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Tuesday Training Byte: Still not housebroken?

First let's be clear- a dog is not 75% house broken, or 89% house broken, etc. If they are over 7 months and having an "accident" they are not house broken. While it is true that some dogs can catch on to the idea at a young age and consistently relieve themselves outdoors or ask to go out, that is largely due to the owner's diligence in taking the dog our frequently and being in tune to the slightest behavior indicating the dog needs to go. A dog younger than 7 months is unable to hold it for long periods. If you work full time, the pup cannot hold it that long. Even my adult dogs that are left loose in the house while I am gone are generally never left for more than 6 hours during the day. I will be fostering a 2 1/2 year old dog that is not house broken. Current people say he is mostly house broken, but the truth is that he is still having accidents because he was never fully trained. He can hold it a long time as he is mature by now. First thing is to work to develop a set schedule/routine. This can be tough in today's world of hectic schedules but this will help stop the soiling. Start a square one and take the dog to the place where you want it to go and say something like "go potty". As soon as they go, make a big deal out of it and give a treat. If they don't go, put the dog back in it's crate and try again later. If you just let the dog out into the yard without supervision, it may play, run around and sniff, or otherwise get distracted and not do its business. Try to keep the distractions to a minimum when to take the dog to do it's job. If it starts to run around, then back in the crate. Before letting the dog, even an adult, have the run of the house or be in unattended, make sure the dog understands where it is supposed to go instead of you actually being the one who is trained to know when the dog needs to go and be hustling it out every two hours. If you have an adult dog that reverts to house soiling, it should be checked out by a vet to rule out a health issue.

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