Friday, January 9, 2009

ASK LOLA: How to Potty & Re-Housetrain a Dog

Dear Lola: Our supposedly housebroken pooch still has many accidents. Any ideas as to what may cause this? She's a 2 year old boxer/terrier mix and we're her 3rd (and final!) family. A couple of times I thought it was because she got excited when we were playing, but then she'd have an accident when we hadn't been playing at all. So far today (knock on wood!) we haven't had any issues.

Thank you, Jen (

Dear Jen:

There is so much joy when you bring a new dog home for the first time. But, often times this joy is out staged by potty accidents that prevent you from truly enjoying the moment. But do remember that accidents happens and trust me being a dog myself I have and still have my share of oops! This is expected, especially since she is adjusting to her new home & surroundings. So, now the real works begin, but don't fret all your dog needs is a little retraining.

From house training to basic obedience, a new dog owner has to be willing to commit some time and effort to training. Always assume that when you bring a new dog home that the dog is not house trained and start from scratch. If what you were told was true, that she is housebroken, then re-training her should go quickly & smoothly.

Remember that you and your dog need sometime to learn each other behaviors, signals and routines. Perhaps in her previous home ringing a bell signaled to her family that it was time to potty.

In my case I may sit at the door, sniff around or circle when I need to potty. My parents immediately take me out on a leash to my special spot. Learning and staying tuned in to her signals will make sure she gets outdoors quickly, not giving her enough time to soil your hardwood floors. Establishing a potty training routine is the first step toward a happier life with your new found family member.

Here are some tips on re-house training your dog:

1. Take your dog out at the same time each day. Suggestion would be in the morning when he wakes up before breakfast, upon arrival from work, and before bed time.

2. Praise, Praise!! Dogs will do anything for a reward and to hear you say "Good Girl" or "Good Boy". After she potty outside immediately praise, so she knows why she is getting praised. Don't wait until you get back inside to do so because she won't remember why she is getting praised. She will soon learn that going to the bathroom outside equals treat & praise.

3. Location, Location- Choose a spot outside that will be your dogs official porter potty area (make sure the area is cleaned daily). Dogs like the security & familiarity, picking one specific spot will make her feel at ease and help to know that area of the yard equals. Your dog will need supervision so take her on leash to the potty spot. The best part about picking a spot is that you won't have the problem of landmines all over the yard and a small area to clean.

4. Choose Your Words Wisely- Giving your dog a command to "go potty" or "do your business" will let her know what is expected of her. While your dog is going to the bathroom outside use words or phrases like "go potty" that they will come to understand. As time goes on when you say the words "go potty" she will immediately run to the door instead of relieving herself on your floor and run back inside afterward.

5. Schedule Feeding- Like humans, dogs like eating on a regular schedule and this will make them more regular in the literal sense.

6. Don't Rush Potty Time - Give her about 10 minutes to go potty, if she does not do so bring her back in and take back out in 15-20 minutes for another try. She should not be able to run or play inside until she has went potty, play is her reward for being on good potty behavior.

If you catch your dog eliminating in the house, do something to interrupt her but make sure not to scare her. Immediately take her outside to her bathroom spot, afterward lavish her with praise & treat for job well done.

Keep in mind that potty training any dog requires repetition and hands on approach. Be fair warned no dog is perfect and their will be messy moments throughout the process . But as time goes on she will learn that bathroom time is outside. If you happen to sniff and find a soiled area in your house hours or days later it is too late to administer a correction. Do nothing but clean it up. Rubbing your dog's nose in it, taking her to the spot and scolding her will not help the situation. In fact it will make her more afraid of you and even more afraid to potty in your presence. Animals do not understand why they are being punishment once time has passed and can do more harm than good.

Now on to the fun part, clean up. Cleaning up the the soiled area in your home is very important because dogs are highly motivated to continue soiling in areas that smell like urine or feces. So keep it squeaky clean & green with eco-friendly, all natural, non toxic cleaning products. Pet Oder & Stain Remover like Mrs. Meyers are safe if licked by your pet.

From one dog to another dog owner happy training!!

Barkingly yours,

Lola the eco dog

Shop for eco-friendly, all natural, and delicious treats great for potty training and re-training.


pet odor removal said...

Cleaning after your pets can be a devastating thing but with the tips given it may not be that difficult to do.

pet odor removal said...

Cleaning after your pets can be a devastating thing but with the tips given it may not be that difficult to do.