House Training Adult Dogs

If you welcome an adult dog into your home and she isn’t house trained properly, forget paper training and go straight to the outdoors. Train her the same way you would a puppy – by routine and prevention. The only difference between an untrained adult dog and a puppy is that an adult dog can hold her bladder for much longer.

Take your adult dog to the same spot outdoors morning, night and after meals and wait with her while she does her business. When she’s indoors, keep your eye on her as much as possible. If you catch her sniffing about or just about to go, make a loud, distracting noise and take her outside. When you can’t watch her, confine her to a small space, such as a crate, the laundry or bathroom.

New Home, Old Smells:
If you bring a new adult dog to your home and you owned a dog before her, you might not be aware that your first dog before, you might not be aware that your first dog leaked some urine on the carpet here and there, which soaked through to he padding underneath.

Despite your best house-training efforts, your new dog will be attached to the odor only she can detect, and will think its okay to use the living room rug as her bathroom. Inexpensive UV lights available at hardware stores can reveal urine spots you can’t see but your dog can smell – under the lights they will glow bright green. To convince her that the carpet is off limits, keep her out of that room and call in a professional carpet – cleaning company to steam clean the carpet and replace the padding underneath.

Moving Confusion:
A move to another house can sometimes confuse your adult dog. She hasn’t established her scent there yet and may want to mark her territory by urinating in the entire wrong place. If this becomes a persistent problem, put her food dish next to her favorite new spots. Dogs don’t like to soil the places where they eat and sleep.

Occasional Mistakes:
Sometimes a dog you’ve owned for years may suddenly have an accident in the house. Perhaps she was too distracted or excited when she was outside to concentrate on going to the bathroom. Maybe she wanted to get back in for her dinner or to greet a special visitor. Unless the act is repeated, consider it an isolated incident. If it continues, retrain her as you did when she was a puppy.

If a visitors bring an adult dog over to play with your dog, this might trigger a urinating contest in the house and your dog may be prompted to return to those spots long after her playmate goes home. If possible, let the games stay outdoors. Don’t let the visiting dog inside the house unless you can watch both dogs constantly, or they are crated.

Getting Older:
Your senior dog is starting to leave puddles around the house. She’s normally so fastidious, but now that she’s getting on in years she’s becoming a little incontinent and can’t always wait to get outside to use the restroom

The best thing you can do is to quietly mop up the mess and visit the vet for a checkup. If she could help it, she wouldn’t be doing it, so this is not the time to reprimand her.

“There are several medical problems that might cause this,” says Karen Martin, D.V.M., a veterinarian in private practice in thousand Oaks, California. These include diabetes, gallstones, urinary tract infection and, more commonly, memory loss. “It’s wise to have the dog evaluated by a veterinarian and be in a position to make choices regarding treatments or changes in diet that can help.”