So you’ve decided on an older dog instead of a puppy. Congratulations! Older dogs are often overlooked as options when prospective families are looking for a new member, but they make such great pets.
However, when you bring your older dog home, whether he’s 2 years old or 10, you should never assume he was housebroken as a puppy. Especially rescue dogs; so many of them are found as strays or abandoned and the rescue has no idea what their situation was.
But this is one case where you definitely can teach an old dog new tricks. Read on to discover how to quickly potty-train your new dog.
First tip – use a crate. I know, you feel terrible doing this. Me, too. But it’s really not as bad as you think. When you were growing up, didn’t you want a room of your own? Dogs are the same way. They like a space that’s just theirs. It also teaches them that they have to hold it until you take them out, because if they urinate or defecate in their crate, there’s nowhere to go.
They’re stuck with it, and they don’t like that anymore than anyone else does. And, really, dogs don’t like to go to the bathroom where they sleep. Using a crate is a great way to housetrain your dog quickly.
Establish a Schedule
Next – get a schedule and stick with it. Decide right away what the bathroom schedule will be and do not deviate from it. First thing in the morning, as soon as you get home from work, last thing at night, and after meals are the basic times, but get a few more in there when you can.
This is one of the most important things you can do for you dog in general. Set him up for success from the beginning, and you’ll quickly be rewarded with a well-behaved buddy.
Watch for the Signs
Another tip is to keep an eye on your dog in the beginning. When you’re both still getting to know each other, watch your dog closely for anything you think might be a sign that he needs to go out. You’ll jump the gun a lot and end up taking him out more than he needs, but eventually you’ll figure out his signs and be able to react accordingly.
Keep Things the Same
Lastly, try to keep things the same for your pup no matter who’s taking him to the bathroom. Everyone in the family should use the same terminology and take him to the same place. Even if your yard is fenced in, you should leash your dog and take him out yourself until he learns exactly where you want him to go.
If you’re going to pick up after him every time, or you don’t have children playing in the same yard, it may not matter to you as much, but if there’s a specific place you want him to go, you’ll have to train him on it.
None of these tips are instant, you’ll have to work with your dog, but with a little patience and understanding, you’ll be able to train your dog quickly no matter how old he is!
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