How do I housetrain an adult male rescue dog?

Posted by elizabeth-sierra
Jan 9, 2008
Who actually answers these questions?

I want to adopt a 3 yr old Great Pyrenees neutered male who is not housebroken. If he comes to be a part of my family he must be housebroken. Currently, he lifts his leg ad lib when indoors as explained by his foster home people who normally do not have him inside. I am very interested in him for the admirable traits he has, but have no idea how to housebreak an adult dog without risking soiling of expensive upholstery and rugs. Please help. He needs a home and I would like to provide it.

Thank you.
Posted by Todd
Jan 9, 2008
Hi there Elizabeth.

House training adult dogs can be very frustrating and take a lot of time. They have learned bad habits as you have described and it is trying to teach them that these are wrong and retrain them that can take a lot of time.
But this should not turn you off what otherwise sounds like a lovely dog.

I will not lie to you and tell you he will never mess as he will make mistakes. In fact it is these mistakes that you need to reteach him.

He is too old now to attempt crate training so instead i would recommend regular trips outside.
Take him outside every hour or so to an area that you would like to become his toilet area. Once he is there give him a command such as "go toilet" and wait. Wait for a few minutes. If he goes to the toilet reward him with praise, attention and petting. This will help reinforce the correct behaviour.
If he does not toilet then you should play a quick game with him in your yard and try again. If after a few attempts at this he doesn't go try again later.

Often the best time to do this is first thing in the morning and before bed. This is usually when they need to go. If you can catch him before he goes and get him to do it properly i am sure he will learn quickly.

The next time he has an accident inside:

*Growl as he is doing it. You must reprimand him as he is performing the undesirable behavior, because dogs only ever associate your punishment or reward with the very last action they have performed.

*Soak up the puddle or pick up the waste with a sheet of newspaper.

*Then clean the spot with your odor neutralizer. Dogs are very much creatures of habiot and smell is a huge part of this. By neutralising the odour it will hopefully help stop him doing it.

*Keep the soiled newspaper, place any solid wastes or the soaked paper outside, or wherever you want their bathroom spot to be. This will give him a place he can return to that is marked with his own scent and therefore safe to use as a bathroom. (keep in mind that dogs mark their territory and therefore claim their dominance as they eliminate, if another dog has been where you want your dog to go, your dog will only go there if it is of a dominant disposition and wish to challenge the opposing 'dog'.)

He sounds like a lovely dog to take responsibility of but he will take time and effort. But with patience i am sure he will be a great loving dog that will get on well in your house. Good Luck

Kind Regards
Todd Field