Dog Potty Training: My Experience Using a Short Leash

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Published: 19th November 2016
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I know that dog potty training is an inevitable part of any dog owner's responsibilities. After all, the alternative of forever cleaning up every time one's dog goes potty anywhere it pleases is an almost unthinkable burden. In fact, I've successfully potty trained a huge Great Dane that I had named "Cupcake" for irony purposes. More specifically, I've trained the now 24-inch-tall specimen to go potty on a bed of newspapers placed near our backdoor and which I've routinely replaced daily. However, despite Cupcake's cooperativeness with his potty training regimen, my wife, Alma, wasn't all too pleased with it. Her complaint was that she was disgusted every time she saw Cupcake's huge pieces of poop each time she passed the back door. Furthermore, Alma hated it that she could smell Cupcake's excrement anywhere on the first floor of our home. Quite honestly, I knew that Cupcake's poop smelled worse than that of most other dogs, but I didn't think that the smell reached throughout our home's first floor. However, after hearing Alma's complaints, I immediately knew that I had to do some additional dog potty training if I was going to convince Alma that we could continue to keep Cupcake in the house.

I quickly concluded that I had to redo Cupcake's dog potty training routine because Alma, to begin with, was already hesitant about allowing a dog in the house. Her issue was that she had a hypersensitive nose, and even before I accepted Cupcake as a gift from my brother, she had already made it known that one smell that she couldn't stand was the odor of dog poop. Unfortunately, for some reason, Cupcake's poop smelled quite strongly even after I had tried several dog food brands that supposedly minimized the stench from a dog's poop. For those reasons, I knew right away that I had to begin a dog potty training routine with Cupcake that involved him relieving himself outside of the house rather than inside.

My hesitation with such a dog potty training system was that I had to take Cupcake on walks so that he could go potty outside. And no, it wasn't that I didn't want to take Cupcake on walks. In fact, it was an activity that I imagined was enjoyable and relaxing. Besides, taking Cupcake on walks would also allow me to get some additional exercise. However, it was one necessity in taking dogs on walks that turned me off about it: attaching a leash to the dog. For some reason, leashing a dog had always struck me to be a very cruel and inhumane act. I always imagined how it would feel if someone had attached a leash onto me and would tug on it every time I went in a direction the holder of the leash didn't want to move in. Ugh. But I didn't have much of a choice really. If I wanted to keep Cupcake, I had to accustom him to dog potty training that involved him going potty outside rather than inside.

My new dog potty training sessions with Cupcake began with me attaching a leash on him shortly after he had taken his first meal of the day. Then, I explained to Cupcake in a firm but gentle voice that we were going to start going potty outside. As I gave my explanation, I made sure to repeat the word "potty" several times because that was the cue word that I wanted to use to let Cupcake know that it was time for him to relieve himself outside. Then it was time to actually move outside with the leash in my hand, the other end attached to Cupcake's neck. I had learned from the pet store that the leash had to be just the right length so that the dog wouldn't veer away and be distracted. I was also told that in case my dog got distracted, all that I needed to do was give the leash a gentle tug to get my dog back on track. Surprisingly, it was easy. And fun and relaxing, too. To my delight, Cupcake was hardly distracted as we took our walk, making it almost unnecessary for me to tug on the leash, which I had dreaded doing. In fact, just five minutes into our walk, Cupcake began sniffing after which he relieved himself. Having picked up his mess and lavishing Cupcake with praise, I directed my dog home after the successful dog potty training we had undergone.

I learned that day that dog potty training, even with the use of a leash, didn't have to be a harrowing and cruel experience. Maybe it was only because I was lucky that Cupcake was a naturally well-behaved dog. But in any case, because of my new experience with dog potty training, I've begun to look more kindly on dog owners whenever I would see them taking their dogs on walks with the aid of their leashes.

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