By Laura Potts, Digital Marketing Specialist
For me, there is nothing worse than looking down at the big, sad eyes of my dog Lincoln. But every weekday morning, that’s exactly what happens. I have to say, “You stay here” to him instead of bringing him to work with me. And, Lincoln LOVES coming to work at PetSafe! He starts whimpering with excitement when we pull in the parking lot and spends his days bouncing happily from person to person and snuggled up in his bed under my desk. So, why must he stay at home? Unfortunately, he also likes to pee in the office. And while no one here gets upset, I can’t keep bringing him until I have trained him out of that behavior.
His actions puzzle me. Why would he pee at work? He’s been completely housebroken all the years I’ve had him. Isn’t this only an issue with puppies and outside dogs? I take him out frequently throughout the day and he never has accidents at home. Even at his senior age, his veterinarian says there is no physical reason for his behavior. I consulted with two trainers and learned that even though a dog is “house” trained, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s “inside” trained. In other words, while Lincoln knows not to go potty inside our home, he struggles to understand the boundaries in other indoor places, especially where there are many other animals and smells around.
So how do you inside-train a dog and teach them to ignore the other doggie smells and wait to go outside? Fortunately, with the trainers’ advice, there are a couple things Lincoln and I are going to try.
1. When going on potty breaks outside, we are going to begin designating specific spots for bathroom breaks. Using the command, “here” and “not now” and gentle tugs on the leash I am going to begin showing him the difference between appropriate and inappropriate places in the grass to go to the bathroom. Once he has it down, we can begin moving this technique indoors and issue the command “not now” inside and then switch to the command “here” when we go out for breaks.
2. Another option we’re going to try is using a belly band or diaper. He will only wear the band at the office. When he lifts his leg in the band, the result will be a negative experience rather than a positive one, removing the payoff he receives. Once we’re outside, the band comes off and he will hopefully begin to realize that it is much more pleasant to go potty outdoors.
Have you experienced similar problems with your dogs? Perhaps at PetSmart or in friends or family members’ homes? Let me know what you have tried and how it worked.
Laura manages the complete digital media presence for the PetSafe Brand. Laura also donates her time to helping improve animal welfare. She has helped saved the lives of many pets through her work and more directly by adopting two dogs of her own, Ellie and Lincoln who often accompany her to work and to volunteer events in Knoxville.