Nothing frustrates owners or damages the human animal bond quiet as much as a dog that eliminates in the house. Inappropriate elimination is one of, if not the most common reasons dogs end up in pounds and shelters. Follow these 5 easy steps and you will have bathroom harmony in your house in no time!
Watch your dog like a hawk. This means she goes where you go. Do not give a new dog total freedom to roam your house. This applies to puppies and older dogs that are first being introduced into your home. This freedom can come with time, but never ever give it right away. If your dog is not attached to you with a leash, she should be in a crate. This should be followed until you are 100% certain that she is house trained. NO EXCEPTIONS. Common times that your dog will need eliminate include 10-15 minutes after eating or drinking, during or after play or excitement, after waking up, or after chewing on a toy or bone. The general rule of thumb for how long a puppy can “hold it” is number of hours per moths of age, plus one. For example, a 3 month old puppy should be able to hold it for 4 hrs, even through the night.
Establish on place outdoors for her to go and take her to this spot every single time. While here, give a verbal cue such as “do your business” or “get busy”every 5-10 seconds. Once she begins to go, repeat your verbal cue as she is going. The second she has finished, give her a treat and lavish praise. The treat needs to be given immediately, not once she is back in the house. If you are using “wee-wee” pads, get rid of them. Wee-wee pads teach them that it is okay to eliminate indoors and can lead to lots of confusion. There are exceptions to this, but in general I do not recommend wee-wee pads.
If your dog does have an accident in the house, you need to immediately interrupt her. After interruption, she should be taken to her spot outdoors and be given the opportunity to finish her business. Care should be taken to to frighten her with the interruption. You do not want her to develop fear or an aversion to elimination in front of you.
Clean up any accidents with an enzymatic odor eliminator, such as Nature’s Miracle or Urine Gone. These type of cleaners will change the chemical structure of urine and feces and will totally eliminate the scent. Other types of cleaners and disinfectants will only cover up the smell (maybe). Stay away from anything that contains ammonia. Ammonia is a component of urine and will actually cause your dog to return to that spot to eliminate.
Set up a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Do not leave food and water down all day long. Most dogs will need to eliminate withing 10-15 minutes of eating or drinking. Use this to your advantage and bring her to her outdoor spot before she has a chance to have an accident. This does not mean withhold food or water, just give them at scheduled times in order to set everyone up for success.
Start to take note of these times and signals, after waking up, after/during play and excitement (physical OR mental-sniffing something interesting), a sudden halt in something they were doing (chewing a bone, play, etc..) and starting to sniff, circling and sniffing, after eating and/or drinking, and after treats. These are common times and signs of when your dog will need to use the facilities.
You can also train your dog to ring a bell to signal to be let out. Hang a bell on the door that you will use, any kind of bell will do. Put a little peanut butter on the bell and bring your dog to it. When she begins to lick and causes the bell to make a sound, open the door, praise her, and give her a treat she REALLY loves. You may need to repeat this process several times, but most dogs catch on quick.
If you follow these 5 easy steps, you should have your dog house trained in no time :-).
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