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Housebreaking Tips for Older Dogs

Housebreaking training doesn’t end after puppyhood. Sometimes you need to do it all over again with an older dog. Most adult dogs can hold it for up to eight hours without having an accident. If your dog has an accident more than once a month, it’s time to start training again. Don’t panic – there are things you can do to help with the process. Here are some housebreaking tips for older dogs.

• Routine is essential, especially when establishing one around potty breaks. A good example of this would be taking your dog out first thing in the morning, after breakfast, at lunch, in the afternoon, at dinner and before bed. This may not jive with your personal schedule at first. But you’ll notice that a consistent schedule since will make it easier to housetrain your older dog.

• As soon as you get outside, bring your dog to the elimination area. There’s no time for sniffing around – it’s time to get down to business! Go right to the potty spot and give your dog a verbal command. Wait there until business is complete. Once your dog is done, give lots of praise and a treat. Once your dog knows how happy you are that he went pee outside, he’ll want to do it again.

• Keep an eye on your dog and watch for signs that he has to go pee. This may include pacing, jumping up, or whining. Every sign should be taken seriously… even if you’re making 20 trips outside a day.

• When you’re not around, keep your dog in his crate. Don’t leave your dog in there all day – this should be for times when direct supervision isn’t possible. Your dog won’t want to pee in its crate – that’s where he sleeps.

• If your dog does have an accident, clean the area right away. Really scrub it and use a spray to take away any lingering smells. This will prevent repeat accidents, as dogs tend to go where they’ve gone before.

• If you catch your dog ready to pee inside, stop him before it happens. Clap your hands, use a verbal command, anything to stop him from finishing up. After you stop it, take him outside to finish his business and praise him once he goes outside.

• It might be a medical issue. As dogs get older, peeing indoors may be a side effect of something more serious. It could be the sign of a urinary tract infection, a parasite infection, or a seizure. Go to the vet to get your dog checked out.

Preventing Housebreaking Relapses

Old habits are hard to break, even for dogs. This means if you aren’t consistent with your dog, you can be sure he’ll go make to his old ways.

Even when housetraining is going well, you shouldn’t stop. Keep up with the schedule long after he stops having indoor accidents. And be sure you’re not leaving your dog for really long periods of time – it’s unreasonable to think that your dog can hold it for hours on end.

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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.