If you’ve recently adopted an older dog, congratulations! You’re in store for a life-changing experience. In addition to being just as lovable and snuggly as a puppy, they also tend to be easier to train; especially when it comes to house breaking.
When senior dogs aren’t housebroken, it’s usually because they were never trained, they have never lived inside, or they have been confined to the same space for a prolonged period of time (the poor things!)
Adult dogs have stronger bladders than puppies, which is why housetraining them is easier. To avoid stepping in puddles or piles in your house, here are some tips that can help you housebreak your senior furry friend:
- Invest in a crate. Dogs view crates as their “dens”, and they don’t like to mess in their dens, which is why crate training is such an effective housebreaking method. Make sure you invest in a durable and appropriately sized dog crate for your canine companion; if there’s too much space, he may relieve himself on one side and sleep on the other, rendering this approach useless, but if it’s too small, he’ll be uncomfortable. He should have enough space to stand up and turn around. To make his new “den” more comfortable, consider investing in dog crate mat or placing a dog blanket Put your pup in the crate whenever someone isn’t available to let him out; overnight or while you’re at work, for example. However, never confine him to the space for too long.
- Establish an eating routine. Make sure you establish a routine for eating and stick to it. For example, set out his dog bowl at the same time every day, and pick it up 15 minutes later, even if there’s still dog food in it; letting your pup eat whenever he wants to can lead to accidents. By setting a routine, you’ll help to put her digestive system on a schedule.
- Establish an outside routine. You should also establish a routine for outside time. For example, take him outside as soon as he leaves his crate, first thing in the morning, before bed, and about 15 minutes after eating or drinking. Even if you have a fenced-in yard, go out with him. Strap him into a dog collar or dog harness and attach a leash so you can be sure he actually went before coming back inside. Also, do not allow him to roam freely in your home unless you know that he’s relieved himself.
- Be encouraging. Never, under any circumstances, should you scold your pup when he has an accident inside; doing so will only make matters worse. Be encouraging; offer him a dog treat when he does his business outside or simply give him some extra affection.
- Believe it or not, playing can be a helpful housebreaking tool. Exercise gets the system moving, so after you’ve had a play session with some rope and tug toys or plush dog toys, bring him outside for a potty break.
In addition to these tips, remember to be patient. It may take your pooch some time to figure out the whole housebreaking thing, but with consistency, your adult dog will eventually be successfully housebroken.
Image Source: Not In The Dog House