How To Teach Your Dog To Pee On Command
When you gotta go...
It's cold and raining -- and your turn to take the dog out. Or maybe your dog is at the vet and has to give a urine sample and you can't leave until he or she gives. Or you and your dog may be visiting a new town, and your dog is unsure where he or she is allowed to go. If you teach your dog to pee or poo on command, it will save both you and your dog a lot of time and stress. Dogs know they might get punished if they pee in the wrong place, but they might not be sure where the right place is, so that can stress them a lot.
It's also really easy. You just have to keep at it and keep at it and keep at it for weeks or maybe months until your dog understands. You might get some funny looks from your friends as you teach your dog, but just ignore them.
Your dog will probably never pee or poo as soon you say the command - like with "sit", for example - but should at least try to go within two or three minutes of when the command is given. This trick will never impress anyone else other than yourself and people who have to deal with your dog. But, when you are standing out in the wind and the rain, each minute seems like a lifetime, so any time saved is a miracle.
First, pick a short command that doesn't sound like his other commands. My dog's command is "Gotta squat?" Other suggestions include, "Show time!" or "Hurry up."
Every time you see your dog eliminate, say the command. Yes -- every time, if you can. If you can get the other members of the family who take care of the dog to also say the command, your dog will learn faster.
And that's all there is to it. You just have to be patient. Eventually, your dog will associate the command with the act of eliminating. Ever suddenly have to pee when you just see a bathroom door? Your body has associated the sight of a bathroom with having to go. The only difference is that you are associating a sound with having to go rather than a sight. This is the same kind of conditioned reflex discovered in Ivan Pavlov's experiments to train a dog to drool at the sound of a bell.
If you can, give the command as you are trying to housebreak your new puppy or retrain housebreaking to an older dog. My dog Pony now at least tries to eliminate within two minutes of the command. It seemed silly to any and all passerby when I was teaching her, and we got teased a lot. But a year later when my dog had to fly across the Atlantic, she had to travel by train, taxi and airplane, which she had never done before. At least she knew when she could pee. That was one less thing for both her and I to not worry about. My vet also appreciates the "trick" whenever Pony has to give a fresh sample.
Now that you and your dog know the command, resist the urge to tease your dog by saying it when he or she is standing on your family's new carpet!