If you are getting a new dog, then chances are one of the concerns on your mind is whether the dog will be house trained or not. Even if you are adopting an adult dog, you can’t be certain that all dogs have been house trained. If you are planning to bring home an adult dog and you’re worried about house training, take heart. Dog house training is not impossible, even with older dogs. Here are some of the best tips we know for helping you to house train an adult dog.
Step one: If you are bringing home an adult dog you may or may not know anything about his history. Let’s assume that you don’t know anything. Even if people give you information it may not be accurate. So you should assume that your dog is not house trained. Your first step with your new dog should be to take him outside often, if he will be pottying outdoors. Even if your dog has his own backyard, you should walk him out on a leash and take him to a spot where you would like him to relieve himself. Be sure to praise him and reward him for going there.
Step two: If you are house training your dog to use papers or a pad, you should take him to them after meals and whenever you think he may need to relieve himself instead of walking him outside. Be sure to praise him and give him a reward for going there.
Step three: Continue to take your new dog to the spot where you would like him to relieve himself. Take him to this spot even if you merely think he may need to relieve himself. Your adult dog will not need to potty nearly as often as a puppy. He has a larger bladder and much more self-control than a puppy. However, you are working on the premise that he is not house trained yet, so you want to give him every opportunity to use the right spot in case he does need to relieve himself.
Step four: Your adult dog should learn very quickly where he is supposed to relieve himself. An adult dog should have much better communication skills than a young puppy so he should be able to start letting you know that he needs to go outside, or he can start looking for the paper or pad inside the house on his own. Be sure to praise and reward him when he signals you that he needs to go. Don’t make him wait. This would only confuse him.
Step five: It is possible in some cases that your adopted dog could have some reason that he either doesn’t understand dog house training or that he is not good at letting you know he needs to go. Some dogs can have behavior problems. When you bring an adult dog home he is starting a new life with you, with a clean slate. Don’t assume that your dog has any problems. If your dog does have some accidents it is probably due to a communication problem. Keep working at your communication with your dog until both of you get it right. Sometimes the problem is timing. Your dog may give you an indication that he needs to go outside but before you can do something about it, he’s had an accident. In this case, you and your dog need to work on your timing. Try not to lose your temper at your dog. That will only make things worse. Stay calm and positive. Remember to praise and reward when your dog gets it right.
If you follow these tips then your adult dog house training will go smoothly. Don’t give up. It can take some time. Your new dog is adjusting to a lot of new things so be patient.