The process of house training a dog to use the bathroom can sometimes be difficult, especially if your pet is older (i.e., no longer a puppy). Although your first instinct may be to use a crate, you will want to avoid this. There are several reasons a crate is detrimental to a dog’s well-being, including the fact that it represents a form of solitary confinement and that it can cause behavioral issues. Therefore, many organizations such as PETA and the Humane Society frequently advocate against this practice. Here are some pointers on house training an older dog without a crate.
Pointers For House Training An Older Dog Without A Crate
Although the house training process may seem daunting at first, you can teach your dog to correctly urinate or defecate by following six simple steps. Here is a close look at each of these steps.
Establish A Routine
Much like humans, dogs are creatures of habit. Therefore, one of the most effective ways of house training a dog is by establishing a daily routine or schedule. This routine should include basic activities such as walks, meals, and playtime. It will likely take your pet a few days (or even weeks) to become fully accustomed to this schedule, so just remember to be patient. Make sure that your dog has sufficient time to digest food (at least one hour recommended) before walking.
Use The Same Keyword
When giving your dog commands, use the same keyword for each instruction. For example, you can use “pee-pee” for urination and “poop” for defecation and point to a specific location while doing so. If you vary the words you utilize, your dog may become confused and remain idle. Similarly to other commands, the difference in the reaction you see from your dog when you say “sit” to when you say “sit down” may potentially be extremely different.
Take Them To The Same Location Outside
Identify a spot in your backyard where your dog typically urinates or defecates right away and take him (or her) to that same location. This will make things significantly easier for both you and your pet. Your dog may need a slight push sometimes to get to this spot, but once he gets there, you will likely not need to wait long.
Learn And Watch For Your Dog’s Behavior Signs
Part of the house training process involves getting dogs to “hold it” until they find a place to do their business. There is no reason to force your dog to “hold it” for several hours at a time. In fact, this can often lead to health issues such as infections, bladder cancer and incontinence. Therefore, it’s important to understand your pet’s behavioral signs. If your dog incessantly paces around, whines, or barks at you, these are all likely signs that he needs to go outside to use the bathroom.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Similarly to small children, dogs behave well and learn best when you use positive reinforcement. If you regularly praise your dog when he listens to you, give him treats and other rewards, and pet him, he will know how much you approve of his behavior.
This is perhaps the most important tip to remember when house training your dog. As frustrated as you may become with your pet, you should never abuse him, physically or verbally. You can reprimand your dog for misbehaving without becoming abusive. Remember to repeat the same keywords, and your pet will heed them eventually. According to Psychology Today, “frequent house-soiling is the third-most-common reason dogs are relinquished to a shelter” (after aggressiveness and excessive noise).
Talk With Paw Pals On More Info On House Training An Older Dog Without A Crate
Reach out to the professionals at Paw Pals for more information on how to house train an older dog without using a crate. We serve pet owners throughout Northern Virginia and were founded by Mary Telesz, a local Australian Shepherd puppy owner who has more than 15 years of experience as a pet sitter.
If you are a busy dog owner who doesn’t always have the time to take care of your pet, Paw Pals can help you by providing high-quality dog walking and pet sitting. Our services are extremely flexible and can thus accommodate your schedule. We offer midday dog walking, (15, 30, and 45-minute visits) which is typically carried out Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm. This service includes playtime, brushing, and treats, as well as fresh food, water, and medications (if required). We also provide weekend and after-hours dog walking, as well as additional services such as dog supply pick-up.
Paw Pals Pet Sitting, LLC is licensed, bonded, and fully insured. Our dog walkers and sitters are also PetTech-certified in First Aid and Pet CPR. Call us today at (703) 345-1695 or contact us online to learn more.