How to Train a Husky to Not Pee in the House

Medium
1-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

When your Husky pees in the house, it can be one of the most frustrating moments. Whether he is a puppy, a newly adopted member of the family, or a former outdoor dog, correcting this behavior quickly is incredibly important. If you're not sure how to train a Husky to not pee in the house, you've come to the right place.

Huskies are beautiful and unique dogs, but they can be stubborn and are not as eager to please as some other dogs. You've got to earn his respect and create a firm foundation for training. If you've just been introduced to the breed, you may be scratching your head trying to figure out how to train a Husky to not pee in the house. There are a few tips and tricks that will make this easier for you.

Defining Tasks

Before you focus on training, make sure there isn't a medical reason your Husky is peeing in the house. The cause might be a painful bladder infection or a sign that something else is wrong. Starting with a dog you know is healthy is essential. When you know the problem isn't related to health, you can begin training.

Ideally, you will start house training your Husky before he ever has a chance to pee in the house but sometimes that can't be avoided, especially if you have an older dog that is just learning about living inside the house. No matter what, never yell or scare your dog if he does make a mistake and pees in the house. You want to make going outside to pee a fun experience.

Getting Started

Training your Husky to not pee in the house can be straightforward and doesn't require anything too fancy. In fact, many trainers advise against things like puppy pads because they may actually encourage him to pee inside. Here are a few items that can help you during house training.

  • A leash
  • High-value treats like cheese or liver
  • A bell
  • A "potty spot"
  • A comfy dog crate

With consistency and hard work, you'll be an expert at teaching your Husky not to pee inside. Look through the three methods below and choose the best one for you and your Husky. 

The Bell Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Choose a door
Choose which door will be the one you always let the dog out of to go to the bathroom. Hang a bell on the door.
Step
2
Ring the bell
Take him out to go to the bathroom through the same door every time. On the way out, ring the bell before you open the door and make sure he is watching.
Step
3
Take him to the same spot
To start out, take him to the same spot and wait for him to pee. When he does, give him three really good treats.
Step
4
Ask him to ring the bell
After a week or two of ringing the bell before you open the door, bring him to the door and encourage him to ring it, either with his nose or a paw.
Step
5
Pay attention to his needs
Anytime you notice him circling or pawing like he has to pee, take him to ring the bell. Soon he'll be ringing the bell on his own.
Recommend training method?

The Crate Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Set up a comfy crate
Buy a comfy crate for your dog, big enough to stretch out and turn around, but not so big that he could pee in a corner and keep his bedding clean.
Step
2
Crate train
Spend time crate training your dog so he enjoys being in the crate.
Step
3
Follow a schedule
Create a schedule that your dog can get used to. Take him to pee right when you get up in the morning and first thing when he leaves the crate.
Step
4
Make peeing a habit
When you take him outside, make sure he isn't too distracted by being outside to relieve himself. Make this a habit, so he knows when he'll have a chance to pee.
Step
5
Crate him when you leave
Anytime he will be unsupervised in the house, put him in the crate. This will keep him from peeing in the house when you are gone.
Step
6
Keep an eye on him
When he's not in the crate, watch for any indication he has to pee. Circling, pawing the ground or sniffing are indications. Let him outside immediately. Eventually he will tell you when he needs to go, and he'll adjust to his crate schedule.
Recommend training method?

The Schedule Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Pick a "potty spot"
Choose a spot outside that you want your dog to use to relieve himself.
Step
2
Set a feeding schedule
Feed your dog at the same time every day. this way you can predict at least two times he will need to go out each day.
Step
3
Set a bathroom schedule
For the first few weeks, make a bathroom schedule and stick to it. Right when he wakes in the morning, 15 to 20 minutes after he eats, right after play time, right when you let him out of his kennel. Take note of when he needs to pee and stick to it consistently.
Step
4
It's time to pee
Each time you get ready to bring him outside, say the same phrase in an excited voice. Your phrase can be something like "It's time to pee!"
Step
5
Take him to the spot
Put a leash on him and take him to the spot where you want him to pee. Wait for him to go, and don't look at him or move until he does. You may have to wait a while.
Step
6
Reward him for a pee
When he does relieve himself, tell him "good boy" and give him three of those high-value treats.
Step
7
Keep an eye out
Keep an eye on your dog and anytime you notice him circling or digging like he might need to go to the bathroom, say "It's time to pee!" and take him out to his spot. Soon he'll realize that peeing outside is fun and rewarding.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Cimarron
Husky
7 Months
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Question
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Cimarron
Husky
7 Months

How can I stop my dog from going to the bathroom in the house and to go when he's on the leash also what leash is good for his breed

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Check out the article that I have linked below. I suggest following the "Crate Training" method from that article linked below. You can also combine the "Tethering" method with the "Crate Training method when you are at home. The article linked below will talk about how to encourage a dog to go potty outside, to reward them for going potty outside, to prevent accidents inside, and what type of schedule to keep. Because Cimarron is an older puppy, when you are home you can take him potty every 2-3 hours if crate training, and every 2 hours if tethering him to yourself. When you are gone, if he is in the crate (which he needs to be) he should be able to hold his bladder for 5-6 hours, and even longer once fully potty trained (The crate naturally encourages dogs to hold their bladders); taking him outside more frequently when you are home is needed for him to learn faster though. After he goes potty outside, you can give him 1 hour or freedom outside of the crate before placing him back in the crate until it is time to take him potty again. The goal is to limit his freedom whenever his bladder is at all full, so that he will not have accidents - the more accidents that you prevent, the more successes he will have outside and the quicker he will learn. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Diesel
Husky
7 Years
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Diesel
Husky
7 Years

We are the 4th owner for our husky in 7 yrs. The owner just before us allowed him to run off and he would be gone for 2 to 3 days at a time. Diesel was an outside dog then. He has been an inside dog for 5 yrs. I have not been able to get him to quit going to the bathroom inside. I walk him twice a day and nearly at the same time every day. While we are gone, his food and water gets put up where he cannot reach. All doors are shut and he still goes inside. We have tried putting him in a crate and a kennel while we are gone. He has broken out of both more than once. We have tried different things to get the smell out of the carpet and have bought 2 throw rugs, to which he goes on. What can I do to stop him from going inside and what can I do to get the smell out of the carpet and throw rug? I have tried several different things to get the smell out of the carpet and throw rug.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello Linda, For the smell you need a cleaner that contains enzymes. Enzymes break down the pee and poop at a molecular level. Other cleaners do not remove it enough for the dog not to smell it still. You also probably need a device that can get all the way down through the carpet or rug, like a professional steam cleaner you can use the enzyme cleaner with. I suggest speaking to a cleaning expert about that. They can be rented at some grocery or hardware stores as well. For the peeing he needs to be crated and taught not to escape. The first step is to purchase a more durable crate. Check out the crate review article below: https://dogsrecommend.com/kennels/heavy-duty-dog-crates/ When you put him in the crate put 1-2 large hollow Kong chew toys stuffed with dog food and a little peanut butter or liver paste to help with boredom. Work on the above. If you are not seeing progress, then the next step is to interrupt his frantic-ness using an electric collar that has a vibration setting also (he may not respond to the vibration so you need both stimulation and vibration - if he does respond to just vibration then you can use that). When you choose a collar, only get one that has at least thirty-levels. Cheap, poorly made collars can be dangerous and collar without enough levels can be too harsh or not effective enough. E-collar Technologies, Garmin, SportDog, and Dogtra all make decent collars. You can also try using a remote controlled unscented air spray collar (AVOID citronella - only use unscented air or you might make your problem worse). Honestly, many dogs will not respond well enough to the air spray collars though. I highly suggest hiring a trainer who is experienced with separation anxiety and using e-collars to help you (although he is likely escaping due to boredom the protocol for the crate is the same here). You want to find the lowest level that he can feel on the collar. You want to set a good foundation for him by doing the other training that I mentioned above to at the same time to help him learn independence. You also want to reward him when he is calm. To use the electric collar you would: 1. Get him used to wearing the collar around while it is turned off. 2. Find the lowest level that he responds to - called a "working level". 3. Set up your camera to watch him again. 4. Leave the house, drive down the block so he thinks you are gone, then walk back and hide next to the house - so the collar and remote will be in range. 5. Watch him on the camera and listen for howling, scratching or him getting really worked up whining. 6. Stimulate the collar when he howls, scratches, or starts to get worked up whining (a brief whine is okay but not anxious-continuous whining). 7. When he gets quiet for two minutes, go back inside, ignore him for five minutes (he should be in the crate when you first practice this). When he is calm, then open the crate door, but don't let him come out yet - if he tries to rush out, then close the door quickly again and repeat the opening and closing it exercise until he stays in there while the door is open. 8. When he will stay in the crate while the door is open, then ignore him for another five minutes while the door is open. 9. Tell him "Okay" to let him know he can leave the crate at the end of the five minutes, but act really boring and nonchalant with him when he comes out. 10. Practice the training sessions, correcting him from outside with the collar while watching on the camera, coming back in when he is calm, ignoring him for a total of ten minutes, then acting boring when you let him out. This protocol sounds very harsh I know. It is important to practice him being self-controlled through things like "Place", "Stay", and being in the crate. When you correct him with the collar, you are correcting him at a more reasonable stimulation level that is high enough for him to feel but not so high that it's any harsher than it needs to be. He needs an opportunity to choose a calm response instead of his current frantic one. When you correct him, you are interrupting his frantic state of mind and expression. When you remove that option from him, then he has to find another way to react. By coming back inside, you are essentially rewarding him when he is being calm - showing him that being calm is how he gets you back, not by getting worked up. He has an opportunity to learn in that situation. Being in the crate simply makes it easier for him to learn because his only other option is to chew on a chew toy and rest. He cannot pace, destroy things, pee on rugs, or try another type of behavior when the scratching, whining, and howling are not options anymore. After he has learned calmness in the crate and that has become a new habit, then it will be easier for him to be calm outside of the crate when you are gone too. When you put him into the crate during the day (not at night), be sure to leave a dog food and liver paste or cheese or peanut butter (NO Xylitol sweetener -it's toxic to dogs!) stuffed- safe- hollow-chew-toy for him in the crate, so that when he calms down he will have that to chew on - he probably won't chew it until he is corrected and learns to calm down though. When he learns to be calm and is ready to do something other than get worked up, you will want him to have it though, so that he can learn to enjoy himself in the crate or in your home when you are gone. I suggest that you do all of this under the guidance of a qualified trainer though. You have to be careful to use e-collars correctly. They can be very effective tools when used correctly, but they are powerful and can be severely misused if you don't understand how to use them. Once he is no longer escaping from the crate, then he needs to only be given freedom outside the crate when he has gone potty outside in the last two hours. After two hours put him back into the crate until the next potty trip. If he does not go potty when you take him, put him back in the crate and try again in an hour or two. When you take him potty, tell him to "Go Potty" and reward him with three small treats, one treat at a time. Keep a container of treats by the door you take him through, out of his reach to make grabbing treats on your way out convenient. You also need to go with him when you take him to pee to make sure that he actually goes. The crate utilizes a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean and can help teach him to hold his pee, instead of going whenever the urge hits him like when he is outside (and now inside too). He needs to learn to hold it until outside. You are also correct that the smell or his urine and poop need to be removed to help him tell the difference between inside and outside. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Midna
Siberian Husky
8 Months
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Question
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Midna
Siberian Husky
8 Months

My wife and I work nights so we have to crate Midna around 9:30pm. My wife gets home around 3 or sometimes around 5 in the morning. She'll try to let Midna out to go pee but Midna will squat and pee in the kennel. We just had her fixed 2 days ago and it's only getting to be more frequent peeing in the crate. We dont know what else to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nathan, This sounds like excited peeing, made worse by the fact that she has not peed in a while. Try to keep the crate exiting as boring as possible. Do not speak to her, touch her, or look directly at her. Calmly and quietly open the door to her crate, walk toward the door to go outside so that she will follow you, and ignore her until she is calm. If you have a fence, when she is a bit calmer, you can open the door to go outside and tell her "Okay" so that she knows she is allowed to go through the door to go outside to pee. Once she has peed, then you can greet her and talk to her again. If you do not have a fence, you will have to attach a leash. Calmly reach down toward her with the leash, touching her as little as possible (try to only touch the D ring on the collar when you can). Avoid bending over her and looking her in the face directly if you can, and clip her leash on. The goal is to be extremely boring. I also suggest practicing the crate manners protocol from the video linked below. Practice this during the day when her bladder is not as full at first. Once she has learned to exit crates calmly in general you can do this in the early morning too, to help her calm down before exiting the crate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ziva
Husky
2 Years
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Question
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Ziva
Husky
2 Years

Hello we just adopted a 2 year old husky less than a week ago. She is peeing in the floor every night, in the same spot. We take her out right before we go to bed. She was not crate trained prior to her arrival so we are hesitant to go that route. How do you discipline them when you find the evidence hours later?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alexa, You cannot discipline hours later. Most dogs live in the moment and won't associate discipline after the fact. Discipline is only effective when the timing is right and the dog is caught in the act. It's just like if you were to reward a dog for sitting hours after they sat. They would be happy about the reward but they wouldn't learn anything because they would only associate the reward with whatever they were doing when it was given, like standing around, and not with the time that they sat hours earlier. For potty training to be successful you have to prevent accidents through management, create opportunities for the dog to go potty outside and be praised and rewarded when they go, and clean up any old accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes so that your home doesn't continue to smell like a potty to them. There are many routes to manage a dog to prevent accidents. Crate training is by far the easiest and quickest. Crate training will probably be easier in the long run than trying to tackle this another way. You can also attach a dog to yourself with a leash to prevent them from wandering off to have an accident, while also taking them potty often - that method by itself will only work if you are home during the day though, but not at night while you sleep. You can also constantly supervise a dog, but without a crate at night or a space that is small enough that the dog holds their bladder, accidents at night can still happen (although they are less likely because the dog is asleep most of the night). For smaller dogs you can teach them to use an indoor toilet, like a grass pad, pee pad, or litter box using an exercise pen. Finally, you can create a safe area outside for the dog to spend time while you are gone or asleep (weather permitting and in consideration of what type of other animals could come around and if you have a fence), and keep the dog with you at all times while inside when you are home and able to supervise. If you don't prevent accidents a dog will not become potty trained. When it comes to potty training, it is about encouraging a dog's natural desire to keep a space clean (which the crate utilizes best) until the dog starts to view their home as their own space and develops a long term habit of keeping that area clean, and wants to do that on their own even when you are not helping them do it. If the dog soils an area enough she will no longer want to keep that area clean. If you do decide to crate train or tether her to yourself with a leash, check out the article linked below for how to do both of those things in the "Crate Training" method or "Tethering" method. Since she is older, she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 4-6 hours at time during the day, and up to 8-9 at night while asleep. When you are home I suggest taking her outside every 3-4 hours during the day though to help training go faster. Once she goes potty outside, she can be out of the crate for 1-2 hours during the day while her bladder is empty, before being put back in the crate until it is time to take her outside again - doing it this way prevents her from being free when her bladder is full and motive her to hold her bladder while inside. At night only let her out of the crate to take her potty if she asks to go outside after at least 6 hours since she last went potty. Letting her out at other times can create bad habits of her waking to play. With the tethering method you will need to take her potty every 2 hours during the day, and four hours at night because she will not have the confined space of the crate to encourage her to hold it. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Duke
Siberian Husky
6 Months
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Question
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Duke
Siberian Husky
6 Months

Hi!

My 6 month old husky (Duke) is starting to pee indoors more frequently. We have peepee pads in two areas, one in the room and some in a corner in our living room since we also have a 4 month old German Shepard (Olive). We’ve lessened the amount of pee pads in the room, there are now none as of today. I let both dogs out in the evening at least every 45-60 min in the yard for about 10-15min. Olive pees outside, she got the hang of it quick. Duke will come back inside and pee again on the pad instead. He lifts his leg slightly sometimes, is he just marking territory? He gets praised whenever he does go outside. He pees about every 30-60 min and now since we have no pee pads in the room, he’s peed on the carpet several times. My problem is, I can’t take him outside every hour overnight, I’d never get any sleep. We are all out of treats, but I gave him some peanut butter in a hollow toy to keep him busy from being bored at night. Also, we are not crate training! Just our mind set. My husband and I work opposite shifts, so someone is usually always home. By the time I say “let’s go outside” he’s already finished peeing. What can I do to help Duke go outside instead?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello LD, First, it might be worth reconsidering crate training. Crate training will make this 100% easier for you not just with potty training but for preventing destructive chewing, preventing separation anxiety, decreasing anxiety with future boarding and traveling, teaching self-soothing and self-entertaining with food-stuffed chew toys in the crate, and letting you sleep at night! Crating at night will make the biggest difference for your household. With that said you need to do the following if you don't plan to use a crate: 1. Remove all pee pads and teach both dogs to only go potty outside - continuing pee pads for the younger dog past this point will make potty training harder for him anyway. The pee pads are designed to smell like urine so he likely is intentionally marking on them because of that. Using pee pads for too long for some dogs can also lead to carpet accidents because they are made of fabric - I prefer disposable grass pads for young puppies instead, but very few people are told about alternatives - so don't worry about what's already done. 2. When you bring him back inside, he needs to be attached to you with a six or eight foot leash or placed into an exercise pen on hard floor. He cannot be given freedom in the home or the accidents won't stop, and the number one goal of potty training is to stop accidents inside because if you don't, a dog will never view the home as something to keep clean - even if they potty outside inside will be just as good a place to potty in their mind, so you won't make further progress. 3. He needs to be confined somewhere without carpet or soft fabric at night. A dog will naturally hold their bladder in a confined space when there isn't anything absorbent in it - that's why crates work so well. In a crate he could probably hold his bladder overnight within a week at his age. If not using a crate, you will need to create a similar situation until the habit of peeing inside has been broken. 4. Continue to take him outside often; reward with treats when he goes potty outside and clean up any new or old accidents - that you know of, with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes (especially under pee pad spots and carpet). Only enzymes will remove the smell enough for him not to be encouraged to mark there again. Look for the word enzyme or enzymatic on the bottle somewhere. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Nala
Siberian Husky
6 Months
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Question
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Nala
Siberian Husky
6 Months

Dog won't use the bathroom when she is let outside in the backyard. She also has no leash when she goes out so she has the full yard. Right when she gets back inside she will go to the bathroom on the floor. When she is in the crate she will bang against the crate hard over and over trying to get out. How can i change these habits of hers?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mitchell, . Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take her potty less frequently. I suggest taking her potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while her bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. When you have to go off she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while she is getting used to it and longer once she is accustomed to the crate. Only have her wait that long when you are not home though, take her out about every 3 hours while home. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside For the banging, first Practice the Crate Manners exercise from the video linked below to work on respect, impulse control, and calmness in the crate. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ While she is locked in the crate, you can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of calmness to further encourage relaxing. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer when she starts trying to get out. When she is calm in the crate, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she starts trying to escape, tell him "Ah Ah" calmly while you spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate wires, then leave again. If she stays calm after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her continued calmness. Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Also, avoid spraying in the face. Wait until she is calm for at least two seconds before letting her out of the crate in general. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Niko
Siberian Husky
11 Years
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Question
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Niko
Siberian Husky
11 Years

Hi! I have an 11 year old husky named Niko I adopted when he was 3. We have had intermittent problems with him peeing on the floor for the last 8 years! He initially had very bad separation anxiety where he would hurt himself trying to escape but a year of prosac and behavior training helped. Unfortunately he continued peeing inside. He would pee nearly every time I left regardless of enzyme cleaners, scheduled walks etc. It usually happens for a few months at a time then he stops for months and then starts again. We recently moved and he hadn't peed for MONTHS but now is back at it. I am at a lost as to what has changed that changes his behavior. I try not to smother him with love, he is not anxious when I leave, he gets regular exercise and behavior practice. Thoughts?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nicki, How is his health? Many things can increase anxiety and if the peeing has had a history of being anxiety related, that could be very related. A new move is often stressful for a dog - more so for some dogs than others. For older dogs it can be especially difficult if their eye sight, hearing or mobility is decreased. A dog who can't see well will feel less secure in a new place where they don't have all the rooms and the layout memorized. A dog with less hearing will probably feel less safe in a new place where they can't depend on their hearing to warn them of potential dangers. A dog with less mobility may struggle to navigate a new house if it has more stairs, slippery surfaces, or long hallways. A dog might also feel insecure when you leave when they are in a new place because there isn't a proved track record that you always come back there. As they see that you always come home there also, they may gradually relax. This is less likely because pup has such a history of accidents, but the increased peeing again could also be due to age and health issues that are starting to cause urinary incontinence - it might be worth speaking to your vet about that, especially if pup is also drinking a lot more water now. (I am not a vet). Pup could also not actually be potty trained - he may need to be crated while you are gone to motivate him to hold his bladder when you aren't there to enforce it (if he isn't already crated). If he is already being crated while you are away and having accidents in the crate still, the issue is more likely anxiety or medical though. if pup is crate trained, crating pup while you are gone can be a good way to test whether the peeing is a potty training issue or something more linked to anxiety or medical. A crated dog will most often not have accidents in the crate if its a simple potty training issue, whereas an anxious or sick dog will still have accidents even in the crate typically. If you already know pup will for sure go potty in the crate, then I would avoid this test so as not to add additional unnecessary stress. For now, you may want to look into doggie diapers - either for long term use if the issue is medical and age related, or temporary use if the issue is behavioral. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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