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How to Introduce Your Dog to Allowable Potty Spots

Adult dogs and puppies need to know where they are allowed to go to the bathroom. Housetraining problems are among the chief reasons people give up their dogs to animal shelters, so managing this issue right from the start is super important.

Know where you want your new pooch to pee and poop before bringing her home. If you have a yard, choose a spot that’s convenient for both of you — a secluded spot where people aren’t likely to walk is best.

If you’re planning to paper or litter-box train your pet, place the “go spot” in an area away from high foot traffic where it’s easy to clean, such as on a linoleum or tile floor and far from your dog’s sleeping area. Dogs don’t like to eliminate near where they sleep.

You may be tempted to take off your new dog’s leash and let her explore the house as soon as you get home. Wait! Don’t unclip that leash from that collar just yet. First, take your dog to the place where you want her to eliminate. Keeping that leash on, have your dog sniff, circle, and check out the spot, but stay where you are until she relieves herself. Although this process can take a long time, wait.

If you know your dog recently did her business and simply doesn’t need to go, introduce her to her crate instead. But go back to the potty spot again and again until she uses it for its intended purpose. Repetition and perseverance at the start pays off for the life of your dog.

When your dog goes in the right spot, say hooray! Praise her, pet her, call her a very good dog because she just did something very good. She went where you wanted her to go, and that’s a big step for a new dog in a new home. Make sure she knows that she has pleased you.

Then, if you have a fenced yard, you can let her off the leash to explore on her own. If you don’t have a fence, lead her around the yard on the leash and let her sniff, check out the perimeter, and figure out what’s what. Finally, bring her in the house.

If your dog’s potty spot is inside and you’re already in the house, you can let her have a chance to explore the rest of the house now.

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