House Training Your Dog

Dog Door #1
house training dog
Image by Tracy27
We’re replacing this door eventually anyway, so Bill knocked out a windowpane to put in a wee dog door. It’s kind of hillbilly by Scottsdale standards. Then again, so are we.

Outside is a portable chain link enclosure that some family friends loaned us. It’s perfect for when the Gus is alone and needs to run his numbers, and we haven’t had any whammies inside the house since we put it in. I guess that means he’s pretty much house-trained. (Gah, I hope I didn’t jinx that by typing it out loud).

You will never find a dog who purposely defects near his own food bowls or his bed. This is because dogs are extremely hygienic creatures especially considering they were not always domesticated. In order to house train your dog it is essential then that he is shown exactly what is off limits, as in the whole of the house and where he can relieve himself.

People think house training a dog is hard. In some respects it is. However it is hard for anyone to learn a new routine and there are no exceptions for dogs. In order to successfully house train your dog you need to reward him when he gets it right, when he ‘goes’ in the allocated area. Toilet training is all about boundaries and praise. The earlier in a dog’s life that this training is commenced, the easier it will be to train him. That said it is possible with enough patience to completely house train even an elderly dog using this procedure.

Following each meal you should take your dog to the spot where he is allowed to relieve himself. This procedure should also be done at two hourly intervals. Puppies younger than four months will also need to be taken out regularly during the night.

Do not leave your dog outside by itself. Instead wait with him you will notice he sniffs around a lot, just allow him to explore as he is working out where to go. Should he successfully do his business shower him with praise and then go back inside together. If he fails to ‘go’, take him back inside and try again after about fifteen minutes.

Even between the two hourly intervals watch your dog for tell tale signs that he is looking for a place to go. Sniffing the floor and circling are two classic signals. If you regularly take your dog out and watch for any indications that he may need to go, then house training him should not take too long.

It is vital that you never tell your dog off for either not going outside or for soiling indoors.

Your dog will not identify the verbal or physical punishment with the fouling. Instead they may fear you. A much better alternative is to clap your hands or shout aloud their name. This will distract them so that you can then quickly and calmly get them outdoors, where they can then finish the job. Once back inside proceed to clean up any mess whilst at the same time completely ignoring your dog, even if he comes over to you, do not speak to him or touch him. After you have finished clearing up just continue on life as usual.

How long it takes to house train your dog will depend upon many factors; age, personality, how often you successfully catch him going outside, your ability to deal with accidents etc. Try to remember to praise each success as if it were the first and ignore any accidents. Before long you will find that he is successfully identifying going out with relieving himself and he will be standing at the door asking you to let him out.

Learn more about dog and animal care. Stop by the Reading Vets site where you can find out all about Vets in Reading and what they can do for you and your pet.

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