If you are wondering how to housebreak an older dog fast, you have stopped in the right place! Older dogs are great! In my opinion, as someone who has owned a few puppies and now has kids, I am all about taking in older dogs. They offer so much quality to your life. But what if you bring one home and discover he is not housebroken? How can you housebreak an older dog fast? Keep reading!
Housebreak an Older Dog Fast
Assume he is not yet housebroken
When you bring him home, you should assume he was never housebroken at an early age. You will find out quickly whether he was or not. If he was, this housebreaking process will speed up a bit, if he wasn’t it will be like you have a new puppy, in an old man’s body. Be patient with him. He doesn’t want to disappoint you or make you mad. He truly might not know that outside is where he is supposed to be going, not your living room floor.
Crate him (even if you feel bad)
This is harder on you than on him, I promise. Dogs actually like their own space, don’t you? He is less likely to have an accident where he sleeps, so if you are not able to be around for a while, he needs to be confined to a space where he can’t walk away from his own mess should he make one. He will learn that when he is in there, he has to hold it. Check out our tips on crate training to make this process easier.
Establish a bathroom routine
I can not stress routine enough! You like routine right? Most people do. Dogs are no different. Morning bathroom break, after breakfast, when you come home from work, after dinner and before you are in for the night. This is just my suggestion. However, it is very important to take him out after he eats, unless you like to do extra chores.
Eyes on at all times
Constantly supervise for signs that he needs to go out. If you are doing this right, you will feel like you are outside every 20 minutes, because you probably are. Every little thing that might possibly resemble a ‘sign’ for the need to go out, should be taken very seriously. Just remember, he wants to be the best dog for you and you want him to be the best dog he can be. He is great, he just isn’t housebroken.
Same and same
When housebreaking any dog, it is important to use the same command for going to do his business, and the same spot you want him to go in. Dogs are smart, they can be trained to go on cue (if only my kids would do this). When you use the same command word all the time (something like ‘Go potty’) he knows that when you leash him up or open those heavenly gates of freedom he is supposed to go relieve himself. He will also go to the same spot you train him to go to. If it were me (and it has been) I would prefer he go in the far corner of the yard. Landmines and kids just don’t mix very well, at least in my book of parenting.
You can teach old dogs new tricks
It may take a couple of weeks (which is still pretty fast, considering you’re undoing years of bad habits), but you can housebreak an old dog. Be sure to not get discouraged. He needs you to be patient and teach him something he should already know.
I want to give you a big ole virtual hug for taking in an old dog, regardless of his lack of being housebroken. Whether you knew it or not before bringing him home, you know now and you are searching for ways to help him overcome this hump sooner.