What are some tips on how to potty train an adult dog? Dec 2, 2018

What are some tips on how to potty train an adult dog?

Original Question: I bought my dog 2 weeks ago and the first 3 days she was so scared and she didn't respond to me. After around 8 days she started to play with me and respond to me but still is not housebroken which is very sad for me. The seller told me that she needs more time to adjust with me but my dad told me that she is too old and that’s why she isn’t housebroken but I don’t agree with them so that’s why I’m asking you. - Iftee

Hi Iftee,

Thanks for your question.

I’m not exactly sure what you are trying to ask in this question. I assume that when you use the term ‘break’, you are referring to housebreaking? Meaning that you are expecting your dog to stop urinating and defecating in the house and to learn to perform this outdoors. If this assumption is not correct, please send in another email with more clarity.

In the meantime, I will answer your question with this assumption.

The first thing I’ll say is that it is worth addressing this immediately and with a lot of effort, patience and perseverance. If people let this go on for a while, it will be very challenging to reverse because it can become well ingrained and your dog could learn that eliminating in the house is allowed at this point.

Here are some tips to help address this issue.

  1. This first thing to do is a deep clean of the areas where your dog is eliminating. If there is residue of urine or feces remaining in an area of your home it will promote more elimination in that area.
  2. I would consider restricting access to the area where the inappropriate elimination is occurring. Sometimes this can be enough to stop it but it may not be feasible depending on the layout of your home and where your dog is eliminating.
  3. I strongly recommend that you take your dog outside for bathroom breaks as much as possible. Getting them outside often will increase the chance that she will eliminate outside. Once she does, have a very special treat that she only gets for eliminating outside. Praise her as much as possible or give her a favourite toy. All of these strategies can be employed to positively reinforce that desired behaviour of eliminating outside.
  4. Avoid punishment if you can. Many people will resort to yelling or scolding their dog when they eliminate inside. This can create fear and possibly aggression. It can also be confusing when people are not scolding them right when the behaviour happens. It’s best to avoid this altogether.
  5. I would avoid putting anything in the house that is appropriate to urinate on such as a ‘pee pad’. When people do this the dog is still eliminating inside and it’s a small step for them to take from eliminating on the pee pad versus eliminating on the rug right beside it. I would avoid this.

If you are consistent and persistent, I have no doubt that you’ll be successful in training your dog to do this.

Good luck!

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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What are some tips on how to potty train an adult dog?
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What are some tips on how to potty train an adult dog?
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It is important to address this immediately and with a lot of effort, patience and perseverance. If people let this go on for a while, it will be very challenging to reverse because it can become well ingrained and your dog could learn that eliminating in the house is allowed.
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Healthcare for Pets
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