In case you are wondering how to potty train an older dog, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will tell you exactly what you must do in order to get results.
It is not at all tough to potty train older dogs. All it takes is some consistent training, patience, some healthy treats, lots of praise, and plenty of love!
As a dog parent, we know it can be frustrating to have an older dog pooping in the house. But worry no more.
By the time you are done reading this guide, you will be a pro at potty training your adult
How to Potty Train an Adult Dog
1. Invest in a Crate
No dog will ever soil his sleeping and feeding areas. So, if you haven’t already, please buy or rent a crate.
A crate will come in very handy when potty training dogs – old and young. Just make sure that it is big enough for your pet to stand comfortably and turn around in it.
At the same time: It should not be too big that your dog simply uses its corner to piddle in. If the crate is big, you can seal it off with some barriers to make it the right size.
It is a good idea to place the crate in a high-traffic area of your house. This way; your dog won’t feel too lonely.
It is important to use the crate only when necessary. Your pet also needs plenty of time outside the crate so he can explore the house and his new surroundings.
Make sure you exercise your pet twice a day (at least) and also indulge in play-time with him when he is out of the crate.
Okay…We know what you are thinking!
You think it is cruel to force a dog inside the crate. Please understand that this is temporary.
You will only use the crate in the beginning until you can successfully learn how to potty train an older dog in the apartment and know his cues when he wants to ‘go’.
2. Take Time off Work If Needed
In the first few weeks when you bring your dog home, you must, must, must take time off work for potty training adult dog. Take your pet outside at least 5-6 times so he can empty his bladder.
Don’t forget to praise him plenty each time he ‘goes’ outside. If you have a yard, give your pet access to it and show him where it is okay to ‘eliminate’.
Remember: adult dogs need at least 3 bathroom breaks a day. How long can dogs hold their pee depends on the dog’s age, diet, and overall health. So, 3 breaks are a minimum!
If your pet is a senior dog having health issues, then you might even want to take him out up to 5 times depending on his energy levels and mobility.
Take your pet outside once upon waking up and right before retiring for the night. You can also let him out after meals and after he drinks water.
If you work full-time, it will help if you can get someone to let your dog out so he can get these bathroom breaks and prevent indoor dog potty. These steps are very important to set a dog potty schedule.
Okay, we see you rolling your eyes!
This might seem a lot of work but believe us: it will yield the results for how to potty train an older dog. Take it as an exercise in bonding with your pet and your dog will also look forward to
3. Praise, Praise, and Praise Some More!
Dogs understand your body language and tone of voice.
Praise, playtime, hugs, and rewards are very important when house training old dogs. Be generous in praising your pet each time he relieves himself in the designated spot.
When you praise and cuddle your pet, his brain gets immediate signals that he has done something right. This will encourage him to repeat that wanted behavior.
You can also use low-calorie, healthy treats when potty training dogs. Just make sure that you immediately reward him after he has done the action.
It is a good idea to carry the treats when you walk your pet outside (treat each time he relieves himself in the yard or your apartment’s restroom.)
In case you do not want to use treats, you can also use ‘playtime’ as an incentive. As soon as your dog has ‘gone’ in the designated area, play with him, pet him, praise him, and hug him.
This will also help him use the outdoor-time bonding with you and will quickly learn to know the designated areas to relieve himself.
Treat right away for good behavior. Do not treat him after a long time as that would not help him understand what he needs to do.
4. Clean Accidents with Enzymatic Cleaners
What do you do if your dog poops in the house?
Dogs use the scent of their urine to pee in the same spot over and over. By using vinegar or
enzymatic cleaners you can break that cycle. Avoid the use of ammonia-based
cleaners as they smell like urine to dogs and can prompt your pet to the soil
in the cleaned area again.
- The first thing to do is to remove the smell of urine and poop with enzymatic cleaners or vinegar.
- Mop up the wet mess with old newspapers and pour the chosen odor remover on the stain. Let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming.
- You can leave the soiled papers in the yard in order to ‘designate’ the spot outside where it is okay for your dog to relieve himself.
- This is a proven way how to house train a dog.
5. Use Dog Pee Pads
Sometimes, pet parents cannot take their dog outdoors owing to some limitations. An older dog could also have limited mobility which could lead to indoor dog potty.
If this is the case, it will help if you invest in dog pee pads. You can buy pet pee pads in bulk for training.
Dog pads or pee pads are a worthwhile investment and can save you the hassle of cleanup. Show your pet it is okay to use the pad. Every time he uses the pad for potty, praise, and treat him. This will reinforce good behavior.
You can also use puppy pee pads when you potty train old dogs. Best puppy pads can come in handy when knowing how to potty train an older dog in an apartment.
6. Never Shout At or Physically Punish Your Pet
Shouting, rebuking, scolding, raising your voice, or hitting an older dog when he has an accident indoors can only lead to aggression or fearful behavior. It is the last thing to do if you want to know how to train an adult dog.
Always use positive reinforcement. Speak to your dog in a firm yet gentle tone. Tell him it is not okay pooping in the house.
If you catch your pet mid-action, use a clapping action or loud sound to startle him. Take him to the designated spot right away so he can complete the business.
Moreover, teaching your dog some essential commands will make the training easier.
Conclusion – How to Potty Train an Older Dog
We have also encountered the question: how to potty train an older dog.
The answers, we discovered, are patience, a huge dose of love, and some investment in the form of a crate and some dog pee pads.
Then, follow all the instructions in the guide above and you will be surely and easily potty train an adult dog within a week.
Start by setting up an older dog potty schedule and do let us know in the comments below about your experiences!