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Friday, May 13, 2011

Ask the Dog Trainer, with Terry Lynn Cuyler: Training for Indoor Potty Use

by Terry Lynn Cuyler, APDT, CPDT-KA
© Carrie Boyko
His and Hers Poodles
Living Life in Style
Dear Trainer:

I am considering buying an indoor potty for my 2 toy poodles, so they will be able to take care of business if I am gone longer than expected. I have seen several types. I like the ones that have a grass-like top and drainage area. Can you give me some help with training and placement? 


Dear Liz,

Indoor potties are a great idea as an alternative when you aren’t home or the weather is inclement.   To begin the training it helps to have the dogs confined to an area so the indoor potty is a logical and easy choice.  You can remove the confinement once they get the idea.  Introduce them to the potty by luring them on with a treat and giving it to them while they are on the potty.  This convinces them that they are in a good spot.  A baby gate or exercise pen works well to keep them in one area.  At times when they should need to go potty, you put them in their potty area and even set them on the potty.  Then when they do their business, they get a yummy – just as they’re done.  Not after you’ve taken them out and walked to the pantry, right after they’re done and if possible while they are still on the potty.   Best times are first thing in the morning when they wake up, after a hard play and within a half hour of eating.  Get the behavior you want to reward by setting them up for success.  Shouldn’t take very long before they catch on that it is OK to potty on the indoor one when they can’t get outside.

The Paws Prof
© courtesy TLC
Our ASK THE DOG TRAINER Column can be reached at For more information on Terry Lynn Cuyler and her training, you may find her at Paws Prof. A personal appointment with a trainer will likely provide more specific information on your dog's issues and your questions.

You can read more of Terry Lynn Cuyler's training questions at her Archives page.

Watch for indoor potty reviews coming, for more information on features, training and uses.


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