Note: This is page 2 of House Training Older Dogs, page 1 is here: Training Older Dogs
As mentioned on page 1, some of the most common problems found when house training older dogs include when your adult dog feels as though it is free to go anywhere in the house (defined area training), potty training adult dogs, and when your dog runs out the front door if he sees or hears someone. I will now give you some pointers for addressing each of these problems.
House training older dogs what part of the house they are allowed in is the first step and it is usually quite straight forward in most cases. Assuming your dog understands the basic sit/stay commands, the next step is to use them anytime your dog comes to one of his “area boundaries”. You may need to practice this command many times before you dog fully obeys you. When they do obey you it’s very important that you give them a treat or praise them. This way they start to see some benefit to doing what you are asking. An example of a boundary area may be the door to your bedroom or the bathroom.
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House training older dogs that don’t know where they can go to the toilet can also require significant patience and persistency. When you start to potty train an older dog you should aim to be with him outside every time he needs to go to the toilet. Ideally you will be able to take your dog outside every 3 - 4 house and 15 - 20 minutes after each meal. Avoid having fun with your dog when you go outside, the idea is that he learns that the reason you go outside is so that he/she can go to the toilet. As soon as your dog starts peeing outside start praising him heavily and even give him treats. This way your dog will start to wait until he can get outside to pee. One more thing that helps toilet training older dogs is to feed them just once or at the most two times per day at a regular time.
Another problem faced with disobedient older dogs is that they sometimes want to run outside if they hear something or see someone. One way you can teach them not to do this is to put a long leash around your dog and tie it to something solid near the door (wedge it under the couch leg or tie it onto the door handle). When your dog next runs outside he will not be able to because the leash will hold him back. After attempting to run away a few times, your dog will soon learn that he can’t behave like that.
Hopefully these tips help you when house training older dogs. Don’t expect overnight miracles, training will take time.