How to Stop Dogs from Peeing and Pooping Indoors
Housebreaking is one of the more difficult aspects of dog ownership. You take your dog outside through the day, yet you still find soiled rugs and puddles on the indoor floors. The problem is that housetraining requires a lot more consistency and positive reinforcement than what we tend to have for dogs that will not stop piddling inside. Not to worry, though-it's never too late to effectively housebreak your dog.
1. Stay on a consistent schedule with meals and outdoor walks. Dogs typically relate themselves briefly after eating, and a consistent feeding schedule helps you consistently take him outdoors at the appropriate time.
Take your dog outdoors as soon as you wake in the morning, shortly after each meal, directly before you go to bed, and a few times in between. If you see your dog sniffing the floor or circling in one spot, take him outdoors immediately.
2. Remove indoor evidence of urine and feces. Dogs are creatures of habit, and they will return to the same spot to pee or poop if they smell it on a surface. Use enzymatic cleaners to remove the odors, and try to clean the messes up as soon as they happen. Move feces to the outdoor area in which the dog should eliminate so that his scent is in that area.
3. Interrupt indoor elimination, and use positive reinforcement for outdoor elimination. It's important that you catch your dog in the act of peeing or pooping indoors. Say "no," and take him directly outdoors to the appropriate area to finish. If you find a mess after the dog left it, he will not understand that he did something wrong if you punish him after the fact. He may cower away from you when you scold him, but this is only because he senses your anger-not because he equates it with the unwanted behavior.
Praise your dog when he pees or poops outside. Dogs are naturally inclined to do whatever pleases their owner, but it's a matter of learning what exactly they're supposed to do to earn your praise. For this reason, positive reinforcement is much more effective than punishment.
4. Crate or confine the dog for short periods. If your dog tends to eliminate indoors overnight, or when you are away, encourage him to hold it by crate training him. Dogs rarely sleep their own private quarters if crated for only a few hours, especially if you walk them before and after crating.
For problems with overnight elimination, it's also helpful to limit the dog's food and water intake a few hours before bedtime.
5. Associate potty time with verbal commands. Use specific words in relation to all aspects of potty time. Say "outside" before you take the dog outdoors, and "go pee" when he pees. Then praise and reward him afterwards. This helps the dog learn exactly when he is going out and what he is supposed to do when he is out there. You can turn these verbal cues into questions and commands, as well. By combining this with the above steps, you can quickly teach your dog to stop peeing and pooping indoors.
Don’t neglect your dog! If you need training tips and help, be sure to check out our link here!