Potty Training at Any Age

When we think about dogs and potty training, we often visualize puppies learning housebreaking — pee pads scattered in different areas of the house, perhaps a crate set up to help the puppy learn to hold it in, or a bottle of enzyme-killing, deodorizer pet cleaner nearby the puppy’s favorite place to have an accident.

Puppies first learn about potty training when they’re first adopted by people, but there are some puppies that grow up and never learn how to be potty trained. Here at Longhorn Dog Training, we have worked with dozens of potty training cases for adult dogs (and plenty for puppies). Many frustrated owners who have dogs, especially adult dogs, that haven’t quite gotten the potty training down are fearful that it may be too late, and that they are bound for a lifetime of potty accidents in the home.

potty training for dogsThankfully, any dog of any age can learn proper housebreaking, but it requires a TON of patience, strict scheduling, and consistency from the owners in order to accomplish this. Training an older dog to be housebroken is not impossible, but without proper diligence, it can be far more difficult to train, compared to working with a puppy.

In order to potty train a puppy or an adult dog, you must make sure that you have control of their schedule. It’s a great idea to teach your dog to alert you when they have to go out, such as training them to bark or to ring a bell by the door, but if your dog cannot be trusted yet, then it’s important that YOU set the schedule and rules, not your untrained puppy/dog. With good scheduling, you want to also control their food and water intake, making sure they get the right amount, but to not overdo it and have them eat and drink at irregular times. Making sure your dog doesn’t have a chance to have an accident in the first place is why people will potty train their dog through crate training. If your dog does not like being in the crate, you must make it a positive and safe association for them, rather than create an possible negative connotations with the space. When your dog is not in the crate, then make sure you monitor them closely. Most dogs will eliminate away from the owners in a private setting, so if they start to wander off, recall them or follow them! And of course, make going to the bathroom outside a positive thing! Create a potty command and be sure to reward if they eliminate outside instead of inside the house.

And there’s much more to go into potty training and it is all based on the individual dog, but rest assured, potty training can be achieved with ANY dog of ANY age! Our Austin dog trainer will work with you and your dog and tailor a training plan that caters to your specific needs and training goals. We will work with your dog AND you so that you have the power to continue setting your dog up for success when we are not around. And if potty training is your issue, we can happily help and find behavioral success and better house manners together!

If you’d like to schedule an initial in-home consultation with our trainer to discuss your dog’s potty problems or other behavioral issues, call us at 512.647.2130!