Housetraining an adult dog seems like a difficult task. It is often recommended that dogs should be housetrained as puppies. While this is correct, an adult dog can also be potty trained.  As challenging as it is, the ability of older dogs to control their bowels and bladders unlike puppies is an added advantage in potty training.

Before commencing training, there are a few tips to take note of:

  • Whenever the dog is not supervised, it should be confined till he is fully house trained. 
  • Accidents would always happen, calmly take the dog outside to the right place. Resist the urge to shout at your dog. 
  • Clean up accidental poo and pee properly. Use cleaning agents that can remove the odour because if it is not properly cleaned, the smell can be a restroom trigger for your dog. 
  • Create a legal restroom for your dog. This is a place where you want your dog to do its potty business. 
  • Put some of the poo and urine in the legal bathroom you created so that your dog can smell the odour. 
  • Frequent potty breaks will get your dog housetrained faster.

Steps to potty training an adult dog

  • Take your dog out at least once every hour to potty. When around the potty area, fake ignorance so that your dog doesn’t get distracted from relieving itself. If the dog does not potty in 5-10mins, take it back inside and out again in 15 minutes. Keep repeating the process till it potties outside.
  • Wait aside for some play time after your dog potties. Going back inside immediately signals that potting outside ends playtime. For every time your dog potties at the legal bathroom, give a treat. 
  • Also, give your dog some free supervised roam time when you get back indoors from potting. This is to ensure your dog does not associate potting outside with confinement. 
  • These steps should be repeated throughout the day. Give praises and treats every step through the training. 
  • Track the pattern. You should be able to pick the signals when your dog is pressed. Common signs your dog is about to potty include sniffing and circling, restlessness, squatting, barking and scratching the door.

In some medical conditions, adult dogs are unable to control their bladder and this can result in accidents. If your dog has been previously house trained but keeps having accidental potting, you should consider seeing a veterinarian.