Little puppies cannot wait very long, while older puppies can learn to "hold it."
• Know when to feed and water the puppy.
Do not load him up with water right before bedtime. TAKE CARE NOT TO LIMIT
HIS WATER TOO SEVERELY BECAUSE IT MAY MAKE YOUR PUPPY SICK.
Always offer him an extra opportunity to relieve after his last meal of the day.
Relieve your puppy just prior to bedtime to help insure his bowels are empty.
• Read his body language that signals when he needs to relieve.
Some pups sniff the ground or floor intently or start circling just before relieving. Other pups may walk differently or suddenly interrupt an activity when they feel the need to relieve.
• He may have a whine or bark which signals he needs to relieve.
• Observe if he needs to relieve more than once each time out.
• Take him out when he signals, even if it's in the middle of the night.
• Try not to get discouraged if he does not relieve every time you take him out or if he
needs to relieve again after he just came in.
• It may take him awhile to learn what is expected of him, so be patient when he has an
• Take your young puppy out to relieve every time he asks to go out or
shows behaviors indicating he needs to relieve, every time you think he
might need to relieve, and when he is scheduled to go out after sleeping, playing or
• Teach older pups to learn to hold it and wait for offered opportunity to relieve
• Praise him every time he "does his business" as you have asked.Clean the soiled area promptly if an accident occurs
• If your puppy relieves in the house, clean the area immediately and thoroughly. Dogs
have a keen sense of smell. They may be drawn back to the spot by their own scent.
• Most grocery, feed stores and pet supply stores have effective cleaning solutions
developed to deodorize and prevent staining caused by puppy "accidents."The first way is for you to give clear cues to your pup about when and where it is appropriate to relieve:
• Walk him in the “heel” position to the relieving area.
• When you reach the designated relieving area stop and give him the release command
“O.K.” and cast him out in front of you encouraging him to move in a circular pattern.
• Give the command as he circles.
• Praise him for a job well done!
Using this step by step process each time you relieve him will give him a clear indication of what you want him to do:
The second way you teach this concept is by making sure that you prevent as many
“accidents” as possible by setting your puppy up for success when you take him on an
outing or a neighborhood walk.
To discourage marking behavior, always relieve a male puppy away from vertical
objects such as trees, bushes and the sides of buildings. Try to choose level areas
without vertical objects for relieving areas. Male puppies that continually try to mark vertical objects without a command should be walked towards bushes, posts and other vertical objects and corrected as they raise their leg. After a few exercises such as this, encourage the puppy to relieve on command in a level area.
- First thing in the morning
- After playing, eating or napping
- More frequently if he is feeling stressed, being exercised, being trained or being introduced to new situations