How a Dog's Life Stage Affects Potty Behavior

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 13:37:07 PM America/Los_Angeles

There’s a major learning curve (or three) when it comes to potty training dogs. But do you know how each stage of life will affect your pooch’s bathroom habits? Here’s the down and dirty about how a doggo’s life stage may affect their potty behavior. 

Photo by Anoir Chafik


The puppy stage is when many dogs start their potty training journey. Expect your patience to be tried during this time. As puppies get familiar with potty training, they’ll also be forgetful and easily distracted because they don’t have the same cognitive capabilities as older canines. Consistent praise and treat rewards are positive reinforcements that help young pups remember the benefits of proper potty habits. 

Young Adults

By the time pups become young adults, they likely know what their human’s expectations are when it comes to potty training. Dogs of this age are able to comprehend that praise and treats are the direct result of proper potty behaviors. However, this also means that canines in this age range are beginning to understand how potty behaviors can influence your response. This is the age where inappropriate peeing, for instance, may come into play when dealing with separation anxiety, boredom, attention-seeking, and so on. 

Mature Adults 

Mature adulthood is the golden pee-riod (pun intended). No longer guided by impulse or the stubborn streak of their younger days, dogs will have settled into their routine. Not only will they have learned when and where you want them to go potty, mature doggos will likely understand why proper potty habits are important for themselves as well. Inappropriate peeing after successful potty training could indicate an underlying medical or behavior problem. 


Cognitive decline and/or deteriorating health can hugely impact potty behaviors for senior dogs. As dogs age, they may run into some potty difficulties such as:

  • Incontinence
  • Memory loss
  • Kidney issues
  • Dementia
  • Worsening eyesight

Expect to make appropriate adjustments such as increasing the number of pee pads in the home, utilizing a more accessible dog bathroom, and so on. 

Looking for a lil’ extra help in the potty department? A pee pad like Bark Potty can be helpful for dogs of all ages! Natural wee wee pads have smells and textures that dogs are naturally drawn to. The smell of real bark can serve as a natural reminder of where the dog bathroom is located. Subscribe today to have a real bark pee pad delivered to your doorstep whenever you need!