HOUSETRAINING A PET CAN BE A DEFEATING ENDEAVOR WITHOUT THE HOW TO’S. ESAC WANTS TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL THE TOOLS YOU NEED TO ENJOY YOUR PET COMFORTABLY IN YOUR HOME. BELOW ARE SOME HELPFUL TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED. CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY! IF YOU ARE STILL HAVING DIFFICULTY WITH THE HOUSE TRAINING PROCESS, CONTACT ESAC FOR ADDITIONAL SUPPORT.
10 Easy Steps to Housetrain Your Dog
You can easily teach your dog to eliminate in an acceptable location by keeping a close eye, recognizing his signals, understanding his instincts, and rewarding his appropriate behavior.
- Prevent undesired elimination by not allowing your dog to wander all over the house without supervision and by keeping your dog confined in a small area when you can’t observe him constantly.
- When your dog sniffs the ground or circles around, quickly but calmly take him to the desired elimination area. Ideally, don’t wait for these behaviors. Take your dog outside regularly as described below.
- Feed your dog a measured amount of food at the same time every day. When your dog walks away, or after about 10-15 minutes, pick up the bowl.
- Be aware that puppies instinctively desire to eliminate after eating, drinking, playing, resting, sleeping or being confined. These rules apply to most adult dogs as well.
- Five to 30 minutes after any of the above activities, take your dog to the selected place for elimination.
- Use a specific verbal cue that you want your dog to associate with desirable elimination, such as, “Go potty,” or “Do your business.”
- When your dog begins to eliminate, quietly praise him.
- When your dog is done, praise him enthusiastically, pet him and reward him with food immediately. Don’t wait until he heads for the house. If he doesn’t eliminate, return him to his confinement area and take him outside again in about 15 minutes.
- Reward each time with praise initially. As your dog learns, give food rewards intermittently.
- REMEMBER, it is your responsibility to prevent accidents! Prevention is the key to success, but if someone fails to prevent your dog from having an accident, don’t scold the dog. Quietly clean and deodorize the area. Preventing accidents requires that you become aware of how often your puppy needs to eliminate. Young puppies (8-10 wks) may need to be taken outside every 30 to 60 minutes.
Teach Your Dog to Ring a Bell
Housetraining for some dogs can be especially challenging because they do not learn to clearly signal their need to eliminate. Teaching a dog to ring a bell when they need to go outside can be a huge help when housetraining. It takes time but is relatively simple if you follow these steps:
Purchase a small bell and set it near the door you most often take your dog out of to eliminate. Ring the bell immediately before opening the door to go outside with your dog. You should already have your dog on leash so you will be ready to step outside after ringing the bell. Do this every time you take your dog outside for several days. Allow your dog to only explore the designated elimination area; otherwise your dog may associate ringing the bell with playtime instead.
Next, suspend the bell at the height of your dog’s nose right next to the door. Gently touch the bell to your dog’s nose, causing it to ring, every time you take him outside. Repeat this step for several days.
At this point, depending on how quickly your dog makes associations, he may begin approaching the bell on his own when he needs to eliminate. If he doesn’t, smear a little peanut butter or cheese on the bell each time you prepare to go outside, and use this to lure your dog toward the bell. Allow your dog to lick the bell, making it ring, and then praise your dog as you take him outside.
Once your dog begins ringing the bell on his own, you must take him outside every time so that he learns that making the bell ring reliably predicts being allowed outside.