How to potty train an older dog – 7 practical tips
While some people prefer to have cute, huggable and adorable puppies, other people like to have an adult dog. Older dogs tend to be more mature and perhaps better companions, the best friend a human would ever need.
However, some people are qualified to own a senior dog due to the common notion that people cannot teach old dogs new tricks, especially potty training. But this is not really the case, older dogs can still be potty trained with a few important things in mind.
Here are some tips for potty training an older dog:
1. When potty training an older dog, you should focus on potty training outside, rather than no potty training inside. It is easier to teach an older dog to DO something than NOT to DO something.
If the dog already has an old habit of doing it on the inside, it would be hard to focus too much on breaking that habit. It’s a lot easier to help him learn a better alternative to old bad behavior.
2. Select a place where you want the dog to relieve himself, such as a small corner of the grass. It may be easier to potty train an older dog if you are consistent about where you want him to go. Going to the same place, over and over again, would help the dog to learn the correct place faster. It also helps if you don’t clean the spot much until your dog learns to go there when he needs to go potty.
3. Use the same words to refer to the bathroom. An older dog may get confused if you use different phrases to mean the same thing. When you want him to go to the bathroom, use the exact same phrase so that it somehow becomes a command to do the behavior you want him to do.
4. Eliminate all traces of a potty accident inside the house. Dogs’ sense of smell is very acute and the smell of urine or feces in your house can make them think that it is the place to go to the bathroom. Use a deodorizing cleaning solution to remove odors that may cling to your floors and carpets.
5. Keep your dog’s sleeping area as tight as possible. Dogs don’t want to go potty in their bedrooms and by keeping the area long enough for him to sleep and maybe roll over, there would be no room to go potty. Every morning when the dog wakes up, take him to his usual potty spot to eliminate there.
6. Decrease your dog’s food and water intake before bedtime. This prevents accidents from happening because when your dog is full of water or food while sleeping, he may not have the ability to control the call of the wild.
7. Make it easy for your dog to exit through a doggie door or leave the back door open. If this is not practical in your area, leave a bell for your dog to reach. Take the dog out every time it rings the bell so that it knows that the ringing is the exit signal.
Anyone who says you can’t teach your senior dog new tricks may be too lazy. In fact, it is possible to potty train an older dog if he knows these tips and if he has the right amount of patience.