Housetraining an Adult Dog

If your dog is struggling with housetraining, the solution is easy, it’s just a pain in the butt. And it involves being a hard-ass. It’s no fun to housetrain a dog – locking them away from you anytime you get busy with life; but the rewards are so worth the two short weeks of sacrifice, that it’s worth the effort.

Housetraining Adult DogsIf you’re dealing with a dog who’s going to the bathroom in the house, he or she isn’t the typical puppy that you had in the past. Perhaps the dog is working through a past trauma, or maybe they were encouraged to go to the bathroom in the house or equally as bad, ignored when it happened or perhaps they just never learned – growing up in a shelter, rescue or home that breeds dog for money.

First, close-up all the areas of your house that aren’t used regularly (spare rooms, dining rooms, offices – anywhere your pup can go the bathroom and get away with it because it’s easy for you to miss). No door? Close off the room using a baby gate, cardboard box or furniture to ensure they stay out.

Then…Get disciplined – Your un-housetrained dog should be in 1 of 3 places only over the next 10-14 days:

  1. Outside where they can go to the bathroom
  2. In an area where they won’t go to the bathroom – crate, laundry room, etc
  3. With you and supervised so when they give the slightest sign of needing to go – you ‘hear’ them and get them outside. It only takes a second for them to have an accident, so don’t get fooled and look away for a minute. If you need to get something done, attach the dog to your waist using their leash. If you’re working on the computer or watching tv, have them lay at your feet so you notice if they get up.

No exceptions! No letting your guard down. It’s just two weeks – be disciplined now so you’re not finding surprises ever again.

During the two weeks, your job will be to ‘acknowledge and mark’ your dog as often as possible, when they go to the bathroom. Not when they walk back to you at the house, but as they’re going repeat, “Good boy, Good Potty” over and over again. Want it to take hold even faster? Toss or give them a treat as soon as they finish.

Note: If your dog gets uber-excited when you ‘acknowledge and mark’ them, avoid the treats and acknowledge them without much fanfare: nod your head, smile or otherwise mark them subtly to show your happiness.

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