Housebreaking your adult dog can be a stressful task. The key to successful housebreaking is consistency. Dogs are creatures of habit, and they will learn to respond to the same consistent training that you provide.
Teaching adult dogs not to mark in the house.
Adult dog marking can be controlled. The key to stopping this bad behavior is to prevent your dog from leaving his urine scent in the house. Dogs that mark in the house desire to leave their scent on carpets and furniture to “mark” these items as their territory, and, being creatures of habit, are enticed to mark in these same spots by the urine odor.
The first step to control marking behavior is to clean any areas where your dog has urinated with a product made specifically to clean and deodorize dog urine. Products such as baking soda or club soda simply won’t break down the urine and completely remove it from your carpets and furniture. Unless the urine is thoroughly removed, your dog will recognize even the smallest scent that humans can’t notice, and he will be drawn to re-mark the area. A blacklight can be used to find pet stains, and a product called Odormute will remove all traces of urine smell that can attract your dog to the same spot. Both products can be found here.
The second step in controlling marking behavior is to stop your dog from wetting in the house by preventing his opportunities to do so. Your dog should be loose in the house only when you can watch him at all times. This means that if you are busy cooking, your dog should not be allowed to go into the bedroom or any other room where you cannot watch him carefully, even for a few seconds. Many dogs are sneaky wetters, and a few unsupervised “seconds” can lead to urine marking that you might not immediately notice. Each time your dog successfully marks in the house, it reinforces this behavior and his desire to do so.
Many owners who can’t watch their dogs every minute use belly bands as a housebreaking aid to help control urine marking and train their dogs not to wet in the house. Belly bands comfortably wrap around your dog’s belly and a sanitary maxi pad is placed in the bottom of the band. When the dog tries to mark in the house, urine is absorbed by the maxi pad and carpet and furniture remain clean. Dogs cannot leave their scent or mark their territory, thus eliminating soiled areas that would attract them to re-wet in the future. Dogs dislike wetting in the band, and it serves as a constant reminder to your dog not to wet in the house. Many dogs are reliably housebroken with the use of belly bands. For those persistent wetters, belly bands help to keep homes smelling fresh and urine-free. Bellybands can be found at bellybands.net .
If you are away from home during the day, your dog should not be allowed to have unsupervised run of the house. If your dog is unsupervised and allowed to mark carpet and furniture while you are away, it will be virtually impossible to reliably housebreak him. Ideally, when you are not home, you should keep your dog in one room that has an easy-to-clean flooring such as tile. Child gates or puppy gates can be used to block off the entrance to the rest of the house and keep your dog confined to the one room. If you have a doggy door, keep your dog confined to a small area around the doggy door.
With consistency, most dogs can be successfully re-trained.
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