Chesney, my 6-month-old Dachshund-Beagle mix, is a very energetic dog. He was recently fixed. Since the day I adopted him from the SPCA, I have not been able to teach him to go to the bathroom outside. I tried telling him to “go pee” and “go poop” when I took him outside, but nothing. I take him on walks, which helps him not to poop indoors. I’ll leave him outside for 5 minutes to eliminate, and nothing happens. Nothing seems to work. I hope you can help me and Chesney!
– Olivia, Jersey Shore, N.J.
Thank you for asking a question that so many dog owners have! Remember that your dog is one giant nose – both the Beagle and Dachshund are born to sniff. Rather than allowing Chesney to sniff everything while going potty is nowhere on his radar, use his instinct to sniff as a reward after he goes potty on a walk.
Before you begin, make sure Chesney hasn’t had a potty run for a while. Teach him to sniff on command by bringing some very high-level treats with you on a walk. Keep him from sniffing for a minute, then say “Go sniff” as you toss some treats on nearby grass. Allow him to eat the treats and sniff around a few seconds, then in a very upbeat way, say “Let’s Go!” and continue your walk a few house lengths.
Repeat the “Go sniff” routine. When he finally does go potty, praise him profusely, toss a few treats out and reward him with a good, long “Go sniff” session.