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Potty Time, Treats and Distraction: Simple Solutions


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Potty Time, Treats and Distraction: Simple Solutions


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We often recommend using high value treats to increase motivation and speed up the training process. After all, a dog will be much more enthusiastic to learn to go potty outside when a juicy piece of chicken is the reward for a job well done instead of a dry dog biscuit. While human food proves to be an effective training tool, what happens when the enthusiasm turns into distraction?

When using high value treats such as real meat or cheese, potty time can become a big production. Since these foods can spoil without refrigeration, we have to walk over to the refrigerator and cut a small piece to take outside. By this time, some puppies are eagerly waiting for a morsel at their human’s feet, and the last thing on a puppy’s mind is going potty. If you have a puppy who is spinning and leaping on you as you walk outside with treats in hand, here are some tips to help each potty session be more successful.

  1. Put a few pieces of the reward in a ziplock bag, and put it in your pocket at least 15-20 minutes before taking your puppy out to go potty. This will give your puppy enough time to forget it’s there.

  2. Put a few pieces of the reward in a small, airtight container, and put it out of your dog’s reach outside in the shade. You can do this 15-20 minutes before taking your puppy out. *Just remember to be cautious about how long the food is kept out to prevent spoilage.

  3. Use freeze dried chicken or liver as they are also high value. These treats don’t require refrigeration and can be left out all the time. You can keep several pieces in a treat pouch or in your pocket so you’ll always be ready to reward good behavior. Because it’s always out, the novelty will wear off and your puppy should no longer be distracted by its presence during potty time.


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