How to Get Your Dog to Potty in the Airport or at a Rest Stop

My dog is already a traveler.  In fact, I’m tempted to get her a Swarm/FourSquare account to keep track of where she’s been.  Just kidding… sorta.

When we got her, I got really great advice from my friend, Yael.  She said, I know you are going to take her traveling.  Remember, her time to potty will be limited while traveling, so make sure you train her to know when she’s supposed to go.

Livin' it up in the NYC.
Livin’ it up in the NYC.

So this is how I’ve trained her to know exactly where to go.  (I actually use the command very sparingly. so she won’t resent it).

Whenever–and I mean whenever–she starts to pee, I say “Get busy!”  This is when she’s midstream.   This was a term Yael suggested, because it isn’t something you’d say in every day speak.  It’s usually what people use for any form of potty, but after our first experience traveling, I realized I need to signal #1 and #2 separately.

When she is going #2, I say “poopies!”  I thought this is a word I don’t use, but I regret choosing that a little.  But depending on how often it is in your personal vernacular YMMV.

But now when I take her to a rest stop on the highway (or to an airport potty area), it only takes a few minutes for her to know what I mean.  I’ll give her the command, and she might circle for a few minutes while she, uh I guess prepares?  But she ultimately goes, and we can be on our way.

Being able to give that command is especially useful because I have a curious dog.  She loves to sniff everything first.  And with everything there is to sniff along the New Jersey Turnpike, there needs to be a way to speed things along.

What commands have you taught your pet to help her/him be a good traveler?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. The command for my dog is go potty. She will do her business with in a minute of me telling her that. I also have her trained to go potty in a litter box that has a piece of artificial turf in it. She hates getting her paws wet so I have her go potty in the back porch litter box.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I saw that turf and I’ve been tempted. She’s tiny and we can get a lot of snow (plus hurricane conditions here sometimes). Is there a specific product you bought, or did you make it yourself?

      • I bought it pre cut to fit in a cats litter box. I hose it off after she uses it so it doesn’t stink up my back porch. My dog is 3.5 pounds of 17 year old adult toy poodle. I found the turf for a couple bucks at Aldi. The box plus the mat was less than 10 dollars.

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