Tips on Potty Training Older Dogs
From the Desk of Sharda Baker
Good day and welcome everyone!
This is Sharda with another potty train newsletter.
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If you have started the process of potty training or housetraining an older dog, or if you are planning to start, there are some potty training tips and techniques that work effectively.
One thing that owners must remember is that every dog will learn at a different rate, and every dog will naturally be better at some tasks than others.
Try to be as patient with an older dog, as you would be with a puppy.
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Love and attention will only help strengthen the bond between you and your dog and help the training process.
Some thoughts to keep in mind with older dogs are:
- Never punish an older dog if catch it in the act of relieving itself in the house. Simply rush it outside and hopefully it will finish there, and then praise the dog for ending up in the right spot. Punishing will only encourage the dog to be sneaky and hide when they are relieving themselves.
- Never punish a dog for an older accident that you have just discovered. Dogs won't make the connection between the spot on the carpet and their behavior; they will just know that you are mad at them.
- Never punish a dog for submission urination. This occurs when a dog in a pack is indicating to another dog that they are submissive to it. As the dominant family member an adult dog, especially one that may have been abused, may naturally urinate in submission. Punishment, including yelling, will only make the problem much worse. Playing with the dog, providing love and affection and having the dog outside when you greet it will make the situation better.
- Male dogs may mark their territory, even inside a house. If you have more than one dog in the house you may find that even the housetrained male starts to urinate inside when the untrained dog comes to the house. Cleaning and disinfecting is the key to preventing this problem.
- Adult dogs that urinate or mess in the house only when you are not home may have anxiety problems, or may simply be bored. Try taking the dog for a long walk before you leave, ensuring that they go while you are outside. Praise the dog when you return and there are no surprises. Start small, leaving for only 1 to 5 minutes and then gradually stay away longer. Provide lots of chew toys and entertaining things for the dog to play with while you are away.
- If you are going to be gone long periods of time consider having a neighbor or friend come over and let the dog outside or take them for a walk. If you are going to use this strategy be sure to introduce the dog to the friend so they already know each other before the first time they come to let the dog out.
- Finally, be consistent. Don't change rewards or cues in the middle of training; it will only further confuse the dog.
Housetraining or potty training an adult dog is more challenging that working with a puppy, but also remember that older dogs want your love and attention too.
Once they clearly understand what you want, they are more able to hold their bladders and bowels than puppies, so this can make the process easier in the long run.
Be patient with your older dog, and be sure to provide lots of treats and attention when they do the right thing.
I hope that you learned a lot from today's potty train newsletter
All the best and take care