Potty training an older dog may seem like a daunting task. Unlike a puppy, an adult canine may have already developed bad habits, but housebreaking one is not impossible. That’s right, your older dog can still be toilet trained! Here’s how.

photo1. Choose a specific potty spot, such as a corner of your backyard or in front of a tree in your yard. Wherever it is, always take your pet to the same spot every single time. Grown dogs respond well to consistency.

2. Pick a verbal command. “Go potty” is a good example. Each time you take your dog outside, say the command. Older dogs can be very receptive to commands during potty training, but it may take them a while to learn it. After some time, your pooch will be able to relieve himself on cue.

3. Monitor food and drink. When toilet training an older dog, it’s your responsibility to anticipate when he’ll need to do his business. You can do this better if you keep an eye on his food and drink. Take your pet outside about 15-30 minutes after he eats or drinks.

If he has an accident before you get him outdoors, note down how much time has passed. For instance, if it has been only 10 minutes since he has had some water, you’ll want to take him to his potty spot sooner next time.

4. Do not resort to punishment. Canines respond much better to positive reinforcement than discipline. If your dog has an accident inside the house, don’t say anything. Simply take him outside to the designated potty spot and say “go potty” (or whatever command you chose). This will remind him that he shouldn’t go indoors. Eventually, he’ll understand what you’re trying to tell him.

5. If your dog is male, consider neutering him. Housetraining can be more difficult with an adult male that isn’t neutered, as he may not be able to resist marking his territory. Neutering can help with this problem.

Remember to be very patient at all times. Toilet training an older dog usually takes longer than with a puppy because there may be certain habits that need to be corrected, but the rewards will be well worth it. Also, give your pooch some time to adjust to his new environment; moving can be stressful for dogs.

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