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Rely on your dog's natural instincts to stay clean. That's the key to teaching the "hold it" reflex which is not instinctive in most dogs.
Dogs dislike soiling themselves as well as their eating and sleeping areas. They also develop preferences for where they like to "do their business". If they prefer eliminating on grass or dirt, they would rather not use concrete or gravel. Here's how you can use these natural tendencies for rapid and successful house training.
Establish your dog's toilet area and be sure she has access to this place or can let you know that she needs access. Watch for signs of circling, sniffing, hanging around the back door or walking toward you and then walking toward the door. If you observe any of these behaviors, take your pet out immediately and say "outside" in a happy tone of voice.
Puppies typically need to go out every couple of hours. This schedule sets up more positive than negative potty experiences. It's important not to confine your puppy without access to her toilet area for too long. If he can't "hold it" and soils himself or his area, it could become a habit and possibly prolong the potty training process.
Typical Elimination Schedule for Dogs
Immediately after mealtime
Immediately after coming out of crate
About 10 minutes into play time
About 10 minutes after drinking water
After a nap
Put your dog on a regular feeding schedule because what goes in on schedule comes out on schedule. You'll soon be able to anticipate your puppy's schedule. Remember, puppies can only "hold it" for a few hours. Healthy, adult dogs can "hold it" for about 8 hours.
Once your dog consistently eliminates in her toilet area and stops soiling her crate, you can start extending her access to the rest of the house. Start with one room at a time ONLY when you know that her bladder is completely empty. Let her eat, sleep and play here, but she must be supervised. Once she accepts this room as an extension of her crate, try the next room.
Praise and reward your dog each and every time she eliminates in her toilet area. It's equally important not to reprimand your pet for accidents or mistakes. This usually confuses the dog and slows down the process.
Crate soiling-If your pet continues to soil her crate, she's probably been left there too long or the crate may be too large. Take her out more often.
Bed soiling-If this problem continues, your pet has probably been confined here for too long and couldn't "hold it". She may not yet understand that this is her bed. Urinary tract problems or medical conditions can also cause soiling while your pet sleeps.
Frequent urination-Some dogs drink water excessively out or boredom or habit. Limit her water, take her out more often and increase her activities to decrease her boredom. Be sure to pick up the water at least 2-3 hours before bedtime and give her one last time to eliminate.
This article was prepared by the training professionals at Pete and Mac's Pet Resort. Pete and Mac's provides a stimulating, healthy and fun-filled environment for your pets while you're away from home. Services include supervised daycare, first-class boarding environment with 24/7 on-site supervision, "day of beauty" grooming, pet education classes and a pampered pet boutique with all-natural treats.
Pete & Mac's is located at 6150 Riverside (in the Las Colinas Equestrian Center at Royal and Riverside), Irving.
Call 972-717-5500 for details.
Advice from the experts at Pete & Mac's Ret Resort