Still Having Potty-Training Problems?

© 2011 Jerry D. Patillo, CPDT-KA
All rights reserved

There’s a lot of information out there on potty training your puppy or adult dog. You’ve gotten this info from books and videos, friends and neighbors, dog trainers and breeders. You’ve even garnered a few helpful ideas from the Internet. Are you still having trouble potty training your dog? Take your dog to your veterinarian right away. Perhaps your adult dog or puppy has a physical or emotional issue that is working against your potty-training success. Have your veterinarian make sure your dog’s physical and mental health is not contributing to your house-training challenges.

I have two examples in my own house that demonstrate how important it is to have a healthy dog if you have potty-training issues.

My terrier Rojita, now 14 years old, had been perfectly house trained most of her life. About six or seven years ago, she started to urinate in the apartment I lived in at the time. I thought, “This is strange. Rojita’s perfectly house trained. What’s going on?” I took her to her vet and discovered she had a urinary-tract infection (UTI). We got the UTI cleared up and she was potty trained again.

My Labrador Retriever, Lady, was two years old when I adopted her in April of 2010. It took several months to potty train this adult dog. Why? Because she – I learned after I adopted her – has a very sensitive stomach. When she was well, she was house trained. When she had Labrador-sized diarrhea on our beige carpet, she was definitely not house trained! Did I give up on her and take her back to the rescue? Did I take her around back and shoot her? Absolutely not! I resolved to keep this new Love-of-My-Life and come up with a solution. (Four beautiful Loves-of-My-Life surround me: two humans and two canines!)

I had two issues with Lady: (1) How am I going to potty train this dog with unpredictable diarrhea, and (2) What was causing the diarrhea? So I taught her, if you’re going to have diarrhea, please have it here, on potty pads in the kitchen. If you’re healthy, then please potty over there, in your special spot outdoors.

Lady still has a sensitive stomach. It seems that bones have been the biggest contributors to her diarrhea. Can you believe that? A dog that’s allergic or sensitive to bones! Unfortunately, I live in a townhouse complex where some of the neighbors inconsiderately toss chicken, beef, and pork bones out into the yards. I can’t see the bones during our daily and nightly walks, but my Lab can surely find them! So now we take our walks on a special route to minimize her exposure to bones. Also, I’ve mixed her regular diet (Blue Buffalo Large Breed dry food) with Missing Link Plus®. This is a nutritional supplement that enhances a dog’s overall health, including the gastrointestinal tract.

Lady had one short-lived bout with diarrhea after I started her new regimen. At least she had it on the potty pads in the kitchen! It’s been several months now that she has not had any diarrhea at all. Hopefully we’re on the right track.

The bottom line is, if you’re still having issues after many attempts at house training, take your dog to your veterinarian first. If your dog is physically and mentally healthy, then give us call. We can develop a routine for you to follow to speed you on your way to a house-trained dog. Many of you are already doing many things right, but there seems to be something missing. We can help you fill in those gaps.

About once or twice a month, we have free potty-training seminars in Plano and Rowlett. (Did I say free?) Click on “Calendar,” above, for info on locations and times. The seminars are free, but seating is very limited. Call or email us today to book your spot!

Home > Training Tips > Training 101 > Potty Training


How many newsletters bombard
you daily with advertising hype?

How many times have you signed up for a newsletter, only to be bombarded daily with advertising hype and nothing of substance? Our newsletters come out only four or five times a year. Yes, to be honest, they too will contain advertising, but only a modest amount in order to promote our services. Mostly, our newsletters will contain real information on training and behavior you can actually use. Sign up today. It’s free!

For Email Marketing you can trust


For help with your behavior modification
and training needs, please contact us today!
Phone: 214-784-8520
Web site: