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: 9630
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. and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 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:)