The Tail and Potty Connection: how reading your dog’s body language can help with house training


It’s 11:00pm, you’re exhausted from a long day at work and all you can think about is how quickly you can crawl into bed to pass out. Max, however, has other ideas.

As you impatiently wait for him to go potty so everyone can tuck in for the night, he’s busy sniffing the same shrubbery for the hundredth time or pacing back and forth like he wants to go, but right when you think he’s going to, he’ll suddenly abort mission.

Why does it take your dog forever to go potty?

There’s a saying in the dog training world, “Stress runs down the leash.” When we’re anxious, they know it, and can become anxious as well. This makes it harder for them to settle and do their business. You may think that it’s easy to tell if your dog is happy or anxious, but like humans, they can be complicated creatures.

That’s when cuing into the tale of their tails can prove helpful.

Where your dog is holding his/her tail is meaningful

Is their tail high, low or somewhere in between? A high tail communicates that your dog is alert, excited, or flexing dominance. A low tail shows concern, discomfort, or submission. A dog that is taking in new information and is neutral to his/her environment will hold their tail level.

How your dog wags his/her tail can tell you a lot

Tail wagging doesn’t always mean happy.

A happy and relaxed dog will wag his or her tail to the right. A left wag means they are encountering someone or something they don’t know.

Broad sweeping wags with a relaxed open mouth is a happy wag, whereas a tight, stiff wag means they are uptight or anxious. Slow wags tend to mean they are unsure.

How our dogs’ emotions affect their potty habits

Being tuned into our dogs’ emotions is important when it comes to their potty habits. If they are on high alert (tails stiff, ears up), they aren’t thinking about if they need to pee or poop. A scared dog with their tails tucked may pee not out of need, but out of submission.

It’s somewhat counter-intuitive, but one secret to getting your dog to do their busines quickly and efficiently is to be relaxed. That means giving yourself and Bella plenty of time.

Know that when the weather is off, or if you’re in a new area, it’s going to take additional time and plan accordingly.

If you’re frustrated by other things in your life, try to leave those things at the door and simply be present with your canine companion. They don’t know the difference between you being angry at something that happened in the office or you being angry at them.

How Porch Potty helps

When dogs feel comfortable and happy, their potty habits are more manageable. Giving them a space that’s their own, with their own scent, along with protection from distracting elements like rain or snow, can help them settle into a more predictable pattern.

Porch Potty provides all of those.

Many in our community have chimed in how Porch Potty has helped their dog settle into new circumstances, whether it’s a new home, baby or schedule. It gives them something familiar in a changing world.

Porch Potty will help you stay relaxed and calm as well. Once your dog is transitioned to using his/her Porch Potty, you won’t be pressed to get back inside because it’s late or cold since all you have to do is let them out onto your porch or balcony. They'll feel more relaxed and happy to potty quickly so they can return to your side.

It’s a real win/win solution!

Do you have uncommon tips or tricks to shortening necessary potty breaks? We’d love for you to share in the comments below.

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