Moving; Why It Can Devastate Your Potty Training

Thanks Wet Nose Blog for the Photo

I hate moving.

Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate moving!

For those of you thinking that my usage of HATE seems extreme and perhaps I don’t hate it that much… you are WRONG, I do! Actually, I may have been holding in some more “hates” but it seemed to be getting a bit redundant.

Not only do I hate the packing up, and the cleaning the old place, and then the cleaning of the new place (after all who wants to move into someone else’s filth) and the painting, and then the unpacking; I also hate the trauma on all my furry family members.

I am a creature of habit for sure!

But my animals are even more creatures of habit.

After all, I have some reasoning skills that they lack.

So I Just Moved

Moving and potty training

Thanks Petsmart for the Photo

Long story short my landlord died and his kids wanted to sell the house.

So here I am in a new house, with new problems.

New pet problems that is…

Everyone was potty trained till we moved and now their potty training has gone to well… crap.

Even the cats have been problematic.

The Truth Is…

The truth is, even we “professionals” have the same problems everyone else suffers from when we let our guard down or don’t plan for it.
And, let’s face it; I have never been one to pretend that my dogs are perfect or that I never have a hiccup in my dog training.

Ironically, making time to unpack my house and answer dog training questions on the various websites I monitor the same question was asked of me.

That is usually when I have that “ah HA!” moment and realize it would make the perfect time for a well-timed post.

It Was the 3rd Turd…

It was the 3rd “happened upon” turd that convinced me I needed to rethink my status of “potty trained” at the new house.

1 or 2 is an accident… 3 is a problem.

Why? Why Does Moving Make a Difference?


Moving and potty training

Thanks Dogster for the photo

• New yard
• New house
• New routine
Have you ever thought about this from your dog’s perspective?

As humans we know to look for a toilet… but your dog doesn’t always come with deductive reasoning.

He is so busy sniffing in a new place (remember at first he doesn’t know this is HIS new yard) that he may forget to take care of business.

Your house may also have been marked in, peed in, or pooped in by a previous dog.

Your dog may feel the need to mark his new territory.

Have you taken the time to teach him where the new doors are in the house?

Have you gone outside to make certain he is “taking care of business?”

My Problem

I wasn’t going outside to check up after my dog, and I don’t think I was giving him enough time.

2 out of 3 dogs were fine but the third was having adjustment problems.

Also my schedule had changed, how could it not?

I mean I had unpacking AND work to worry about so nothing was my typical norm at least for those first few days.

I had to take a step back and think about what he needed.

AND I Had to Remember it Was All About ME

It is about what I am doing and not doing to make sure my pets are all successful.

Moving and potty training

Thanks Off Leash Training for the photo

My cats needed a cat box on every level (we moved from a one level home to a 3 level home).

And my dogs needed some teaching and maintenance.

Just Like Having a Puppy

It was all about following them around and making sure they were doing their business outside and not sneaking off to find a hint of carpet in my workout room :-/

So next time you move, vacation, or go visit family remember that just because you think your dog is “potty trained” it may only be conditional in one space!

Which is why it is nearly impossible for one person to potty train another person’s dog, they may be able to do the ground work, but potty training is more about YOU than it is anyone else in the relationship.

As angry as I was to find the three surprise turds… it was my fault for not training and then following up by following them around!
Problem solved and 3 weeks later everyone is back to pristine potty training!


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  1. JoanM says:

    My 3 yr. old rescue terrior mix never give me a tell so I am trained. I would like her to go in this one spot right outside beyond the driveway.She ges ther sniffs and then is ready for her walk and will find a place to go. I have even put her waste in that spot. When she does go I am giving her a treat and using the word busy. he looks at me like I am crazy. Any suggestions?.


    Minette Reply:

    IF that is his only option he will learn to go there!!!


    JoanM Reply:

    How long do I stay there till I just go back in and give her breakfast? I have stood there 15 minuetes. At night I end up just letting her go where she wants so I can go to bed.She is strong willed.


    Minette Reply:

    You may have to start an hour or more before bed, taker her out every 15 minutes till she goes.

    If you give in… she is doing the training not you 😉 in order to get her to do what you want you almost have to take away any other option except crate or where you want her to go…

  2. JoanM says:

    It took 14 hours for her to relieve herself. She did go though. How often does a 20.30lb Terrier go?


    Minette Reply:

    Depends on the dog, she will get a schedule


  3. JoanM says:

    thought I had it and I relaxed and turned my back in the

    house.She went back to an old place in the house that I worked on and didn’t smell of her. I don’t think I would recommend a rescue. They have habits you have to break. Very hard.


    Minette Reply:

    I have used rescue dogs and dogs from shelters for years and successfully trained them as Service/Guide dogs so I would have to say I think you are wrong.

    Rescue and shelter dogs can be great dogs, you just have to give them the training they need and have lacked


  4. JoanM says:

    I am training a dog that is iron willed but I keep on.I am strong willed also. She wants her way and finds an opening when I let my guard down. When I least expect it.This morning I did the crate bit and took her out every 15 minuetes till I won. Later 3 hours later I thought I was safe I she went on my eck that was her terriory.


    Minette Reply:

    Got to keep her on a leash!


  5. JoanM says:

    I do keep her on an extra long leash. When she is off the leash she usually needs to get excersise. Remember she isn’t a puppy.She is 3


  6. Audrey S. says:

    hello looking for any advice you can give me to help make my male whom is 3 who is potty trained but now since I moved he is being stubborn and won’t poop in his yard. He’s got the peeing down pat. And mind you we have been in the house for almost 3 months now so he should have a routine. Occasionally he will go in the house. The only way he will go is if I take him to the park or on a walk which we’ll that’s not going fly once the snow flys. Of course I give him 15mins each time we go out than back in I praise him when he goes and give him a special treat at that moment in time. Plus when we return from outside I give him a special treat too. I just recently started placing his poop in the yard to see if he would pick up on that. He’s mad cuz we went from a large yard to a small one plus with my parents whom had 2 other dogs. Please anything else I should be doing would be great. Also I always take him out the same door when it’s potty time.


  7. Caroline says:

    Buffy is a 10 month old, and we adore our baby. We have had her since she was 8 weeks old. She was doing great at our previous home in terms of going potty outside. She had a fenced in backyard and went without any issues. She had accidents inside the house, but they were always close to the door to the backyard. We had to relocate to a downtown apartment last week. She walks on her leash 3 times a day and refuses to go potty outside. She has not gone outsidr ONCE since the move. There is a dog park near our apartment we take her to on these walks where she can run free, and she still refuses to go there! She will only go to the bathroom inside our apartment. She goes on walks with her older dog sister Bella. We have reinforced pottying outside by giving Bella treats each time she goes outside, and we make sure to do this so Buffy can see Bella getting the treats as reward for pottying. We are at our wits’ end! Spanking, yelling, saying no, walks, and sitting at the dog park for 30 to 45 minutes are all NOT working!!!


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