Housetraining Adult Dog

Posted by jdh34
Aug 10, 2007
I got my Jack Russell mix at a dog shelter about 3 months ago, and she has consistently gone to the bathroom inside the house since we brought her home. We take her outside for walks regularly throughout the day, but find it hard to tell when she actually needs to go - she gives no signals. I have put training pads inside on her regular spots to at least try and contain the mess, but how do I teach her that she needs to go to the bathroom outside? I love her very much, but this is all gettting to be too much for me!
Posted by TheDogTrainer
Aug 10, 2007
Thank you for your post regarding your Jack Russell cross and the trouble you are having with housetraining. In order to help your dog overcome her house training problem there are a few things you need to keep in mind and put into place for her.

To ensure that you are helping your dog understand where she is supposed to be toileting, you need to be aware of the times that she is most likely to eliminate. Because of the nature of a dog's bladder, adult dogs are most likely to toilet after waking up, after eating/drinking, after exercise and before bed at night. During these periods you need to be aware of where the dog is so you can keep an eye on it. After these times, you should take your dog to her designated bathroom area and encourage her to toilet here using a high pitched tone of voice.

You need to decide if your dog will eliminate inside or outside. It is too confusing for a dog to learn both! If it is to be outside, then choose a good spot for her to go and take her to this exact spot every time.

As for indoor training, if you choose this method then have a training pad or newspaper in one area only. Instead of moving this round to wherever your dog has accidents, wipe up the accidents with absorbent paper and then take this paper and put it on top of her training pad for a half day to help show her this is where to toilet!

Once you have decided upon the exact sort of training you will use (indoor or outdoor), then continually take your dog to this spot after the times above. While waiting for her to toilet, give her plenty of encouragement. When she finally does eliminate on the appropriate area, give her plenty of attention and perhaps a small food treat.

If you notice that she hasn't toileted in the correct place, do not punish or reprimand her unless you have caught her in the act of eliminating inappropriately. Punishment after the fact is not only unhelpful, but can also make the training process even more difficult. If you notice that your dog is about to toilet inappropriately inside the house and you can catch her before she starts, quickly pick her up and take her to her appropriate bathroom area. Once she toilets here, again give plenty of praise and a food treat. It is this training that will get your dog to eliminate appropriately.

As mentioned above, be sure to take papers used to wipe up any accidents to the appropriate toileting area your dog is supposed to use. Also be sure to thoroughly clean AND DEODORIZE any areas she has accidents on. This is very important since dogs generally recognize a previously used bathroom spot because of its smell. Therefore, removing the smell from an area you want kept clean is essential.

Playing with your dog and feeding her on spots she has toileted on before will also be of benefit in preventing her from toileting inappropriately. Dog’s will not usually relieve themselves on a feeding area.

Perhaps it would also be a good idea to consider training your dog to use a doggy door if it is possible for you to buy and get one installed! This could help your situation significantly if you have a fenced back yard and a few hours to help your dog understand that she can go outside whenever she wants to with this device.

I hope this helps. Good luck and please let us know how you progress.