House Breaking The Older Dog – Dog Training
If you have inherited a senior dog that is not used to being indoors, teaching them to go outside to go to the bathroom should be very easy. Older dogs may even have a natural instinct to let you know when they have to be let out to go to the bathroom. On the other hand, if your senior dog was primarily an indoor dog that was never properly trained your challenge is much greater. It is much easier to teach the dog a better alternative to the old behavior.
One of the key points while trying to establish this new habit, is to be consistent. To begin, select a spot where you would prefer your dog to do its business, such as a particular section or corner of your yard. Even being consistent in the area you would prefer they go to is a good technique. Consistently showing the same place to go potty would help the dog learn quicker. It’s also helpful if you do not clean the area too often until your dog learns that this is the area you prefer they use.
Older Dog Training Tips
Be consistent (yup, consistency again) with your voice and choice of words in referring to potty. An older dog might get confused if you use different phrases to mean the same thing. When you want it to go potty, use the exact same phrase to make housebreaking an easier task.
Be diligent in removing and cleaning up every trace of potty accidents inside the home. Their sense of smell is very keen and the smells might confuse the dog in thinking it is the place to go potty. Use a deodorizing cleaning solution to eliminate odors.
Keep your pet’s sleeping area as confined as comfortably possible. Dogs do not want to potty in their sleeping area and by using a crate or other confined area, you are eliminating possible space to go potty. Every morning take your dog to the desire potty area to do its business.
As we do when teaching children, reduce your dog’s food and water before bedtime. This can help prevent accidents due to your dog’s full bladder while sleeping that may hinder their capacity to control the call of nature.
If possible, make it as easy as you can for your dog to go outside. A doggie door is the best or leaving the back door open. If this is impractical, leave a bell for your dog to reach. Make sure you are consistent with bell training and take the dog out each time it rings the bell so that it can associate being let out and ringing the bell to signal you. If you are patient and consistent, housebreaking an older dog is not difficult.