Knowing how to potty train an adult dog can be daunting. But we’re helping take the stress out of it with our complete guide to equip you with the tactics needed. From understanding the importance of consistency to learning effective communication with your furry friend, we’ll explore practical tips to pave the way for a potty-trained dog. Say goodbye to accidents and cleaning up messes. Let’s get started.
Why Would an Adult Dog Need To Be Potty Trained?
While you might think potty training is solely for puppies, the reality is that some adult dogs may also need it. Various circumstances, such as changes in living situations, switching from outdoor to indoor environments, or adopting a rescue dog with an unknown training history, can require a revisit to potty training basics. Health issues or aging-related concerns might also affect a dog’s ability to control their bladder. So, a renewed focus on rewarding good habits could be needed. Potty training for adult dogs is not just about avoiding accidents; it’s a crucial aspect of ensuring a orderly and clean home.
Can An Older Dog Still Be Potty Trained?
Contrary to the common belief that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, potty training an older dog is indeed possible. Dogs can learn throughout their lives and age isn’t a barrier to acquiring new behaviors.
While it may take more time for an older dog to break existing habits, the process can be successful with the right approach. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key when it comes to potty training an adult dog. There’s no fixed age that is considered “too late”, but it depends on the dog’s health, adaptability, and previous experiences in terms of how to train and how long it might take.
How To Potty Train an Adult Dog
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you potty training an adult dog.
1. Establish a Routine
Create a consistent daily schedule for feeding, walks, and bathroom breaks. Dogs thrive on routine, and a predictable schedule helps them anticipate when it’s time to go outside. It also helps them know the signal to go out and which door to walk to.
2. Supervise and Limit Freedom
Keep a close eye on your dog when indoors, especially after meals or naps. If you catch them in the act of eliminating indoors, interrupt the behavior calmly and immediately take them outside to finish. Giving adult dogs limited freedom inside the house is also beneficial until their fully trained. For example, you may want to only allow them in rooms without carpet.
3. Provide Frequent Bathroom Breaks
Provide frequent bathroom breaks for your dog. We recommend every two to three hours during the day. Select a specific spot outside for them to potty. Consistently taking them to the same area helps reinforce the association between the location and the act of going potty.
4. Use (LOTS of) Positive Reinforcement
Praise and treat your dog immediately after going potty outside. Positive reinforcement rewards the desired behavior and encourages them to repeat it and go outside in the chosen area. We can’t state enough how much positive reinforcement helps with this.
5. Clean Accidents Thoroughly
Accidents happen, but it’s crucial to clean them right away and thoroughly. This removes any remaining scent that might attract your dog back to the same spot. Use a pet-specific cleaner that removes odor and any stains.
Pro Tip: See our guide to easy ways to get dog odor out of furniture.
6. Use a Crate
Crate training can serve as an aid to potty training your adult dog. Your pup will likely not want to go potty in their crate and it provides consistency in their routine. Be sure to always take your dog outside when let out of their crate so they know the outdoors is where potty time takes place.
7. Practice Patience
Patience is crucial when potty training any dog. Stay patient and consistent with the routine, and avoid punishing your dog for accidents. Positive reinforcement will yield better results. Celebrate your dog’s successes during the training process. Whether through verbal praise, treats, or playtime, positive reinforcement improves the bond between you and your dog, making the training experience more fun for both parties.
8. Consult a Professional When Necessary
There’s no formula for how long it’ll take for an adult dog to be potty trained. But, if it seems your dog is struggling, consider consulting a professional. We recommend first contacting your veterinarian for advice.
Should You Discipline a Dog For Peeing in the House?
We advise against disciplining your dog for peeing in the house. While it’s natural to feel frustrated when accidents happen, punishment after the fact is often more harmful than good and may create confusion or fear in your dog. Dogs don’t connect punishment to actions that occurred in the past. So, if you find a mess, scolding them won’t help them understand why they’re in trouble.
Instead, focus on positive reinforcement for good behavior. Praising and rewarding your dog when they go potty outside is much more important than concern over accidents in the house. If you catch your dog in the act indoors, interrupt the behavior calmly and immediately take them outside to finish.
Are Large Dogs Harder to Potty Train?
The ease of potty training isn’t solely determined by a dog’s size. However, some large dogs may pose unique challenges due to their physical size getting them outdoors. But both large and small canines can be successfully trained with the right approach as we’ve laid out in this article. Regardless of size, understanding the specific needs of your dog and choosing the training process accordingly is important for quick potty training.
Pro Tip: Potty training a puppy can be similar to older dogs, learn tips for getting them to go outside.
Help Your Adult Dog Learn When to Go Outside
The journey to potty train an adult dog is a commitment that yields both practical and emotional rewards. By sticking to a consistent routine, understanding your dog’s cues, and using positive reinforcement, you can effectively communicate the desired bathroom behavior to your furry companion. Helping your dog learn when to go outside will mean a calmer home.
Do you have an adult dog that needs potty training? Share your experience in the comments below.
Stay Informed – Join the HypePets Community!
If you’re like us, your pets are like family. Stay up to date on the latest news, info, tips, and gear to help your pet live its best life!
Also, join the conversation over on our HypePets Discord server!