Just like potty training a child, potty training a dog requires a healthy dose of patience, consistency and lots of praise and rewards. Teaching Fido to use the concrete patio as his potty area is a good option -- it's easy to clean and it's right outside your door.
Clean indoor accidents with an enzyme-based cleanser to neutralize the smell of your dog's urine. You don't want your pet companion to be able to smell his urine, because it might make him want to pee in the same spot again. Clean the accident when your dog isn't watching, otherwise he might think it's a game you're playing. Place the soiled cleaning rags on the concrete patio that you plan on using as you dog's potty.
Watch your dog like a hawk while he roaming the room. Don't give him the run of the house, because it'll be hard to supervise him -- keep him in the same room you're in. If he seems restless and starts barking, circling or sniffing, immediately take him to the patio, because these are signs that he needs to go potty. Once outside, say "go potty" or "do your business," and wait for him to relieve himself. Exaggerate the praise you give him afterward and reward him with treats to reinforce the good behavior.
Interrupt your pet companion if you catch him eliminating inside. Clap your hands or shake a can of coins to startle your dog and say "outside." The noise might stop him from further eliminating. Bring him to his designated potty area and tell him "go potty" or "do your business" so he can continue eliminating. Give him hugs and treats after he finishes.
Stay consistent in your house-training methods. Use the same commands each time so eventually your dog understands what they mean. Ensure all family members are aware the patio is your dog's designated potty area -- if one person consistently allows your dog to go potty elsewhere, it can cause confusion.
Avoid yelling at your dog if you find an accident in the house. Punishing your dog after the fact is too late -- he won't understand why you're upset and might start fearing you. Realize that it's really your fault for not observing him better.
Confine your pet companion to a dog crate if you can't watch him. Use a crate that's just big enough so your dog can stand upright, lie down and turn around. Avoid using a crate that's too big, because he might go potty on one end and rest on the other end. Give him a food-stuffed dog toy to keep him entertained while he's confined.
Feed your dog at the same times each day, because it'll be easier to estimate when he has to go potty. Over time you can establish a routine and have him eat, go potty, play and go to sleep at the same times each day.
- If your dog is a puppy he can't hold his bladder very long. Confine him to a small room with easy-to-clean flooring. Place a dog bed or crate on one end, and if you'll be gone for a long period, place a puppy pad on the other end. Alternatively, have a trustworthy neighbor come over to walk your dog.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.