Does anyone have advice on how I can train my dogs to go to the bathroom outside 100% of the time? My male is fully trained, but my two females sometimes sneak to another room to do their business. I let them out often, but sometimes as soon as I let them in they will go off and poop in the house. I am expecting a baby in four months and desperately need to get this under control. Please help!
Kristina from Ontario, Canada
We had 2 Poodles who would poop inside every night when I was a teenager. I hated waking up in the morning to clean their mess! We figured they did it there because the previous owner's dog used the same spot as their very own private "back yard", so the smell was already there (down inside the carpet padding) when we moved in to the home. (This is most likely why I've never had the inclination to own a dog). I don't have the total answer, but I believe part of the answer is to remove the smell, because most animals are ruled by their noses and smell oriented. Also, remember, just because you can't smell "their calling card", doesn't mean they can't.
Here's what I'd do as a good starting point: Buy an enzyme based spot and odor neutralizer like "OUT!" (Walmart $4.79). It has a light vanilla scent and comes in a spray bottle. Once you have the odor totally removed from the carpeting or floor, your problem will be half way solved. You'll now have to get the dog psychology information from someone who knows more than me!
For complete directions how to remove all traces of pet odors, read my post here:
PS. Worse case scenario, you may have to remove the rugs to re-train your dog. (05/05/2008)
After completely cleaning the area that they are using, place their food dish on top of the area. Animals will not "potty" where they eat. Keep feeding them in that area for a few days, then slowly move the dish. This is the only way I could break my Dad's rotten little mixed breed from using the carpet. (05/05/2008)
Go out with them, take them to the same spot and praise, praise, praise when they get it right. Take them the same time always as a regular thing. Dogs like a happy owner, and if they should make a mistake in the beginning ignore it. Soon they will look forward to happy time. It worked with my dogs. A little more work I know, but you want to get them trained. (05/06/2008)
Ok, NellieMary is totally on the right track. Another addition to her idea is when they "have an accident" in the house, tell them "No" firmly, but gently (do not rub their nose in it!). Take the "leavings" outside where you want them and show the dogs where it is, and then praise them for the "stuff" being outside. Learned this from a very stubborn English Pointer puppy. :) (05/07/2008)
When I trained my dog to do her business outside I used newspaper inside, and when we went outside I brought the newspaper outside with us. Worked great and only took a week. Good luck. (05/07/2008)
First off, it's useless and counterproductive, actually, to discipline your dogs after they mess in the house. The only time to say a firm "No" is if you catch them in the act. Don't get angry, and take them immediately outside if you catch them in the act. If you come home to the mess, try not to react, take them outside and clean it up without them seeing you. You don't want them to associate the mess they made with you speaking to them, giving them attention, etc.
Getting rid of the smell with an enzyme cleaner is a good idea, and moving the food dish to that area can work if they have one area they seem to be doing their messes in.
Educate yourself about positive reinforcement training, especially as it relates to house training. There are lots of websites with tips, and a great book (and website) to start with is Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog." It will help you with all your dog behavior needs.
NOTE: I recommend you begin to childproof your dogs in preparation for bringing your baby home. There is too much to go into here, but a great book to start with (check to see if your library has it or can get it) is "Childproofing Your Dog: A Complete Guide to preparing your dog for the children in your life" by Brian Kilcommons. It has great advice and it's not too long or hard to understand. It's in simple, easy to follow, language and it's well-organized so you can find the information you are looking for. (05/08/2008)
Oh, and I forgot to add that sometimes some dogs are fussy about doing their business if the spot has poop in it already. So make sure the area is pretty free from poop. (05/08/2008)
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