While some people prefer getting cute, huggable, and adorable puppies, other people like getting a full grown dog instead. Older dogs tend to be more mature and perhaps better companions, the best friend that a human would need.
However, some people have qualms about getting an older dog because of the common notion that people cannot teach old dogs new tricks, especially potty training. But this is not actually the case, older dogs can still be potty trained with some important things in mind.
Here are some tips for potty training an older dog:
1. When potty training an older dog, your focus should be teaching the dog to eliminate outside, instead of teaching it not to eliminate inside. It is easier to teach an older dog to DO something instead of NOT DOING something.
If the dog already has an old habit of doing it inside, it would be hard to focus too much on eliminating that habit. It is rather easier to help it learn a better alternative to an old bad behavior.
2. Select a spot where you want the dog to do its business, such as a small corner in the lawn. It would be easier to potty train an older dog, if you are consistent about where you want it to poop. Going to the same place, over and over again, would help the dog learn the right place faster. It also helps if you do not clean the spot much until your dog learns to go there when it needs to go potty.
3. Use the same words in referring to potty. An older dog might get confused if you use different phrases to mean the same thing. When you want it to go potty, use the exact same phrase so that it would somehow become like a command to do the behavior you want it to do.
4. Remove every trace of potty accident inside the house. Dogs’ sense of smell are very keen and the smell of urine or excrement in your house might make it think that it is the place to go potty. Use a deodorizing cleaning solution to eliminate odors that might stick to your floors and carpets.
5. Keep your dog’s sleeping area as tight as comfortably possible. Dogs do not want potty in their sleeping quarters and by keeping the area just enough for it to sleep and, maybe, turn around, there would be no space for it to go potty. Ever morning, when the dog wakes up, take it to its regular potty place so that it would do its business there.
6. Lessen your dog’s food and water intake before it sleeps. This prevents accidents from happening because when your dog is full of water or food while sleeping, it might not have the capacity to control the call of nature.
7. Make it easy for your dog to go outside through a doggie door or leaving the back door open. If this is impractical in your area, leave a bell for your dog to reach. Take the dog out each time it rings the bell so that it would know that ringing is a signal for going out.
Whoever says you cannot teach your older dog new tricks might just be too lazy. Potty training an older dog is indeed possible if you know these tips and if you just have the right amount of patience.