A frequent complaint from dog owners is inappropriate elimination. Or, more bluntly stated, “going” at the wrong place or time. This can become unsanitary. It is also embarrassing and just downright gross whether it is urine or feces. Just what causes house soiling?
There are several things that may lead to house soiling. Three examples are improper house training, behavioral problems, or an underlying medical condition. A trip to the vet to rule out such a problem is a good idea.
If they have a problem with house soiling that cannot be fixed without a vet’s help, both you and your dog could become quite frustrated. Why waste time trying methods that will never fix the problem? Avoid this by making a quick trip to the vet to rule out any medical problems your dog may have.
Whether it is a chronic issue or an off and on again problem, never assume the dog is trying to spite you by eliminating in the house. Punishing your dog for house soiling might even reinforce the bad behavior. This is particularly true if the accident is anxiety-related. If you think this may be the case, check out this article: https://excellentdogsclub.com/how-to-help-your-dog-deal-with-their-separation-anxiety/
Attempting to make sense of a dog’s actions or emotions, expecting them to be like those of a human, is commonly done. This is called personification. But, this is not reality. Most commonly, a dog’s behavior is nowhere near as complicated as that of a person, thank goodness.
Basic Puppy Toilet Training 101
In this article, we will touch on basic house training. We will assume that there is no underlying medical cause for the house soiling.
It is important to be very patient with puppies. They have a short attention span and may not be able to tell when they need to eliminate. They might be eating or playing when an abrupt urge hits them.
It also takes a while for them to develop the muscle control needed to “Hold” their urine or stool for a more appropriate place or time. Just as you would not expect a 6 month old human baby to be potty trained, you cannot expect a 3 week old puppy to be house broken.
It is particularly discouraging when he defecates immediately upon entering the house. But, keep with it as they will catch on quickly enough. Never allow him to observe you clean up his mess and never punish him for “going” in the house.
Crate Training Is Really Effective and Here Is How To Do It
A very effective method of house breaking your puppy is with the use of a crate. This allows you to build a routine with him. Once he begins to relieve himself according to a schedule, there will be fewer problems with house soiling. The urination and bowel movements that typically occur with puppies will soon come under control.
Do your best to establish a crate routine. Try to keep the same scheduled potty times, if possible, for the duration of two weeks. Once he successfully catches on to the schedule, you may alter the times slightly. However, you can expect to find an accidental puddle if you arrive home an hour or so later than usual.
Once you have established a schedule with a reasonable pattern, you can start leaving him alone. He needs to be left in a small, safe spot which does not allow access to the rest of the house. Remove the door from the crate, and place it in the room with him to use as a bed.
You should not leave him alone for long periods of time. Stay away for less than twenty minutes initially. When you come back, take him outside to eliminate. Be sure to praise him for his good behavior.
Feeding stirs up the whole gut. Bowel movements are often triggered not long after he eats, so be sure to take him outside right after he has been fed. A bowel movement may also be prompted by playtime or lots of physical activity. Give him lots of praise and a reward (along the lines of a dog treat) to encourage him to continue making waste outside.
But, What If It Doesn’t Work?
What if he continues to have frequent accidents, eliminates inside of his crate or during the night, or if he simply cannot uphold the routine? This indicates that he may need more crate training or, possibly, he may have a medical problem. Contact your veterinarian for guidance and treatment, if necessary.
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