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How To Potty Train An Older Dog

Dog training in general has never been easy especially when we have to fix a correction problem in an older dog or a young dog but if you have adopted an adult dog congratulations! you are going to know how rewarding it can be to give a good home to a senior dog.

Adult dogs bond just as readily as puppies do, and one of the benefits is that potty training is often a much easier process for them. But there are some reasons why older dogs might not be house-trained they are:

  • No one ever bothered to train him.
  • She may never have lived indoors.
  • He may have spent a long time in a place where he could only go on concrete, paper in a pen, bedding in a crate, etc.

An adult dog’s ability to “hold it” for several hours is what can make the process easier than it is for a puppy. This does not mean that you should force her to do so, however. Give her plenty of opportunities to learn by frequently taking her outside to the place you want her to use. Reward generously with treats and praises when successful. Well, here are few tips to follow when potty training an older/adult dog.

Have A Schedule

Establish a firm routine, including feeding meals at regular times. Pick up the dish 10 to 15 minutes after putting it down, empty or not. Do not use the free-choice feeding method in which food is left down at all times. This will help to keep her system on a schedule. Use a leash and go outside with her; don’t simply let her out into the yard by herself and hope for the best. Trainers often hear about dogs who have accidents indoors just after having been outside. They aren’t trying to annoy you; you probably just didn’t stay out long enough. Dogs sometimes need a little time to sniff around, exercise, and check things out before relieving themselves. The more chances he has to do his business outside, the faster he will learn what’s expected.




Take him out first thing in the morning, after breakfast, after dinner, and a few times throughout the day and before bedtime. If he doesn’t go, bring her back inside and immediately put her in her crate for 10 minutes before trying again. Do not let him loose indoors if she has not eliminated outside!

I usually follow this list of rule just to be safe

  • First thing in the morning
  • Last thing at night
  • After playing
  • After spending time in a crate
  • Upon waking up from a nap
  • After chewing a toy or bone
  • After eating
    • After drinking

Playing It Safe

Any time you cannot supervise your dog, he should be in a crate or pen, or in a smaller room behind a baby gate. You can also keep him near you with a leash. Gradually, over a few weeks, you can allow a little freedom, 10 or 15 minutes after he eliminated outside. There may be an accident, but don’t punish the dog. If you frighten or punish him, he might become afraid to potty in front of you and will sneak off to do it somewhere else. If you catch your dog having an accident, say something to get his attention, but do not yell or make such a loud noise that you scare him. Then take him right outside so he can finish. Clean up with enzyme cleaner and try to be more observant of your dog’s behavior.

Pay Attention To Your Dog

You might see pacing, whining, circling, sniffing purposefully, or leaving the room. These mean: take me out right now! Not every dog will give you a signal such as barking or scratching at the door. You can train these behaviors, but if you learn to recognize the signs and respond quickly, she will probably figure it out and start “asking” because you get up and let her out right away when she does these things.




Clean Up After An Accident

Accidents will happen, and it’s important to clean them up thoroughly. Dogs are attracted to spots that they’ve used previously, and remember that their sense of smell is way better than ours. Pet urine can be hard to get out, and not all household products will effectively remove odors. If you find your dog keeps going in the same spot chances are some of that smell has been left behind. You can have a look at a product that is specially formulated for removing pet urine odors and steins.

Time Is Everything (Be Patient)

Your dog may have a hard time adjusting to eliminating on grass or dirt because he’s never gone on a surface other than concrete, for example. Try taking him in the car to a quiet park. In your own yard, maybe you can have a friend’s dog come over to help your new friend get the idea. Most dogs will usually go in a spot where other dogs have already gone.

Be extra patient. Your canine companion wants to do the right thing and he just needs a little help from you to figure it out.

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