For many dogs, walks are for more than exploring and exercise. When you live in a city, yard space is hardly ever an option so your dog has to eliminate outside on walks. This can be frustrating if your dog doesn’t cooperate or do as you want. Remember, dogs don’t understand human languages as well as we would sometimes like them to. Communication is key to helping your dog translate your desires into actions, and then creating expectations for the next walk.
Think about other training tricks when trying to get your dog to pee on a walk. Chances are good that your dog is either learning to sit or has already learned that command. Is teaching your dog to pee on a walk much different from learning other “tricks”? Training takes hard work and lots of encouragement to get a desired result. Start training sessions prepared with treats and a command word. The treats are only for a job well-done, whereas the command will help communicate your wishes. Your dog may not be able to translate the word the same way humans can, but he or she will learn to associate the word with an action and that action with treats. Praise your dog when things go well, but don’t punish for poor behavior. If your dog doesn’t go right away, give him or her a few more minutes. Some things in life just cannot be rushed—this is definitely one of them. Also consider your dog’s comfort. If you are in a very busy area by a road, your dog will most likely not be comfortable enough to pee. Sometimes walking a few extra steps to a quieter location will provide an illusion of privacy and can help your dog.
Negative reactions such as scolding, yelling, or becoming frustrated do not help your dog understand what to do. In fact, your dog can come to fear walks and the outside world in general if you become so upset at these times. Many dogs are also not used to peeing on concrete which can pose a problem. It’s strange to them, but you have to reassure that this is okay and that it is what you want him or her to do. Remember to be patient and to ignore negative behavior but quickly reward positive behavior. When your dog pees, give treats right away and praise your dog for doing such a great job! If your dog doesn’t pee and you’ve been outside for more than fifteen minutes, head back inside without giving up those treats or any praise. Don’t reward bad behavior or your dog will be confused by such mixed signals. Dogs like routines; they help predict what’s going to happen in a world where lots of things are hard to understand. “Sometimes” is not a concept they can easily wrap their minds around. Rewarding for not peeing will keep your dog from associating peeing on a walk with good behavior. However, rewarding immediately for good behavior will help your dog catch on and lead to faster results.
In a busy city, it is very important for your dog to be able to pee on a walk and usually on cue. Adult dogs need to be walked outside solely to do their business at least every six to eight hours. Puppies that are older and understanding their training (usually after being in the household for at least a month and being over four months of age) need to be let out more frequently than older, more trained adults: at least once every four hours. Puppies under four months of age or dogs that are new to the home need to be let out very frequently. They need to go outside to pee every hour or every other hour in order to eliminate and to help avoid accidents. It’s harder to have an accident at home if you both are constantly going outside! When your dog wakes up, before going to bed, and when you come home are prime times to go outside. Think about the first thing you do in the morning and how you would feel if you had to wait an hour or more before finally going to the bathroom. With consistent training and committing to a routine, your dog will learn faster and will be able to pee on walks.
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Written by: Callie T.