How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Sally G. Your Own Question
Sally G.
Sally G. , Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9136
Experience:  Service/assistance dog training/ behavior /obedience/Therapy dog Evaluator/AKC Evaluator
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Sally G. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How do you train a 9 year old dog to use a potty patch indoor,

This answer was rated:

How do you train a 9 year old dog to use a potty patch indoor, or outdoor for that matter after they have been trained all of their life to go outside? I would like to train her to use it, because we recently moved to an area that has really harsh winters, and the apt. we moved into is up a very long flight of stairs that get covered with ice and snow in the winter. I would like her to either use the patch indoors, or outdoors up on the deck because there will be a lot of snow in the winter, too much for her to be able to get through since she is such a small dog. She is a miniature Pomeranian, and super intelligent, the smartest dog I have ever had. So smart in fact that she is a certified service dog from the V.A. hospital. I have no doubt she can learn this behavior, it's just me. I have never trained a dog to go potty indoors before, especially after nine years of going outside. I would give it a try, but I don't want to confuse her, so I need some help with this one. Thanks.



It's going to be difficult and longer because she is used to going outside and most dog that have been taught to do that consider their home their den. It does become confusing to them if you then want them to go indoors and they may have accidents in other parts of the home. If you are determined to dog this then I would set it up outside on the lawn first and teach her to use it there to get her odor on it, then move it to the deck and place it inside an over sized crate or put an x pen around it so she gets used to her potty being surrounded by something, then you can move it into the house but I would keep the crate, or x pen around it for a while until she gets used to going in that spot.


Use a potty command each time you take her out on leash to use it and continue using that command even as she is eliminating, then praise and reward her immediately when she is done. Reward her with something that will really motivate her such as human food like chicken and this is the only time she gets this reward so she associates it with going on that spot.



The potty patch may also have some training tips in it.

Personally I would take a shovel and shovel out a potty area outside for her as you may be opening Pandora's box.

Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9136
Experience: Service/assistance dog training/ behavior /obedience/Therapy dog Evaluator/AKC Evaluator
Sally G. and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your advice, that is what I will do then. I really didn't think it would be a good idea to change the game on her at this point. I am certainly not going to put her through all of that just to make it more convenient on me. I just wanted to verify from a pro, that it would be confusing for her. I might wait until the snow falls, shovel out the spot, let her get used to that spot, then slip the patch in that area after she gets used to using that area since it will be the only snow free zone. If she uses it there, then I will move up to the deck, and see if she uses it, if not then that will be fine with me. That will be as far as I go with it, meaning to the upper deck. I don't really want her to go inside anyway. I was just worried about her, or I slipping and tumbling down those steps in the winter, so if I can get to the deck I will be extremely happy with that. Thanks for your help
I hate to put my opinions on people , but I felt you may have been in for quite an ordeal. I had a cocker for 16 years and we get quite the snow in PA. so shoveling a path just became a part of life! Best of luck to you:)

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Previous | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL

Meet The Experts:

  • Dr. Gary

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Joan's Avatar


    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • Candy's Avatar


    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • 's Avatar

    Satisfied Customers:

  • Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew


    Satisfied Customers:

    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery