Ask Valli of ‘Oh My Dog’


By Valli Aman

T42-05-EDIT-Oh My DogQuestion: I let my 5-month-old female Schnauzer out in the backyard and then she comes right back into the house and does her business on the floor— but not all the time. What can I do?

Answer: The problem of potty training can be a real hair-puller and crate training is optimum but since your pup is inconsistent about doing all her business outside I do suggest you use a leash and a few tiny pieces of a soft delicious treat given only for potty training.

With your pup on leash, request a sit inside your doorway so you can go out first. After you say “OK” and go outside, say “Let’s go find your potty place.” We’ll call it “potty” here but be consistent with your terminology, decide what you will call “the business” and always call it by the same name.

Let the pup go in front of you, smell around the area where she may want to go. If that place is not to your liking, walk her to where you’d like her to go and then ask her to “find it.” As she smells around, you can guide her by saying “Oh, that looks like a good place” and repeat “Let’s go find your potty place.”

With patience, consistency, and having maybe five minutes of time per session to get her going in the right direction, you will find with your pup on leash she will feel a connection to what you want and will offer the behavior more readily—but patience here is the key.

Of course, when your pup does her business outside, there has to be a big-deal Potty Party: “Oh my goodness, you did Potty!” and make sure to embarrass yourself wherever you are and in front of whomever is there.

The Potty Party is a part of what your pup will love because she’ll know for certain how happy it made you and then you can go back in the house. If you find she still does business when you come in, then go in, make a “U” turn, and go straight back outside and repeat the exercise. It is possible to outsmart her and give her a second chance.

Do you have questions about your pooch? Write to me at Visit Oh My Dog at

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