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 have 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 teaching him to relieve himself outside, rather than teaching him not to relieve himself inside. It is easier to teach an older dog to DO something than to NOT DO something.
If the dog already has the old habit of doing it 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 an old bad behavior.
2. Select a place where you want the dog to relieve itself, such as a small corner in the grass. It would be easier to potty train an older dog if you are consistent about where you want him to relieve himself. Going to the same place, over and over again, would help the dog learn the correct place faster. It also helps if you don’t clean the stain much until your dog learns to go there when he needs to go to the bathroom.
3. Use the same words to refer to the bathroom. An older dog can become confused if you use different phrases to say 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. Remove all traces of potty accident inside the house. Dogs’ sense of smell is very acute, and the smell of urine or poop in your home can make them think it’s 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 down 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 relieve himself there.
6. Decrease your dog’s food and water intake before sleeping. 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 nature.
7. Make it easy for your dog to exit through a dog door or leave the back door open. If this isn’t practical in your area, leave a bell for your dog to reach. Take the dog out every time you ring the bell so that he knows that the ring is an exit signal.
Anyone who says you can’t teach your older 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.