How to housebreak an older dog

The first and most important thing you should teach your new pup is where he should go when he has to potty. Remember that, even if a pup is housebroken, it doesn’t mean he knows where to go at your house or how to get his potty routine in line with your schedule. To help him be successful, and save your rugs, follow these tips:

Patience and Understanding. When your new dog has an accident in the house, that is exactly what it is, an accident. He isn’t trying to ruin your things on purpose. He isn’t mad at you. He isn’t being spiteful. He is just confused. If you get mad at him, yell, or rub his nose in it, it will only make the issue worse.

 Show him where to go. For the first month your new dog is home, take him out the same door every time he goes potty. If you take him out multiple doors he will never know where he should go to let you know he has to potty. Go outside with him so you can praise him lavishly when he does potty. If you just send him out, he may pee, but without feedback from you, he will not know if he is on the right track.

Confine for Success. Even though you may want to give your dog unlimited access to his new home, you will better set him up for potty success if you confine him in a crate or other small room when you can’t watch him. Dogs won’t general have accidents in small spaces so he will learn to control his bladder until you can take him out. If you just leave him to wander, he may have an accident, and if you aren’t there to catch him, he will think that peeing on the living room rug is perfectly acceptable.

Frequent Breaks. Your new pup may not be on your schedule so make sure to take him out frequently when you first get him. This will give him amble access to where he should go and help prevent accidents in the house.

Move Food. If your new dog seems to have a favorite “accident spot” in the house, make sure to feed him his meals there. Dogs don’t like to eat and pee in the same area so if his “accident spot” becomes his “dinner spot” then he will stop going there.

Oops! If you do catch your pup starting to go in the house, make a loud noise or clap your hands to startle him, then take him immediately outside to where he should go. Praise him as he finishes. You can clean up the accident with any cleaner you prefer but make sure to also use a pet deodorizer so your pup won’t be drawn to areas he has gone before.

1 Comment

  1. The title say “older dog” but it just talks about a “new pup”. Do you have an article about adult dogs being housebroken?
    Thank you

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