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Being a dog owner is a wonderful, rewarding experience, but waiting for your dog to do his business while you’re standing in the middle of a rain or snowstorm is one of the more frustrating aspects of dog ownership.

Believe it or not, you can actually teach your dog to poop on command! Follow these steps from AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® Director and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Mary Burch in order to have your pup go to the bathroom on cue.

Basic house training

Before you can have your dog pooping outside on cue, you must teach him to go outside in the first place so he isn’t having accidents in the house.

Make a predictable schedule

Put your dog on a regular feeding and exercise program and then observe him to determine his normal schedule for relieving his bowels. Some dogs poop first thing in the morning, while others do their business later in the day.

Pick a cue and begin using it.

Take your dog on a walk or in the yard at a time when he will likely have to go to the bathroom.  The moment your dog squats and starts to go, say whatever you decide your cue will be. For example, “go potty!”

You’ve caught your dog right as he is starting to relieve himself and you are simply labeling the behavior. Praise him and give him a treat.

Repeat over and over

Repeat this pattern and cue for a number of days so your dog will begin to make the connection between the cue and the action of going to the bathroom.

Related article: A Survival Guide for Dog Diarrhea
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