GOING TO THE BATHROOM VS. GOING FOR A WALK

Go potty, go pee, go poo, let’s go out, or the latest entry Bio-Break.  What is your favorite word for asking your dog to urinate or defecate?  Go potty is the one I hear the most often.  Merriam-Webster defines “potty” as a toilet or a bathroom and defines “bio-break” as a short break in a meeting or event so participants can use the restroom. Hilary Clinton has been noted as using that phrase. Obviously neither one applies to your dog. I tell you this because my word of choice, and I am asked quite often,  is “bathrooming” and I define it as the act of going to the bathroom. I admit I do kind of like the sound of bio-break.  Merrian-Webster does not consider “bathrooming” to be a word at all, but the Urban dictionary defines it as “The act of doing something in the bathroom.” So, considering that hopefully, your dog’s version of going to the bathroom means going outdoors to defecate or urinate, I will continue to use the word “bathrooming” or as my neighbors may hear me say to Kahuna; “Go to the bathroom.” “Good Boy.”

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what word or phrase you use, as long as you use it consistently and your dog understands what you are asking of him. What is important is that you use the same designated location as the “place to go to the bathroom or to go potty” every time you take your dog out for that purpose and tell him what you expect him to do there. 

When your dog is taken outside because he must urinate or defecate it should be a different event than taking your dog for a walk. Most pet parents will attest to the fact that their dog urinates every time they take them on leash outside. That’s fine, but there should be an order to this process.  First you take your dog to the designated area, which is very close to your home, and tell him why he is there; which is to go to the bathroom. Once this is achieved in preferably under 10 minutes, take your dog for a walk. It’s a very simple process and will make your life a lot easier when it’s bad weather, too cold or too hot, you’re late for work or maybe just too tired. Going for a walk around the block or to the park or waiting for half an hour for Buster to find the “right spot” because it’s “time to go out” is really doing things the hard way.

Remember when your parents told you to “go to the bathroom” because you were going for a ride some where or out for the day?  Same thing for your dog; bathrooming is the first thing to be done and then going for a walk. 

If you let your dog out into the fenced back yard or property, the same training technique would apply. Take your dog ON LEASH to urinate or defecate in one area and always the same area of the property and then release him to run and play. That way you know for sure if he did what he was supposed to do, you can clean it up immediately and he is not using the entire property as his personal bathroom. BUSINESS FIRST!

BTW, you can designate a small area on your property for your dog to use as his bathroom, by changing the ground cover. Gravel or small stones instead of grass or dirt or putting a border around the area may help to “mark the spot.”