• Puppy Training

    Most people know when they bring home a puppy they are going to have to do some housebreaking, but what happens if your dog is older and is still going inside the house? How do you establish or re-establish the correct behaviors?

    Be Patient with Your Pooch

    When potty training a dog, both young, and old dogs need the same type of training and care. They may have never been trained to go outside, or they were allowed to develop bad habits. Maybe they were crated for long periods of time where they had no choice but to relieve themselves in their living space. No matter what the situation, remember that your dog needs to be giving a clean slate to start working from. If you are frustrated and angry your dog will struggle to learn positive new behaviors. You must be patient with him.

    If you don’t have a kennel or crate, it is time to invest in one. Dogs are den animals. They like a small space to call their own and feel safe in. Most dogs will not pee in their den (unless they have no choice). Utilize the kennel/crate to create a safe space. If the dog is afraid of the kennel or crate start enticing them by using treats, or feeding them in the crate with the door open. Put a blanket down for them to lay on, and a toy to entertain them inside.

    Set a Schedule

    Schedules aren’t just good for people. When training a dog a schedule will help the dog to develop good bathroom habits. The day should look something like this:

    • Wake up – Go outside
    • Breakfast – Go outside
    • Get home – Go outside
    • After feeding – Go outside
    • Before bed – Go outside

    Puppies will need to go out more frequently than older dogs. They should be taken outside every hour that corresponds with their age in months. So if they are 2 months old, take them outside every two hours.

    Go Outside with Your Dog

    While it is more convenient to let your dog have a run of the backyard when training you should put them on a leash and walk with them. Dogs need time to sniff around and walk before they can eliminate. Being with your dog makes sure that you know they have completed the desired task. If they do not go before you come back inside put the dog in its kennel, and wait 30 minutes before trying again. The dog should not have run of the house until it has gone to the bathroom outside.

    Rewards and Treats

    Rewards and treats will be your best friend as you potty train your dog. Any time they do what you want, follow up with a lot of pets, good boys, and a treat. Dogs love praise and food. They will learn quickly when properly motivated.

    Avoid the Following:

    • Punishing your dog. This can make them fearful and cause them to hide instead of going where you want them to go.
    • Sticking their nose in the mess. This will actually train your dog to eat its feces.
    • Yelling. Similar to punishing, yelling can cause fear. It is okay to firmly say “No!” if you catch your pet in the act of elimination. Give your dog a firm no, take him immediately outside and let him finish outside. If he does praise him, and give him a treat.

    Watch for Potty Signs

    Just like kids doing the potty dance, your dog will give you signs that he needs to go potty. If your dog starts pacing, sniffing around, whining, or suddenly leaves the room for no apparent reason, it is time to take him outside. Don’t wait, take him out immediately.

    Don’t Stop the Routine Upon Success

    If your dog does well that is great, but don’t assume you have reached your goal too early. Keep up the routine for a few months after he seems to have things down. This will help him to establish a well-ingrained pattern of behavior that will last for years to come. Both older dogs, that may have developed bad habits, and young dogs that need to develop good habits need this extra time with a consistent schedule. The longer you keep the routine the better.

    For more information visit the American Kennel Club website.

    Need to remove pet urine odor check out this blog on odor removal.

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