From time to time the pet parents we pet sit for ask about potty training. As many of you know we are big fans of rescuing pets. And with the fostering or adoption of rescue pets, potty training can be an issue you will need to address. This was certainly true with Daisy Mae. Fortunately any age dog can be potty trained by a loving, consistent pet parent.
When Daisy Mae adopted us she had not yet been house trained. So, we set about teaching her all the house rules. (She has taught us a few since then…BOL). First of all we fed her in her crate. The food bowl enticed her in and helped her learn to love her crate. After eating we put her on a leash and took her outside to potty. We gave her the “go potty” command and waited patiently until she did her business. Then we praised her and petted her and loved on her and gave her a cookie (that’s what we call dog biscuits or treats). When we returned inside we kept the leash attached to Daisy Mae and to one of us. With one exception we kept our eyes on her to make sure she did not have an opportunity to leave any “deposits” for us. That one time somebody’s back was turned and she managed to do her business inside!! Every hour or so we would take her outside for another potty opportunity. If she did not potty we put her back in her crate again (with a cookie enticement). Every time we brought her out of her crate we returned outside for potty time. After each meal time or play time or nap time we took her outside for her potty time. The key was full attention on Daisy Mae. She was either tethered to one of us or in her crate with the door shut. In a matter of weeks she was beautifully potty trained! Now she is allowed to freely roam the house when we are home. She always gives us a quiet little bark when she needs or just wants to go outside. Upon returning inside she hurries into her crate waiting on a cookie. When we have to be gone she either lounges in the “Dog’s Palace” or rests quietly in her big wicker crate in our bedroom. Trooper came to us trained to a doggie door so only needed a little training reinforcement. When we are gone he either hangs out in the “Dog’s Palace” or rests quietly in his large crate in the den. All our dogs are hunters, so they will hunt. Only our senior Luke is allowed full run of the house when we are not home. Eventually Daisy Mae and Trooper will have that prvilege, just when they get a little more age and self control. If you want to read more about these techniques we heartily recommend Barron’s Dog Training Bible by Andrea Arden. If you need hands on training we recommend you consult with a professional dog trainer. A good place to start is with reviewing the information on the web page of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. http://www.apdt.com/. Please review their information on choosing a professional dog trainer as not all trainers in their directory subscribe to their philosophy of using humane, science based training methods. Finally, for those alomst inevitable potty accidents we recommend you use one of the enzymatic cleaners that are sold in pet supply stores. We have found Nature’s Miracle to be effective.
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