How To Potty Train Your Dog – The quintessential Guide for Dog Owners

Potty training a dog is never easy.

How to potty train your dog is probably one of a dog owner’s top asked questions. One needs patience, a calm mind, and an understanding heart. Little puppers like to take everything in a playful way, so teaching them can be a lot simpler at times.

But what about the senior dogs training?  Potty training an older dog may prove itself a bit of a challenge at first, but I am here to walk you through it:


Imagine coming home after a day over at a relative’s home, smile still plastered on your face as you get to finally come home to your beloved pet. You unlock the door, already hearing your dog howl in excitement inside. You step inside and as you lovingly gaze at your old buddy, they soil themselves in excitement on your new, fluffy carpet.

Of course, you can’t be mad at them. They are just so happy to see you! However, you don’t want to keep getting new carpets either… so here is a simple potty training method to avoid incidents like that.

how to potty train  your dog
Dog laying guilty on the carpet

Understanding why:

We all know the saying: you can’t teach old dog new tricks.
However, today I would like to disprove this argument.
We love dogs in all shapes and sizes; round and fluffy, huge and loving, young and old…. You get the idea. How to potty train yours, especially your beloved seniors can be simple if we follow some basic steps.

Some of the reasons why your furry companion might lack the proper potty training could be the following:

They were never trained to.
• If they have lived in a shelter, most of the time they would have had to use either paper or concrete.
• They were mainly outdoors dogs and thus haven’t lived indoors before.

In most cases, the owners of older dogs either had them since they were puppies or adopted them from a shelter. Whatever the case, to housebreak your adult doggo we need to find out the cause for their behaviour first:

Possible Causes

1. Separation anxiety is a quite common cause nowadays. Due to our too busy lifestyles, our furry friends often feel left alone too long.                        Especially for our older dogs, our long hours may feel like eons to them.

2. Marking their territory, if you have recently added a new member to the family, perhaps a younger dog, your senior may feel the need to establish their superiority.

In this case, simply be the mediator between them and make sure not to prefer one over the other.

3. Changes in their daily routine, if your dog goes for a walk every day at 2 pm and by 3 pm you haven’t walked him yet, this may cause little elimination accidents.

4. Change in living situation, renovating our homes and bringing in new foreign smelling furniture or even removing an old couch they may have been attached to.

Furthermore, one of the children moving out to go to university, the arrival of a newborn or even losing a loved one may also cause frequent accidents.

5. Urinary diseases: sadly, many senior dogs suffer from kidney or urinary diseases that lead to them having to urinate even when they do not want to. Often times it may be Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which leads to them frequently urinating in unusual places that smell strongly of their owner (such as on clothing piles or the bed) and possibly blood drops in their urine.

6. Joint pain: other senior dogs may suffer from arthritis or other pains in their joints. This often turns fun walks with their owners into painful excursions.                                                                                                                  Even though they are not proud of it, but they may find it much easier to relieve themselves in the comfort of their own home.


Here are some methods on how to potty train your dog:

1. Set up a routine, for potty training your dog it is necessary to learn when your dog needs to eliminate.                                                                     Stick to the routine which will make it easier for both of you.

How to potty train your dog

2. Interrupt accidents. If you see them beginning to relieve themselves simply clap your hands, and say “no” in a firm yet calm voice.

3. Do NOT punish them. When telling them off you should not scare them. Your dog does not know that what they did was wrong.

Also, do NOT force them to stay outdoors as punishment, or lock them in a crate. This will most likely only confuse them and they will now continue urinating inside your home, only without you seeing them.

4. Clean up any indoor accidents quickly. Since dog urine often has a strong sense of ammonia to it, leaving it for longer periods of time will encourage your dog to urinate there again.

The best way to get rid of the smell would be to use white vinegar.

5. Choose a private potty area where your senior dog will feel comfortable and confident enough to do their business.                                      You should consistently go to one or more designated areas throughout your training.

It is one of the key elements in our how to potty train your dog process.

6. Keep your dog on a leash, mostly for you to get to the potty area efficiently but also for you to keep an eye on them.

This lets you know if and when they used the bathroom.

7. Decide on a code sound or command. Every time you go outside, use a certain word to make your dog understand that you’ll be going to their potty training location.

Simple words like “Go” or “Pee” are probably the best choices.

8. Reward positive behaviour, whenever your dog uses the potty zone correctly you should give them a little treat. Those shouldn’t be bigger than your little fingernail, yet it is the action itself that counts.                                    Also, make sure that potty time is relaxing for them.

Please don’t yank their leash or interrupt them while they are relieving themselves.

How to potty train your dog, receiving a treat

Dogs are amazing and loyal creatures, and if you have found the dog that you want to grow old with I can only be happy for you. I hope this has provided you with some helpful tips on how to potty train your dog. Read you next time!