Adopting an Older Dog: Housetraining Tips

An older dog may not be a young pup anymore, but that doesn't mean they won't make an endearing companion with zeal and curiosity who can be trained to make a good fit in your home.

If you have recently adopted an older dog, there may be issues that you were not aware of at first.

One major issue is that your adult dog is not house trained. One of the reasons for this could be that they were never trained or lived indoors. They may have had to go for a long time on concrete, in their pen, or even in their crate. Adult dogs, fortunately, learn potty training faster than puppies.

First, rule out any medical issues

There are a variety of medical issues that could cause your dog to have house accidents. As your dog ages, this becomes a common issue. If your adult dog was previously house trained but has begun to relieve themselves inside, he or she may benefit from a visit to the veterinarian.

Accidents in dogs caused by brain diseases can occur in a random pattern. If your dog is passing stool in the house, they may be experiencing elimination issues. In these cases, keep an eye on your dog's stool consistency as well as the frequency or infrequency with which they defecate.

If your dog suddenly starts having accidents in the house, this could be a sign of a more serious medical problem. If these issues persist, you should take your pet to the veterinarian. Early diagnosis can save you and your dog a lot of stress and embarrassment.

House Soiling Caused by Behaviour

If all medical causes have been ruled out and your dog is still having accidents in the house, there could be a behavioral cause. Among the various behavioral reasons that may exist are:

  • Lack of House Training
  • Incomplete House Training
  • Breakdown in House Training
  • A Surface Preference
  • Anxiety
  • Fear of Going Outside
  • Dislike of Cold or Rainy Conditions
  • Urine Marking
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Submissive/Excitement Urination

What Can Be Done to Solve the Problem

Treatment for a lack of house training. Your dog may not have been completely trained to go outside. They may lose their house training as they grow older. Create a schedule for them to follow so they know when to go out. If your dog is used to going on certain surfaces, try taking those surfaces outside.

Treat the medical or behavioral cause of the house soiling. Understanding the underlying cause will help you train with compassion. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise and time outside. If you've recently relocated, this can help them feel at ease.

Helpful Tips. Be gentle with your dog. It is possible that they will require some time to adjust to new surfaces. Pay attention to your dog's cues that he needs to go potty. Allow plenty of time for your dog to play outside. During potty breaks, they sniff and investigate their surroundings. They may require more time to decide where to use the restroom. Take them out on a regular basis so that they have plenty of opportunities to go.

Training on Paper. Paper training your dog is not advised unless there is a compelling reason to do so. One of the reasons could be that your new adult dog is only accustomed to going to the bathroom on paper. This should only be a temporary solution while your dog is being housebroken.

House Soiling Types

There could be a variety of causes for your adult dog peeing inside. House soiling can occur in a variety of ways, including:

  • Instead of grass, they are applied to specific surfaces such as concrete or paper.
  • They are terrified of going outside.
  • They are afraid to go outside because of the weather.
  • They suffer from severe anxiety, which causes them to have accidents indoors.

What to Avoid

If you discover an accident in the house, do not punish your dog or use harsh treatment. Rubbing their nose or yelling at them will only make your dog fearful of you. There is nothing productive about hitting or scolding your dog after the accident is over. Negative punishment is far more likely to cause psychological harm than good.

Your adult dog may already have negative associations with people or the environment. They may also have behavioral issues, which contribute to the accidents. It is critical to be patient and to only use positive reinforcement when training your dog.

Remember to be Patient 

Older dogs may require more time to adjust to their surroundings, so it is up to you to make them feel safe and secure. Your new dog may feel insecure at first and require a safe haven, such as a crate or his bed. It is recommended to give your dog plenty of time to settle in and relax.

When it comes to adding a new family member, age is just a number. A senior dog will have plenty of love to give to the right family; all it takes is a little planning to properly support an older furry friend. Patience and love will help your new old dog successfully transition to its new home with you.

While bringing home an older dog will always be difficult, welcoming a new dog into the family is a joyous feeling. We hope this guide has helped you decide whether or not to adopt an older dog.

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