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Training a Dog That Was Abused

I recently rescued a Pit Bull from someone that wasn't treating him right. He is about 1 year and 6 months old and had no training at all. My question is how do I house train a dog that is that old? He also was an outside dog.


By woodboi from Orlando, FL


Training a Dog That Was Abused

Take your dog outdoors at regular intervals and to the same place for potty training. An older dog it might take more time to train, but it will finally catch on to the idea. Rubbing noses in their accidents is not a good practice, so please avoid doing this. There's a lot of info on the 'net these days that can provide lots of good ideas how to deal with a dog's potty training techniques.

By Lorelei

Training a Dog That Was Abused

Get a bag of treat biscuits. Break them in smaller pieces. Take dog out on leash for walk or outside [around the block is fine] every 15 minutes the first few days. If dog pees or goes potty, reward with food, pats, and a hug.

The reason for going out every 15 minutes, is to catch the need to go potty. Talk to dog in explaining and loving voice, that this is much better. After dog has had couple of successes, go every 20 minutes. It's clear that the one needing this kind of initiative is you at first, but it is so worth it. Just take dog where you would expect it to go, of course taking plastic bag for stuff cleanup. You don't want the neighbors yelling at the dog, it already feels the world hates it.


Wipe down any spots in the house where there's been an accident with white vinegar. That's a great cheap deodorizer.

If you have cable, watch the Dog Whisperer as much as possible; he works with abused dogs and has the greatest ideas and solutions. Cesare, I think is his name. (02/22/2010)


Training a Dog That Was Abused

That is a wonderful idea about the little pieces of treats. I use hotdogs for marker training. I like to say: "Lets go outside", and then singingly go out the door and wander around the yard and wait for the event to happen. When it does, praise.

The hot dog pieces are for getting him to like going to the door. I like to say "Lets go outside", and then go to the door and throw a little piece of hot dog out into the grass. He should like to eat it and before long will associate outside with a reward.


Don't forget all animals have to pee and poop at certain times, after meals, after naps, after exercising, when they are sniffing around and squatting. Keep a little bit of a homemade leash on his collar so you can grab him happily and go out.

It should be a fun time, no rubbing noses or anything other than a disgusted "no" in a firm yet excited voice, then you take him to the door and go outside and wait to praise.

There is the crate method that works, but I can't stand all the noise.

Here is some excellent material on training, the more you know the more successful you will be.

Have fun researching and make training a bonding experience. Here is a great gem to learn, "the target after a correction". When you have had to correct the dog, such as getting into the trash, it is good that he comes to your hand for being loved up on.


To do this, get the hot dog pieces, small enough to swallow in one bite. Plan to spend some relaxed time. Hold your hand palm out and when he comes toward you and touches your hand with his nose, this is the desired behavior. Click with your mouth and mark the behavior quickly by dropping a piece of hot dog. Then say "good boy!". Some dogs have to be rewarded just for coming near you and then the reward is delayed a bit longer until he is even closer and then eventually until he is touching your palm.

One of my dogs I did this with, he must target a hundred times a day. Of course after this is learned the happy praise and patting take the place of the food. Do this about twenty times and soon the dog will realize that when you hold out your hand, it means to come to you and good things like loving him will happen.


Have fun. (02/23/2010)

By Robyn Fed

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