Housetraining an Older Dog


I have a 4 year old male toy fox terrier-chihuahua that apparently was never potty trained correctly. He has found a spot in my bedroom against the wall and onto the carpet to lift his leg. I have tried to watch him, also spanked him when I caught him at it. The frustrating thing is that he has a doggie door right off the master bath. I need some suggestions how to deal with this. Also, how to get the stains out of the carpet? I have even tried spraying a repellent there, but that's not working either.
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Betty from Shelton, WA

Answers:

Housetraining an Older Dog

You should train a dog without using physical punishment. You're going to have to train him as if he was a pup since the previous people didn't train him well. It takes consistency and effort. If you aren't there during the day, block him off in the kitchen where there's no carpet (I assume). If you are there during the day, take him out every hour. Big praise and a treat every time he goes. Food is a huge motivator for a dog. He will catch on. Remember he has 4 years of not being trained to catch up on. It's not his fault. It's the idiots who had him before. Clean the carpet with an oxygen based cleaner, especially the spot he likes. It's natural for them to go back and mark the same spot. Just be patient and he'll learn. And good for you for adopting an adult dog. But as you see, it can have it's challenges. Been there done that, more than once.

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By Vic

Housetraining an Older Dog

Take a few days, preferably a weekend and spend all the time with him. When he gets ready to mark or wet on an area, take him out, no scolding, or spanking. Then praise his when he does well. He will learn to love the praise and look forward to it. The spanking only makes them more rebellious, and confuses them. Kindness and consistency are the best ways to do housebreaking at any age.

By Sue

Housetraining and Older Dog

Please DO NOT spank or hit your dog with ANYTHING! Your dog will not respond well to being hit and I guarantee your dog certainly won't be housebroken this way either! You are creating either fear or aggression in your dog by hitting him. I use only positive reinforcement in training and it starts with YOU. My new puppy arrived last night and I began right away teaching her how to potty outside. Your dog isn't a pup but apparently was never trained to 'go' outside. Also, if you dog isn't neutered, he will lift his leg more than a dog who is. If you just aquired your dog recently, he may be trying to show you his dominance by 'marking' his territory. This is unacceptable. With ALL dogs, YOU must take leadership and stop this behavior.

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Assuming your dog is in good health and has no bladder or incontinence issues, you need to buy a book or read online how to housebreak your dog. It takes patience, praise and consistency on YOUR part to train your dog. Behavior problems are the number one reason why dogs die. If you don't have the patience to teach your dog, hire a trainer. To rid the smells, any place that sells dog products carry an odor eliminator. Use it in all the places your dog marks. As far as stains, there are products for that as well. Remember, all dogs need leadership and if YOU don't take the role, your dog WILL.

Housetraining an Older Dog

NEVER EVER hit your dog. Don't use your hand or anything else in a threatening manner. Not only could you possibly create a fearful or aggressive dog, the only thing you are teaching him is to fear peeing in front of you. Now he will go and hide somewhere to pee and you will find out later when you smell it. There is no reason to spank your dog for doing something he was never trained NOT to do. Assuming your dog is healthy and neutered and depending on how long you have had your dog, I would say that you need to teach your dog how to do his business outdoors.

An intact male dog is more likely to lift his leg and 'mark' his territory than a sterile dog. Also, your dog could be showing dominance. He's telling you that he doesn't respect you because you aren't in charge. Neuter your dog, train him to go potty outside, clean up the carpet with a cleaner at any dog store and learn how to be a leader for your dog. If you don't know how, hire a trainer. Dogs need leadership and if you don't assume the role, your dog will. Please don't hit your dog.

By ldyharley

Housetraining an Older Dog

Hi: I also would suggest crating your dog when you cannot watch him. The above tips are really good as well. I rescue dogs and have found positive reinforcements with food, patience and lots of praise wonderful motivators too. Good Luck!

By Dawn in Austin, TX

Housetraining an Older Dog

You said you have a dog door to the outside and he does not use it, correct? I believe I would shorten his world by crating him and make him use the dog door. Dogs will not mess where they sleep. If you make his world smaller by putting him in the crate, he will be forced to use the dog door to go outside. For every time you see he has gone out, or has gone for hours without messing his space, praise him. AS for the smell where he has been already, try vinegar to remove the stain and baking soda to neutralize the smell. Good luck!

By Jackie

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