My Smart Puppy

with Dog Expert, Sarah Wilson

Going on Command – Go Here! Go Now!


Being able to tell your dog to go here – now – is a huge help when you are late for work, it is pouring rain, you are not feeling well, you’re traveling, expecting guests, etc. And not to worry, urinating or defecating does not embarrass a dog. For them, these things are just everyday behaviors like sitting or lying down.

It is pretty easy to teach your dog to go on command. We use “Hurry up” for urination and “Get busy” for defecation, but it doesn’t matter what words you use. Clients have used everything from “Make Boom-booms for Mommy” to “Go, now!” Doesn’t matter what you say, as long as you say the same thing consistently.

Take your dog to the area you’d like him to go and walk in lazy circles in the area. Let him pause to sniff but don’t let him linger, keep him moving over the same ground over and over. We want your dog to be a bit bored. Don’t make eye contact, don’t pet him – just walk those lazy circles.

After he goes – then take him to a more exciting walk. That is part of his reward for going and will encourage him to go more and more quickly each time.

Now, when you see your dog about to start going, say the words calmly. Repeat them for as long as she is going. Then praise. We use treats as a reward after the dog goes, but keep that treat out of sight while the dog is going. Do not even reach for it until after the dog is done (otherwise they might stop mid-moment to get the treat). If your pup just gets too excited by a treat then skip it, but keep up the smile and the praise.

During this training phase of a few weeks, don’t try getting your dog to start going using the command. Until she’s had enough repetition while she’s actually going to really understand the words, they’re meaningless to her and using them when she’s not already going will just delay her learning.

Usually with just a few weeks practice, your dog will start to go to the bathroom when she hears the magic words and will continue to do so when you tell her to for her entire life.


by Sarah Wilson,

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