There may be certain instances when you have to re-train an older dog.
This may occur when you have gotten your dog from a shelter.
Many times, when dogs are placed in shelters, either they were abused or a family could no longer take care of them and so while they may have been initially trained, being in the shelter may not have given them an opportunity to use what they had already learned.
This will require you to be a little patient and to be willing to take the time to train them again. In many cases, it is important to start from scratch. If your dog has already been trained, this should speed up his or her re-training.
However, if they have never been trained, count on the process to take a little more time.
Establish a routine for you and your dog
The first thing that you will want to do is to establish a routine.
Make sure that you take your pet out at around the same time each day. Therefore, if you start by taking him out in the evenings after work make sure this is something that you do on a regular basis.
Reinforce him with treats
When your dog does something correct like urinates and defecates outside where he or she is supposed to, make sure that you really give them a lot of praise and treats.
Make sure that you do so right after they have gone to the bathroom, so that they understand what they’re being praised for.
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Choose a bathroom spot that is fairly close to the house. When it’s time for your dog to go to the bathroom, take them right to the spot where they are to go to the bathroom.
If your dog has an accident, and you are forced to clean it up, make sure that you take whatever you cleaned up the mess with, and put it on the bathroom spot. This will let your dog know that is where they are supposed to go to the bathroom.
Use connecting words for actions
Make sure that when your dog is going to the restroom outside that you use a word that connects what they’re doing to the spot that they are to use the bathroom. You may want to say “go to the bathroom” or “go potty,” before and while they are going. Simple phrases such as these will do. You want them to understand that this is where they need to the bathroom.
Keep an eye on the dog 24/7
When you are in the process of training your dog, keep an eye on them so that if they begin to go while inside, you can quickly usher them out of the house. If they stop and then finish outside, reward them.
When you’re not home, put your dog in a crate or a space where they have enough room to turn around and lay down but not so big that they will want to go to the bathroom there. However, you will have to let him out every so often, so that they can go to the restroom.
Never punish him for accidents
Your dog will eventually have an accident, and when they do, make sure that you don’t punish them. Some people will suggest that you rub your dog’s nose in the spot where they went to the restroom.
However, this is unnecessary. Instead, clean it up and try to encourage them to go to the restroom outside by rewarding him or her when they do so. You will be working from a place of positive reinforcement and not punishment.