Here’s What Every RV Owner With A Dog Should Know: How To Teach Your Dog To “Potty” On Command

December 8, 2010 by Adam G. Katz · 9 Comments  
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When you’re setting up your RV, does your dog embarrass you by “pottying” in places he shouldn’t?

It’s funny, but it’s also embarrassing.

Without an “Elimination Command” your dog is left to guess where and when you want him to “potty”. Here’s how to teach your dog to eliminate on command:

The trick is to start associating your command word (we use: “Get Busy”) with the behavior your dog is already doing. What you’re going to need to do is: Set up a strict feeding and watering schedule. If you’re not currently traveling, then take your dog out to your backyard on leash, to the same spot and – right after a meal, walk him back and forth and keep repeating the command, “Get buys, Get busy, Get busy” until he eliminates.

Praise him lavishly, as soon as he finishes his potty break.

Your goal is to start building an association to the command. To start linking the command phrase, “Get busy” with the act of eliminating. After a couple dozen times, your dog will begin to develop a conditioned response when he hears you begin to repeat the “Get busy” command.

We’re able to take our dogs pretty much anywhere, and within a couple of minutes of giving the command, our dogs will potty– knowing exactly where WE want them to do it.

This command is simple to teach and from the dog’s perspective, it’s just an extension of housebreaking.

Here’s a short video I made that demonstrates how it’s done:

How To Teach Your Dog To “Potty” On Command

Adam G. Katz is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of the internet’s best selling downloadable dog training book, “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer: An Insider’s Guide To The Most Jealously Guarded Dog Training Secrets In History!” as well as several dog training dvds (available at, dog training audio lectures, videos and dog training information products.  He is an admirer of Airstream travel trailers and longs to someday own a vehicle with a diesel engine in it.

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9 Responses to “Here’s What Every RV Owner With A Dog Should Know: How To Teach Your Dog To “Potty” On Command”

  1. Happy Camper on December 9th, 2010 5:58 pm

    Does it work on another command other than ‘Get Busy’? Can I use the basic term, ‘go potty’?

  2. catchesthewind on December 9th, 2010 8:43 pm

    Seems to me that you can use any word you want as long as the dog associates elimination with the command word.

  3. George on December 9th, 2010 9:54 pm

    If your dog read this article then you definitely have to use “Get busy”.

  4. Retired & travelling on December 9th, 2010 10:54 pm

    I always use “Go potty” and then give a dog treat after he’s done. GET BUSY IS NOT A GOOD PHRASE”. What happens when you tell the kids/grandkids (who still need to get their chores done) to get busy? And your dog takes a dump? Is it his fault he soiled your coach? Not if you trained him to the “get busy” phrase”. Be careful what phrase you use. Any phrase is ok as long as it cannot be confused, by your dog, to mean something else.

  5. Jerry X Shea on December 10th, 2010 3:35 pm

    YES, you can teach your dog to “go on command.” We use the “finger snap” with
    “take a poop” and our 10 year old dog “does her thing.”
    Also, for those of you with small dogs, check out the “dog litter boxes” you can find them on the internet. When there is a thunder storm out side, cold wind or any other reason you don’t feel like “taking the dog for a walk” they can just go in the “dog box” and you stay in your robe and enjoy your coffee. We bought one right after we bought our Motorhome. If for any reason the dog has to “go” at 3am, she just jumps into the Dog Box and then goes back to bed – while we sleep through the night – such a deal.

  6. Thomas Becher on December 11th, 2010 11:07 am

    Does that work with childern too. It would be nice to go for a few miles before hearing “I got to go”

  7. Wayne Legg on December 12th, 2010 9:31 am

    I use the commands “Good spot” to identify their spot, “Go there, Go now” and they have been conditioned and responding for over 5 years. Even our newest rescue (a Whoodle) is beginning to listen and respond after just a few weeks. For their training period, small treats are great incentives for their learning. If I have the time, I let them sniff around, after all it’s a big world and there are many smells for them to enjoy!

  8. Las Vegas Dog Training on December 12th, 2010 8:01 pm

    Yes, it will work with any command word/phrase or any language. You can even use a sound, if you’d like: Such as ringing a bell. (Although I don’t know why you’d want to do that?)

    To the poster who said, “Your dog will defecate when he hears you talking to your kids,” — yeah, right. The dog is smart enough to know when you’re talking to him. LOL.

    Also… this is one command you’re going to have to say more than once.

  9. B.J. McCord on January 3rd, 2011 10:55 am

    Works every once in a while, with my wife…………….