How To Potty Train An Abused Dog? (7 Tips)

How To Potty Train An Abused Dog

It’s always a great experience when you bring in a new pet home.


But like most experiences, you might be first with quite a few challenges.


For example teaching your dog tricks, teaching them not to chase the mailman, and potty training your pet.


The difficulty increases even more if your new pet was a victim of abuse in their previous home.


This occurrence is most common when you bring a pet home from a shelter.


Of course, this shouldn’t derail you from adopting.


Adopting a dog from the shelter is something everyone should consider.


Taking in a dog that wasn’t well taken care of by its previous owners and showering them with love is one of the purest things you can do.


All you need to do is to take it one task at a time.


To make the process easier, this article is dedicated to teaching you how to potty train an abused dog.


Tips on Housetraining an Abused Dog

House training a dog that’s abused would be completely different from training a puppy.


Not only is the dog older, but it has had life experiences that may make it difficult for him to integrate into your family system.


Plus the negligence, lack of trust, and proper training they might have experienced in their previous life is a recipe for chaos especially when it comes to their potty time.


No matter, Here are six tips you can follow to help potty train your abused dog:


1. Pick a designated potty spot

abused gsd dog


Your dog might be prone to doing its business at random parts of the house.


Most people report that the commonest place for them to go would be either on the bed or around the area where the dog sleeps.


That’s why when you’re house-training your dog, especially one that tends to “go” mostly inside the house, you should get them a designated spot outdoors to do their business.


This over time, will condition the dog into seeing this area as an ok place to relieve themselves and they’ll realize anytime they’re in this specific spot, it’s time to go to the bathroom.


2. Have a consistent schedule

If there’s one thing apart from the affection that your dog lacked in its previous home, it’s most likely structure.


And most likely, your dog won’t be very communicative with you when they need to go.


By selecting various times of the day where your dog gets to do their business, you’re creating a certain level of structure and stability for them.


With enough practice, they’ll know to look forward to those times of the day when they’ll be outside.


The best potty schedule would be; in the morning, at least twice during the day, and right before bed.


3. Avoid letting your dog roam around the house freely

dog roaming around the house


While it’s important to give your adopted dog as much freedom to enable them to be comfortable in their new environment, your bed will not thank you if you were to let them roam free unsupervised.


You should keep watch of your dog’s movements around the house to enable you to scold or warn off your dog when it’s going to the bathroom inside of the house.


To make things easier for you, you can limit her access to various rooms in the house.


4. Supervise potty time

Admittedly, it’s kind of creepy to watch someone pee, but in this case, it’s in your and your dog’s best interest.


While hovering over them when they’re using the bathroom is not ideal, watching over them and leading them to their designated bathroom area can help build trust and further reinforce a routine.


You can also practice using simple vocal commands when you take them out to use the bathroom.


Examples of vocal commands you can use are; “toilet”, or “bathroom” etc.


5. Observe body language

Dogs use different ways to communicate with their owners.


If your dog needs to use the bathroom, it might exhibit some behavior that you might find strange.


Some examples are:

  • Sniffing around the room
  • Circling an area
  • Digging our scratching at the floor
  • Becoming restless


All these are signs you should watch out for that might indicate your dog needs to go.


Being vigilant and quickly noticing these signs can help you guide your dog through its potty training routine.



Learn More:

Why Do Dogs Howl at Night



6. Patience

Understandably, caring for an abused dog can be exhausting.


But you need to exercise patience.


During your potty training, your dog can even fall back on old habits from time to time which can be very frustrating.


But still do your best and come to terms that every dog has different rates at which they learn but eventually, your dog will.


7. Praise or reward your dog

When you take your dog outside to their potty spot and they succeed in using the area, endeavor to give them lots of praise and affection.


If possible, also offer them a treat.


Eventually, they’ll come to see doing this exercise as a rewarding experience and will continue to do it just to get all the praise and affection.



A routine is mastered through constant practice.


When you’re potty training your dog, take your time and practice building trust with them.


They came from an abused past and may find it difficult to get comfortable with you.


Using a technique building and reward approach instead of a disciplinary and domineering one will be very beneficial.


And with time and effort, you’ll have yourself a well-behaved and potty-trained furry friend.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.