Thursday, September 24, 2009

House training an older dog

House training an older dog, is often thought of as easier than training a puppy. This common mistake is often an effect of thinking that whatever you do, your puppy still eliminates all over the house. This happens mainly because young dogs are unable to control their bladder and bowel movements, but they are often learning faster than older dogs.

When you adopt an older dog, he often comes to you with past. You don't know how his previous owner was treating him, you don't know what kind of behaviours he taught him. Unless he was trained in the dog pound or you got him from your friend, most of the time you are dealing with a situation, where you have no idea as to any issues this dog may have.

I am not trying to scare you from adopting dogs, you just need to realize that sometimes house training an older dog is much more difficult than training a puppy. You have to overcome lifetime of habits.

You have to start from determining spots for your dogs toilet and living space. Healthy adult dog shouldn't have troubles holding their bladder for at least 6-8 hours. In this department house training older dogs is much easier.

You start house training your dog, from showing him off the house. It is important to first make sure he has eliminated, as he doesn't know the rules yet and this may lead to an accident. It is a good idea to at first limit the space your dog can move on. If you will allow him to move freely through out the whole house, you may have troubles making sure he isn't eliminating where he shouldn't.

The drill is as follows, whenever you let your dog out of his den, you first take him to the eliminating spot with a cold face, you give him a command to eliminate and when he does you praise him and give him a treat. Then you show him the house, starting from one room and then each day showing him another one. After two or three hours, you take him back to his den and return when it is time for him to eliminate.

House training doesn't have to be hard, most of the time it is common sense behaviour. A very important tip to keep in mind is, you should have a meal schedule for your dog, this way you will be able to predict when is the time he will want to visit toilet.

The other thing that may happen if you have done the create training wrong is, your dog will whine, bark and destroy his toys while in the crate. This happens because he views his den as a prison not like his nest, a place of his own, where he can rest and feel safe.

If this happens, the only thing you can do is either start creating positive associations between crate and fun, by playing with your dog whenever he is inside the crate. Or you can buy a new crate and place it elsewhere, but this time make sure, you do everything right.

As you can see house training an older dog is a very straight forward process, that shouldn't cause you any problems. If you will remain consistent in what you do and won't allow your dog to do what you don't want him to do, you will house train him very fast.

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