dog being trained

Training is an essential part of dog ownership, but no one said it was easy. One of the most necessary tasks a dog can undertake is learning where to do their business. As a dog owner, you may wonder if your puppy or adult dog will ever master this basic skill. 

Most dogs can be house trained with the right technique, patience, consistency, and repetition. The team at Arlington Animal Hospital  is here with some effective tips to help you do just that. Let’s begin!

What to Expect While Housetraining Your Pup

Housetraining your puppy or dog is a challenging feat that is necessary for every dog. The first thing to consider about your training approach is how old the dog in question is. 

If you are training a puppy, know that they cannot hold their bladder for more than 30 minutes. An older dog who hasn’t been trained can probably go for a few hours without being taken out, but it depends on their health and how much food and water they get.

Before you begin any training, know your pet well. If they have more accidents midday, it is imperative that they are let out at the time, even if you need to hire a dog walker. If your pet is getting a full bowl of kibble throughout the day, they are going to have to go out more. Set specific times for meals and remove the bowl after they eat. Then, plan on taking your dog outside right after they eat or drink water.

The Basics of Housetraining Dogs

Positive training methods rely on ignoring bad behavior, or in this case, accidents, and rewarding the good (going to potty where they should). Some ways to encourage your pet to go outdoors to eliminate include:

  1. Choosing your rewards. You can select a few small treats, such as those  that are suitable for training. They are smaller so your pet isn’t getting as many calories. A clicker, which is a portable plastic device, usually on a keychain, emits a clicking sound when you press it. Using this noise in conjunction with your treat reward and verbal praise is a great way to get your dog excited about doing the correct behavior.
  2. Consider crating your dog. The crate is a good tool when training because it mimics a “den” that is dry, safe, and cozy. Dogs rarely have accidents in a place they consider a den, so reinforce this idea by putting a bed, blankets, toys, and other goodies in the crate with them. Never leave your pet in the crate for more than a few hours at a time, except when they sleep at night.
  3. Take your dog out any time they sniff, circle, or eat/drink. This may seem like an excessive number of outings, but dogs learning the ropes need supervision and quick exit to the outdoors. If you catch your pet circling or sniffing, take them out to their spot while exclaiming, “outside” or “potty outside”.
  4. Reward the right behavior. Any time your pet goes where they should, reward them as soon as they are relieving themself. Verbal praise, a small treat, and a click from the clicker help your pet understand they just did a great job.
  5. Avoid punishment. Yelling or scolding your puppy or dog when they have an accident will increase the chances they have more. The best way to train your pet is through rewarding the behavior you want and ignoring what you don’t want. 

Continue to repeat these steps and remain consistent with your training. Get the entire family on board with these techniques. There will, of course, be accidents. When these occur, and if it happens on a rug or something removable, take it outside to where your pet should go. This smell tells them that the outdoor spot is where they need to go to potty.

Clean up any accidents on floors or carpet with a heavy duty enzyme-based cleanser, so your pet won’t try and go there again.

Housetrain Your Puppy or Dog

If you are in the throes of this important training for your pooch, we know it can be rough. With positive training and consistency, your pet will be a well behaved fur friend in no time. If you would like additional tips on how to housetrain your puppy or adult, please contact our team