Home » How to Potty Train a Stubborn Older Dog: Tips from a Labrador Expert

How to Potty Train a Stubborn Older Dog: Tips from a Labrador Expert

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how to potty train a stubborn older dog

How to Potty Train a Stubborn Older Dog

When it comes to potty training a stubborn older dog, like a Labrador, implementing patience and persistence is key. One of the first steps in this process is building trust and establishing a strong bond with your furry friend. This foundation will create an environment where your dog feels safe and comfortable, which can greatly improve their willingness to learn.

To build trust, spend quality time with your dog both inside and outside of the potty training routine. Engage in activities that they enjoy, such as playing fetch or going for walks. By fostering positive interactions, you’ll establish yourself as a reliable and caring presence in their life.

In addition to spending time together, consistency is crucial when it comes to building trust. Set up a regular schedule for feeding, exercise, playtime, and toilet breaks. Dogs thrive on routine, so having predictable patterns will help them understand what’s expected of them during potty training.

Modifying the Environment for Success

Another important aspect of potty training a stubborn older dog is modifying the environment for success. Assess your surroundings to identify any potential obstacles or distractions that may hinder the training process.

Create a designated potty area outdoors that is easily accessible to your dog. Remove any tempting objects or toys from this area to minimize distractions during bathroom breaks. Additionally, consider using puppy pads or indoor grass patches indoors if necessary.

Inside your home, limit access to areas where accidents are more likely to occur. Use baby gates or close doors to restrict access until your dog has fully grasped the concept of appropriate elimination.

Implementing Reward-Based Training Techniques

Reward-based training techniques can be highly effective when dealing with stubborn older dogs during potty training. Positive reinforcement helps motivate dogs by associating desired behaviors with rewards they find enjoyable.

When your dog successfully eliminates in the designated area or follows proper toileting behavior indoors (such as using a puppy pad), praise and reward them immediately. Use treats, verbal praise, or a favorite toy to reinforce the positive behavior.

Consistency is key when implementing reward-based training techniques. Be sure to provide immediate feedback each time your dog displays the desired behavior. Over time, they will start associating the act of eliminating in the appropriate place with positive outcomes.

Remember that potty training a stubborn older dog can be a gradual process, and setbacks may occur along the way. Stay patient and persistent, providing consistent guidance and reinforcement. With time, effort, and these strategies in place, you’ll be well on your way to successfully potty training your beloved Labrador.


Here are some key takeaways from this article on how to potty train a stubborn older dog:

  1. Understand your dog’s needs: Each dog is unique and may have different reasons for resisting potty training. It’s important to observe their behavior and identify any underlying issues that may be causing the stubbornness.
  2. Establish a routine: Dogs thrive on routine, so create a consistent schedule for feeding times, bathroom breaks, and walks. This helps them develop good habits and make it easier for you to predict when they need to go outside.
  3. Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog with praise or treats every time they successfully use the designated bathroom area. Positive reinforcement encourages them to repeat the desired behavior and reinforces their understanding of where they should eliminate.
  4. Be patient and consistent: Potty training an older dog takes time and persistence. Stay calm during accidents and avoid punishment or scolding as it can confuse or stress your dog further. Consistency in your training methods will help them understand what is expected of them.

By following these guidelines and investing time into proper potty training techniques, you’ll increase the chances of success in teaching your stubborn older dog to use the appropriate bathroom area. With patience, consistency, and a lot of love, you can help your furry friend develop good potty habits for a happy and clean living environment.

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