If you’ve just made the admirable decision of bringing home an adult dog from the shelter, housebreaking an older dog is the first challenge you and your new companion will overcome.
Though advanced in age, your dog might have gone through several stages and will need re-training, or they’ve probably never been housebroken before. Either way, there are tried and tested methods that will help your dog adjust to the new environment.
First of all, take your senior dog outside on a leash when you bring him home for the first time. This will help them understand that this is where your dog should pee and poo.
The next concern of you and your new buddy is the time to eliminate. You must set up a schedule for this, and follow that schedule religiously. It could be after meals, at playtime, or during your morning walks. Follow this routine until your dog gets used to it. In the meanwhile, you can place your dog in a crate until your dog gets used to the routine.
House training your older dog won’t happen overnight, and sometimes they won’t stick to the routine. In this case, watch out for some telltale signs.
Dogs will often pace, pant, bark or run around the house to get your attention when they have to go. Take them outside as soon as you notice such behavior.
It is best not to overreact or punish your dog if he or she goes in the house. If you do, it could make your dog fearful. If you catch him or her in the act, it is best to firmly say “stop” or “no.”
Take your dog outside promptly if he or she does eliminate in the house, and continue using positive reinforcement. (More here)
Because older dogs are more patient, house training them should be easy. All it takes is a positive attitude, and you and your furry pet will get there soon!