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How to Housetrain Your Dog

Are you struggling to get your inside dog to use the restroom like they should? Do you find yourself constantly cleaning up after them and wondering how to successfully housetrain your pet? Here are some tips that can help you get the problem under control. Keep in mind that it’s easier to housetrain dogs from an early age, when they’re not accustomed to spending most of their time outside and doing their business wherever they like.

Create a Bathroom Routine

You want to give your dog plenty of chances to go outside and use the restroom. They will feel compelled to urinate and defecate inside your home if they don’t have any opportunity to go outside to do it. What are the best times to take your dog outside to urinate? You should take your dog out as soon as they wake up, after they eat, and before they go to bed. It’s a good idea to take your dog outside as frequently as every two hours when you are first potty training them.

Create a Command Word

You want to figure out a word that you can use to make an association between the word and your dog urinating and defecating. Every time you take your dog outside to use the restroom, use this command word. Also use it whenever you see them urinating outside.

Make sure you only use this word when you want your dog to urinate, so choose something that’s not very commonly said around the house. If you’re successful in creating proper association between the command and urination, then your dog will be able to urinate on command. If you’ve ever heard of the Pavlov’s bell experiment, you understand how this is supposed to work, where one action causes another action because of the association that is created in the mind.

Choose a Specific Spot for Urination

You should have a spot picked out outdoors where your dog is supposed to use the restroom. This should be an out-of-the-way place, and you want to take your dog to that spot every time you want them to urinate. Just like with the command word, you are trying to create an association. This should become their spot where the dog recognizes that they are supposed to pee. If you are successful, they should refuse to pee almost anywhere else unless they really need to.

This only works if you bring them to the spot at a time when they need to pee. Make sure you take them often enough so that they don’t feel the compulsion to pee anywhere else.

To ensure that they use the correct spot, you should wait to take them for a walk or play with them until they do their business there. You can take them for a small walk perhaps, but wait on taking the dog for longer walks until they have done what they are supposed to. This creates the proper stimuli so that they know what is expected of them before they can get what they want.

Reward Your Dog for Success

Every time your dog successfully uses the restroom in the right place and at the right time, you should reward them. This tells your dog that you are happy with their performance. Be consistent with the reward during the early stages of housetraining. If you aren’t, then you will confuse your pet.

You do not have to keep on rewarding them every time they urinate correctly, after they have been doing it for a while. After some time, they will no longer need the reward to keep doing the right behavior. However, you should show your appreciation and pleasure to them by talking kindly to them when they have done the correct behavior. Keep the positive association going so that they will keep doing what they are supposed to.

Prepare to Clean Up a Lot at First

It is not easy to housetrain most dogs. There will be some trial and error, especially if you are working with an older dog or you are not able to be around all the time to work with them.

Your dog will likely leave some messes in the house from time to time, and you may not be able to get rid of the smell or stain on your own. It may be necessary to hire a cleaning service if the problem gets bad enough. Once you have your dog properly trained, that won’t be an issue, but until then, make sure you have cleaning supplies on hand and be prepared to clean up messes quickly, as soon as they happen. Otherwise, the stain will set and it will be harder to get rid of completely.

Be Consistent in Everything

There are a few areas of your dog’s life where you need to be consistent if you are going to successfully house train your pet:

Feeding- Make sure you feed your dog at the same time each day. This creates a schedule for their body so that they will be able to use the restroom as they should and in a consistent manner. If you confuse their feeding schedule, you will confuse your dog’s bodily functions, and they may have a harder time peeing where they are supposed to.

Outside Time- Make sure you take your dog outside at about the same time each day. Give them a chance to urinate, and don’t come back inside too soon. You definitely want to keep this as consistent as possible during the early stages of housetraining.

Water- Make sure that your dog has access to clean water and then take that water away at consistent times. You don’t want your dog drinking water during the night if they have trouble peeing outdoors consistently. Be sure to provide water at mealtime, as that is when they are most likely going to want water.

If you can keep up with all of this we covered, you should be able to housetrain your dog successfully.

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