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Tuesday Training Byte: House breaking an adult dog

It is a myth that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I once took in a 6 year old farm dog that knew nothing about riding in a car or being in a house! The greatest challenge after I got her home was to get her to go into her crate. She was a "chow hound" which helped. Adult dogs in many ways are easier than pups when house breaking because their systems are fully developed so they can hold it for hours compared to the short time span for puppies. This old gal would sleep and be fed in her crate. When morning came, I would take her out immediately to the same spot one of my other dogs regularly used. I would let her sniff around that spot. At the moment she was barely beginning to squat, I would say, "Go potty" then praise her for going. About 45 minutes or so following breakfast I would take her out to the same spot again. Then she would be good until mid to late afternoon. She caught on to the routine in no time without accidents. However, if another pet has soiled your carpet, I would venture to say that the new dog will find that spot and go right there. It is important to thoroughly clean the carpet and not let the new dog have access to that room. There are special enymatic products that help destroy the odor, but better safe than sorry. Be sure to praise your dog when she does her business outdoors. Taking her out and staying with her is necessary so you can reinforce the wanted behavior.

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