Simple housetraining guidelines for people finding it difficult to train their pets
The number one reason dogs are given up is because they are not housetrained. The most effective way to housetrain a dog/puppy is to limit its responsibility. Keep the dog/pup in the line of vision. Keep ahead of the messes. If the dog is given enough chances to go out, most if not all, accidents can be prevented.
When trying to limit the dog's responsibility in the house, crate training is best. When the dog/puppy is left alone or at night it should be in a crate. The crate should be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and sleep comfortably. The first step in housetraining is to teach the dog/puppy to keep his "den" clean. The dog/pup will begin to see the crate as his/her den. Dogs crated in the bedroom where you are sleeping tend to be easier to housetrain, calmer and less needy and demanding for attention.
Try to keep the dog or puppy out of rooms with soft surfaces until the dog/pup is reliable. When adopting an older dog expect a bit of a transition period. This can last about a month while limiting the dog's responsibility as if it were still a young puppy.
Changes of environment for dogs can be stressful with possible housetraining mistakes as a result of such stress. Usually when a dog makes a mistake it means they don't have a clue as to what is expected of them. They have not associated the area they have messed in as being part of their den.
The secret to success is to get the dog to work out a schedule.
Put the dog out at high points of probability. Don't rely on the dog telling you it has to go.
For example, put the dog out:
-Prior to and when released from confinement
-After a visitor's arrival
-Before and after car rides
-If dog is restless, trying to leave room or whiney
-After eating or drinking
Pups under 3 months within 15 minutes
3 to 6 months...within 30 minutes
Over 6 months: within 45 minutes
**Note. Keep dog under strict visual supervision until it does relieve itself outside
Of course some dogs may vary with their toilet patterns. If dog slips up and messes before scheduled time, do get it out that much sooner in the future. A negative sound may be needed with some training but definitely not for housetraining. Swiftly/gently pick up the dog to interrupt and rush it outside. Never punish for an accident. For if punished, the dog may become reluctant to relieve itself outdoors when people are around.
When putting the dog out, make sure it does urinate and/or defecate. Dogs normally have a bowel movement after each meal. Try to be sure the dog is taken to a calm and less visual/audio distracting area where it can focus on relieving itself. Do not praise dog when it is relieving itself as that may distract from task at hand and interrupt the process...but do calmly praise when dog is finished. Do not play with dog outside until it has gone.
People can train a dog to relieve itself in a specific area provided they consistently take it to that specific area every time on a leash. If no yard, then take the dog to an acceptable preferably grassy area (not a neighbor's lawn) and immediately pick up after it. If dog does go in the yard clean up immediately to avoid flies and sanitation issues. Also many dogs will not want to venture into an area that is too messy. Follow these guidelines and the task of housetraining will be easier.
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