This article will assist you in house training (potty training)
an adult dog.
Due to any number of circumstances a dog may reach adulthood without
being house trained.
There may be a host of reasons why an adult dog has not
previously been potty
trained. You may have acquired a dog that has always been kept outside
and it doesn't know not to pee and poop in the house. No matter
what the reason your adult dog is not currently house trained, your dog
is certainly able to be trained in the future with a little time and
To house train or retrain an adult dog is no different to house
training a puppy apart for the period of time it will take. It usually
takes longer to train an adult dog who may have acquired bad habits over
a number of years.
dogs from my local Animal Shelter while they are awaiting adoption. The
house training method below has worked consistently for me over the
years. I recently acquired a foster dog named Buddy (pictured at
the top of this page), a 5 year old Shih Tzu male who had never
been previously house trained.
Buddy (through no fault of his
own) had no idea that peeing and pooping in the house was
unacceptable behaviour. He did what he wanted to do, where and
when he wanted.
With time and patience I was able
to successfully house trained Buddy within a matter of 5 weeks.
He learned to be totally clean in the house and to do his
Follow the guide below and I'm
sure your dog can achieve the same results.
start with the basics.
degree of effort is required on your part to house train your adult dog.
It's not all easy peasy.
have to be consistent with your training.
have to be watchful and aware of what your dog is doing.
Understand that your dog will have many accidents before full house
training is achieved.
Foremost have Schedule
Dogs learn quickly from repetitive
Take your dog outside on a leash once every two
Also take him out immediately after
just eaten and when he wakes from a sleep. Also take him
outside last thing
at night before you go to bed.
Take him to the area where you want him to pee in the
future. Stand with him and give him a command. The command
can be any thing you choose. For example: Pee here, Go
Potty, Be a good boy or girl, etc. The actual words are not
important but what is important is that you use the same
words every time you take him outside.
You should make the words you
say sound like fun! Like it is a game! Do a pee
Buddy... Good Boy.. Clever Boy. Make it sound exciting.
Dogs learn habits
through repetition and reward.
If your dog does not pee or poop outside after three or four
minutes take him back inside. Then try again in 20 or 30
If your dog does actually pee or poop when you take him outside
a big fuss of him.
Praise him, pat him, play with him. Often a food treat works
well. Let him
know that if he goes to the bathroom outside you are very very
pleased with him. Make him feel good about what he has
Rewarding your dog with an excited response for a
positive outcome will work wonders. This works so much
better than scolding him for negative issues.
Dogs do not always think the spot you have chosen for them to
pee or poop is the best choice. Often they have their own
preferences. A male dog might prefer a tree or post. A
female may prefer a grassy area. Sniffing helps stimulate
elimination. Allow your dog to have some choice.
Constant Supervision. Contain your
dog to one or
Don't let your dog have the run
of the house. Try to contain him to the room
you spend the most time in so you can watch him most of the
time. Close all bedroom doors and barricade other areas that
do not have doors.
Baby gates are a useful tool.
Constant supervision is
necessary. Watch your dog as much as possible. You need to be very
aware of any signs that your dog needs to go to the bathroom.
The 'umbilical method' is
another choice. Put the dog on a leash. Put a belt around your
waist and attach the dog. Your dog is now in the position of
having to be with you at all times and you can have constant
supervision of him at all times.
The baby gate was accidently left
open and Buddy is on the wrong side of it. Keep baby gates
When your dog has an accident in the
Accept some of the blame yourself, perhaps you
have been watching him better. Never get angry.
your dog for doing the right thing will always work far better
punishing him for doing the wrong thing. Don't get angry.
Don't go overboard by yelling and screaming.
If you find the mess or puddle after the event has
happened do not rub his nose in it. This is not acceptable and
is an old fashioned idea that doesn't work. This only serves
to make him afraid of you and confuses him.
you must let him know that this is unacceptable behaviour.
Put your dog on his leash
and take him to the puddle or mess. Adopt a 'not happy
voice' and say
'I'm not happy with this' while pointing to
the puddle or poop.
Try to make him look at the 'accident'.
It is very likely that your dog will not want to look at
what you are pointing to and he will avert his eyes from
what you are showing him.
Hold him there and tell him
several times in a 'not happy voice', NO! Not Good! He
will feel uncomfortable when you do this and this is what
you want to achieve.
to pick up the
poop or blot the urine and take it outside and put it where
you would have liked him to do it in the first place.
sure you still have him on the leash and that he accompanies
you and watches every step of the procedure.
Put the tissue
on the ground outside and then tell your dog in a happy voice:
'Good place... do pee here... very good place' or words to
Make it exciting.
Catching your dog in the act
of peeing or pooping in the house.
When you catch your dog in the act of going
to the bathroom in the wrong place tell him firmly
in a 'not happy voice'
"Nooooo don't pee there."
Then take him outside. You may have to pick him
up and carry him out or put him on a leash to take him
Once outside tell him in a very 'happy' voice
what a good boy he is.
Yes... do pee here. Good Boy.
Always praise your dog for any positive outcomes.
Never use punishment for negative outcomes.
Don't have unrealistic expectations. Your dog
may have plenty of accidents before he gets
the message of what is expected of him.