Adopting an adult dog definitely has its advantages. You won't have to go through the energetic puppy stage, and your new family member is likely to already have some training under his belt. Hopefully, he's been potty trained, but if not this step-by-step video will help you learn how to housetrain an adult dog.
If you want to house-train an adult dog, it can be done. However, it will probably take longer than toilet training a puppy. An adult dog has had time to establish the bad habit of urinating when and where he wants for a long period of time.
Puppies learn faster because they haven't had the time to develop this habit. If you're consistent and patient, your adult dog will be house-trained in no time. Just don't lose your cool, or your dog will get frustrated too.
How To Housetrain An Adult Dog: Step-by-Step Instructional Guide
If you're adopting a dog, whether it's an adult or a puppy, I always recommend taking some time off if you work outside the home. Housetraining a dog is all about consistency and building a routine. That's going to be very hard to do if you're working 8 hours each day.
You'll also need to make sure that your new canine companion doesn't have any underlying health conditions causing him to urinate or defecate indoors. Kidney problems, bladder infections, liver diseases, and many other conditions can cause the inability to hold urine or feces.
Behavior issues, like separation anxiety, can also cause your pet to use the bathroom inside. Fixing these types of issues will require behavior modification, not house training.
If it's simply due to a lack of training, this step-by-step guide on how to housetrain an adult dog will teach you everything you'll need to know.
Schedule and consistency
As I explain in my video review, having a schedule and staying consistent are the keys to successfully house training an adult dog. To begin, make sure you're feeding your pet at the same time every day.
This will help create a consistent bathroom schedule for your Fido to stick to.
It will take a few days, but once your dog has a consistent bathroom schedule, you need to be sure to stick to it. Hopefully, you'll be able to take some time off of work, but if you can't then you'll need to make sure someone can let your dog out at the appropriate times.
Small dog breeds will need to have at least 8 bathroom breaks per day, and large breeds should have at least 6. These two numbers are important to remember when training.
When your pup goes outside, it is best to bring him to the same location when learning how to housetrain an adult dog. He'll recognize the smell and be more apt to use the bathroom. Once he's fully house-trained, you can allow him to roam around and find his own spot to go.
Please note that some dog owners like to pair house-training dogs with crate training to save time and use the two effective training techniques and consistency together. If you need help on how to crate train a dog, I recommend you watch the below video for tips.
Disciplining and rewarding your dog
As I mention in my dog house-training video, you don't want to punish your dog after he goes to the bathroom on the floor. Dogs associate discipline with what they are doing at the time, therefore this may conflict with your housebreaking training.
That is because even if it has only been a few minutes, your dog won't understand that you're punishing him for urinating on the floor.
Thus, instead of disciplining and punishing your dog, reward him when he goes to the bathroom outside. Showing him what he is doing correctly and that it pleases you. He'll be much more likely to repeat this behavior in the future.
If you do happen to catch your dog in the act, don't discipline him. Startle him so that he stops going. I clap my hands to startle my dogs.
When he stops going, put him outside in the designated bathroom area. It may take him a minute to get his bearings, but he'll quickly realize that he can finish going outside.
Always remember to reward your dog after he goes potty where he's supposed to, and he'll begin to see that going inside is not okay and he needs to do his business outdoors.
Thoroughly clean soiled areas
Learning how to house-train an adult dog isn't the only thing you'll need to do. If you don't clean a soiled area thoroughly, it is very likely that your dog will go to the same area again.
There are numerous cleaning products on the market that are specifically designed to remove old and new urine odors/stains. They use special bacteria and enzymes that feed on the urine and essentially devour it until the smell is gone.
For a more in-depth overview of pet urine smell and stain removers, take a look at this list of five best pet odor eliminators that are currently the most effective on the market, and choose the one that's a good fit for your home.
This is also important if previous tenants in your home have had animals that urinated on the carpet. You may not smell the odor, but your dog will. Their noses are much stronger than ours.
Watch for potty signs
My last piece of advice for how to housetrain an adult dog, or any dog for that matter, is to spend time observing your pet. He's likely to behave the same way each time he needs to use the bathroom.
Some dogs whine or pace, making it easy to see that they need to go. Others will sit quietly by the door or go to their favorite hiding spot to relieve themselves. By taking the time to observe your dog, you'll be able to head off any accidents by putting him outside as soon as you notice the warning signs.
Another method for house training a dog is through using traditional puppy pee pads. If you decide to train your pooch using these training pads for dogs, then I recommend you watch my video comparison of the best puppy training pads and see which one is right specifically for you and your pet.
FULL REVIEW: Comparing the Best Puppy Potty Training Pads