Do you have an older dog who’s difficult to housebreak? Not sure how to housebreak adult dogs? Often it’s much easier to teach puppies how to go to the bathroom outside. This is because puppies tend to learn things much faster. But, hope is not lost! Even your adult dog is able to learn how to take his duties in the backyard. Today, we’re going to find out why your adult dog isn’t going outside and the steps you can take to housebreak your older pooch. Let’s check it out!
How To Housebreak Adult Dogs
Why Is Your Dog Not Peeing Outside?
There are many reasons why your adult dog may not be doing his “business” outside. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Reason 1: He’s not used to it.
To begin with, your dog is not likely used to urinating outside because he’s not trained to. This is normal for doggie owner’s who have moved from apartment living to suburban living.
In such a situation, owner’s may need to head back to the doggie training basics.
Reason 2: He’s Got Anxiety
Your dog’s inability to go do his business outside could also be caused as a result of anxiety. When a change in the environment occurs most dogs may prefer to do their business in an environment they feel safe in. For example, your dog is likely to feel safer indoors.
Reason 3: He’s not been completely trained
This is often a common problem with first-time pet owners. Sometimes, dog’s may not be completely housebroken. For example, dogs that are not house trained properly may do their business on their preferred surface or on paper. Sometimes, they may have accidents around the house.
5 Steps You Can Take To Housebreak Your Pooch
So, let’s answer the big question. What are the steps we need to take to housebreak our adult dog?
1. Identify the problem! This is the most important step, ask yourself if your dog properly housetrained? Or does he simply not understand how to do his business outside? Does he have anxiety? Does he have any medical concerns? If you think he’s got medical concerns then take him to the vet. If he’s not used to doing his business outside then follow step 2.
2. Back to the Basics. So, now that you know your dog is not used to doing his business outside. Your job is to teach him the basics! Start by creating a schedule for your pooch. This means that after every meal or drink, take him out in the backyard for him to do his business.
Is this your first time house training your dog? Read our article on the 5 Must-Know Tips for successfully Training your dog at home.
3. Use his accidents to help you! Did you know dogs are more likely to pee in a spot that his scent? If your dog keeps doing his business indoors then make sure you clean his mess with pet cleaners designed to eliminate your doggies odor.
4. Reward him when he does his business outside! Try to take your dog out for 20 to 30 minutes after his meal. Be patient and wait for him to do his business. Once he does, reward his behavior with a praise or a treat. This is positive reinforcement and it will entice him to continue his behavior. Eventually, you can take away his treats and simply praise him for his behavior.
Would you like to know more about positive reinforcement? Read our article on 30 Positive Reinforcement Tips to Train Your Dog.
5. Take his pee pads outside! If you’ve got an adult dog who’s used to doing his business on newspapers & pee mats, then you can start by taking a few newspapers & pee mats outside. Place his pee mats in the backyard and when he does his business reward him with treats or a praise. Eventually, you can take out the pee mats or newspapers once he’s used to the idea of doing his business outside.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Housebreaking Your Adult Dog.
- Keep your dog’s feeding on schedule: Don’t free feed your dog! Create a feeding schedule and a potty break schedule so that you know exactly when he’s likely to do his business.
- If your dog has an accident indoors, clean his mess with proper pet stain & odor remover. Dog’s are more likely to do their business indoors if they get the smell of their own urine and feces.
If your dog is still having accidents indoors then read our article on the 5-ways you can stop your dog from peeing in the house.
- Praise & Reward his good behavior. When training is done consistently and rewards are timed correctly, then housebreaking dogs can come easy. You can reward your dog with good behaviour by giving him his favourite treats, giving him pats & rubs or by simply telling him he’s a “good dog”.
- Make sure your dog doesn’t have a medical problem. Often older dogs who soil indoors or uncontrollably may have medical conditions such as kidney failure or urinary tract infections. Take your pup to the vet if you believe he may have a medical issue.
- Don’t lose your temper. Your dog is still learning so it’s only natural for them to have a few accidents indoors every now and then.
- Don’t push your dog’s face in his feces or urine if he does his business inside. This is not positive reinforcement, forceful & aggressive behavior will only scare your pooch.