1) Set an eating schedule. Dogs who are allowed to graze on food all day will not have regular potty habits. Without that you will either have to be on call to take them out to do their business when they give the signal or worry about indoor accidents. When setting the feeding schedule anticipate that dogs will usually be ready to "go" within about 10 - 15 minutes after eating a meal. Keep in mind that for many dogs, especially those who tend to quickly gobble their food, after-meal activity should be minimal to avoid digestive problems. Keep the fast paced, longer fitness walks to another time of day.
2) Make a "potty spot". Dogs will find a favorite spot that they will revisit whenever they need to "go". Help your dog select a nearby spot in the yard or in close vicinity to eliminate the need for your dog to take an entire walk to do their business. After a meal you can simply walk with your dog to that area and they will happily "do what they need to do" at that spot.
To help your dog make a potty spot:
- Choose a spot where your dog likes to sniff
- Take them to this spot at a time they have to "go"
- Stay around this spot until it is used by your pup for this purpose
After a few times using this spot it will become the desired place for your pup to visit when necessary.
3) Have their daily walk at a consistent time. Keeping your pup's daily walk at a consistent time will help make it an anticipated highlight of your pup's day. This consistency will help assure a successful walk with a cooperative pup. The walk can be scheduled at a time that fit's into your daily schedule. Over time you will discover that your pup will know exactly when this walk will be.\\
Be consistent with this routine and you and your pup will enjoy a simplified, daily schedule that will fit everyone's needs.