Training

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2 min read

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How to Train a Labrador to Poop Outside

Training

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2 min read

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1

Comments

How to Train a Labrador to Poop Outside
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-2 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

There are very few things more valuable to a dog owner than a dog who is house trained. Having accidents in the house is never fun, and being able to rely on your dog to use the bathroom outdoors when he has to go can be relieving in more ways than one. Some owners who have smaller or more fragile breeds may find that it takes much more time and effort to convince a stubborn pooch to go outside, especially when it’s cold or raining. Luckily for owners of the always eager to please Labrador Retriever, house training may come much easier.

The Labrador is a lover of the water, doesn’t seem to mind the weather all that much, and is quite content with sniffing around in the grass until it’s time to “go”, though he won’t always know exactly what you expect from him. While it may take your help to get him to understand your expectations for bathroom time the first few training sessions, he’ll be able to pick up on it fairly quickly, leading to a much easier daily routine.

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Defining Tasks

There are multiple ways to teach your Labrador to know that outside is the place to do his business, but the important thing, no matter what method you choose, is consistency. You’ll need to repeat your routine multiple times a day, especially if your pup uses the bathroom a little more frequently than other dogs.

House training should occur as soon as you bring your Lab home with you. Teaching him while he’s still a puppy is ideal, but even the Lab with some previous bad habits will quickly adapt to a new training regimen within a week or two at the most. Don’t expect to skip this crucial part of raising a dog, however, as both you and your carpet may be the ones to suffer. If your Lab is taking a bit longer to pick things up, just remember, house training your pooch is just as important as teaching a small child how to use the toilet. With your help, it can become just another daily routine.

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Getting Started

Before getting started, head outside to determine a place where you’d prefer your dog to relieve himself. If you’d rather not have him use the garden as a bathroom, then don’t let him wander alone in the yard! Being able to designate a specific area for his waste will help him adapt to his routine a little better than if he has the whole yard to himself.

Depending on the method being used, you may want to purchase a pack of puppy pads. Otherwise, the only other things that may come in handy are your Lab’s leash and a handful of treats for a reward. Have these on hand when you venture outdoors and be ready to use them to your advantage.

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The Puppy Pad Method

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1

Find an area indoors

Place the puppy pad in an area indoors where your Lab can regularly have access to it.

2

Adapt to the pad

Introduce your dog to the pad with treats. Let him sniff and explore it.

3

Reward for use

Once he uses the pad, reward your dog with plenty of treats and praise. He should know that using the pad to go to the bathroom is what you want him to do.

4

Move the pad towards the door

Day by day, start moving the puppy pad towards the door. Make the move subtle enough that your dog does not really notice and uses the pad anyway.

5

Transition to outdoors

Place the pad right outside the door and then gradually move it out onto the grass or other area where you want your dog to relieve himself. Continue to reward for using the pad outdoors.

6

Remove the pad entirely

Once he is reliably using the pad in the outdoor spot, try removing the pad entirely and allowing him to go directly outside. Reward generously the first few times he relieves himself outdoors without the use of the pad.

The Command Method

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Determine a verbal command

Find a word or phrase that will always be used for bathroom time. A popular one is ‘go potty’ but you can use whatever you think will work best for your dog.

2

Take note of your dog’s habits

Keep an eye on when your Lab uses the bathroom. If she’s showing signs that she may need to go soon, that’s when you need to move!

3

Use the leash and head outside

Place the leash on her and take your dog out to the designated bathroom spot. The leash is used to keep her focused on the area you want her to use.

4

Wait for the perfect moment

Wait until she squats to use the bathroom. Don’t use your command before that.

5

Use the command

As soon as she begins to use the bathroom, use the command and reward with plenty of treats once she’s done.

6

Practice

Start practicing several times a day. Eventually, your dog will equate the verbal command with the act and be able to go as soon as you tell her to.

The Schedule Method

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Write down your dog’s bathroom times

Make note of when your dog usually needs to use the bathroom. Usually, this may come after meals, after naps or in the morning, and maybe a few times throughout the day.

2

Adjust your dog’s feeding schedule

Most dogs have to relieve themselves after a meal. Try adjusting your Lab’s meal times to have better control over when he may use the bathroom.

3

Go out morning and night

Take your dog out every morning after waking up and every night before bed. This will offer him opportunities to use the bathroom at these times.

4

Go out after meals

About ten to fifteen minutes after a meal, take your Lab out to use the bathroom.

5

Repeat every day

Repeating these set bathroom times every day will help regulate your dog’s system and make him more reliable when it comes to using the bathroom. Switching the schedule up may throw him off, so be consistent and regular.

By TJ Trevino

Published: 03/09/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Buddy

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Labrador Retriever

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3 Years

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I rescued a 21/2 year old chocolate lab from Louisiana who lived outdoors in a kennel his whole life. He will per and poop on walks but will not in the yard. I live in New York and I am a senior citizen and cannot walk him during heavy snow. How can I train him to go in the yard?

Jan. 29, 2022

Buddy's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Liz, First, what is your yard like? Is it the same ground type as where pup is going during the walk. Like if pup is peeing on grass during your walk, do you have grass in your yard. If not, I would start by trying to modify your yard even a little, so there is at least a small area of sod, or pine straw, or whatever material pup is used to going potty on during the walk. Second, when you take pup potty on a walk right now, tell pup to "Go Potty", allow pup to sniff and go potty, then give a treat after pup goes. This is to teach that command so you can later instruct pup to go in your yard. Third, I would use a potty encouraging spray in your yard. Spray the area you a little where you will be taking pup potty before you take pup outside each time until pup is going potty there better. Fourth, take pup on leash in your yard, so you can keep pup moving in your yard. Slowly walk around your yard, while telling pup "Go Potty", passing over the spots you have sprayed the potty encouraging spray and encouraging pup to sniff the yard while you walk. The movement, smell, and association of going potty when pup hears "Go Potty" should all help pup's brain tell their body they need to go potty and feel that urge. After pup pees, reward with five small treats if pup pottied in the yard, one treat at a time, then if pup hasn't pooped yet during that part of the day, walk pup around in your yard another fifteen minutes while telling pup to "Go Potty" to encourage pooping if pup needs to poop too. Once pup is consistently, quickly going potty when you take them in the yard, then you can transition to off leash if the yard is fenced so you don't have to walk so much, but still watch pup and remind them to Go Potty and reward. Once pup is going well in the yard without the leash, then you can also phase out the potty encouraging spray, then finally phase out the treats (or you can give one treat long term when pup goes out to go potty then comes back to the door, as long as pup went potty while outside). If the above still can't get pup to go potty, you will need to crate train pup, and only give pup freedom in the home after they have gone potty outside in the yard, taking pup potty every 3-4 hours, then crating for an hour if pup doesn't go, then taking back out to the yard at the end of the hour, repeating this cycle every hour until pup finally goes potty in the yard and you reward with a treat at that point. The first three days pup will likely hold it for 8-12 hours. If pup holds it past that, you may have to give in and walk them, but until then I would stay firm unless they have a medical condition that's a concern, in which case speak with your vet; I am not a vet. Once pup starts going in the yard a few times successfully and is rewarded after holding out for a while, pup will usually start going more quickly after that point, and when pup is going potty right away when you take them into the yard and tell them to Go Potty, then you can stop using the crate again if pup does okay without a crate now, and is otherwise doing well. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Jan. 31, 2022


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