Some dogs were not house trained by their old owners, others were kept as outside dogs, and still others had owners that would rather pick up potty than take the effort to train their dog. Either way, your dog must be house trained now, and with the right method, you will succeed with very little effort.
Creating your dog's living space is simple. The best results will be obtained by giving your dog place to call their own, or a den. This area should contain the dogs bed, food bowl, water bowl, and toys. Many people choose to place the den in their living room, so their dog is near them.
Supervision is necessary. You must pay attention to your dog to learn their potty cues. Many dogs spin in a circle a few times before they begin to relieve themselves. If your dog does this, it is their cue that they need to go to the bathroom.
When you cannot be with them at every second for a while, you need to create a smaller den for your dog. This type of area would be a bathroom, with a baby gate on the door so that you can see in, they can see out, but it limits their ability to make a potty mess on your floor.
Another option for supervision is a crate. If your dog is not crate trained, you may want to baby gate them in the bathroom until you do crate train. Simply tossing your dog in a crate without proper training can be traumatizing.
Going outside with your dog on bathroom trips is necessary to the training process. You must be able to directly see them do their business to know when to praise them. Praise your dog as soon as they go to the bathroom. Reward them with a lot of pets and tell them that they were a "good boy/girl." Dogs aim to please their owners and will love the attention. They will want to potty outside more often to get the praise.
Take your dog out often. They will need to go out at least six times per day. Take them to the same part of the yard every time. Remember to praise your dog at every success. Do not scold them for not carrying thorough, that will build fear.
Clean Up Potty Spots:
Cleaning up potty thoroughly is unbelievably important. Your dog has a great sense of smell so you must ensure that any potty is thoroughly cleaned up. You don't want your dog to smell any old accidents, they will believe that it is in fact a bathroom.
Deodorant sprays do not work to remove the chemical in a dogs potty that will signal them to go in that spot again. After cleaning the spot use an odor neutralizer, I recommend vinegar. Your house may smell of vinegar for a day or two, but it is much better than smelling like dog potty. When cleaning, do not use ammonia, this will actually signal your dog to go potty in that spot.
Do Not Punish Accidents:
Your dog will not understand the punishment. They will not know why you are mad at them. If your dog makes a mistake because you are not paying attention, that mistake is yours, not your dog's. Do not physically punish your dog. He does not understand this and it may build fear instead of your intended result.
Charlene Little is the mother of three wonderful boys and a volunteer foster mom for her local animal shelter. She enjoys working with various breeds of dogs and cats in learning social behavior, training, and how to be the successful member of a fur-ever family. She enjoys studying animals' behavior and finding solutions to behavior problems that the everyday person can handle. She covers topics from various forms of aggression and small problem behaviors. Every problem behavior has a solution, and the solution is never to give up on your pet! Love, kindness, and small adjustments could be just what you need.