Adult dog housebreaking is not as difficult or daunting as it may appear at first. Housebreaking may be required for an adult dog in case he has been adopted from a shelter, or has simply not been housetrained before. Frequent house moves and changes in his environment can also create a need for regulation.
House breaking your adult dog will require patience and praise. These two P's will help you to effectively train your dog and avoid accidents and mishaps at home. In the initial weeks once you bring your dog home, The first few weeks after you bring your dog home, assume that he is not house trained and start his training like you would for a pup.
Training Your Adult Dog
Set up a routine - Stick to timings for your dog's meals and walks. Usually your dog will want to go out when you wake in the morning and once before you retire for the night. After you get back home from work, he may want to stretch himself a bit too. Keeping his meal times fixed will also help your dog regularise the time when he needs to eliminate.
Treats and praise - Keep your dog motivated and enthused while his training is on. You will also be using this initial time to establish the dynamics of your relationship. At this stage, he will be listening to and correlating sounds, words and actions. Be generous with your praise whenever he eliminates outside or at the spot you have decided for him. It is always best to praise him when he is in the act so that he associates the praise correctly. Same goes for treats. Treats should be given outside the house and not once he is back in, as he will erroneously connect the act of coming home with the treats. Positive training with appreciation and love always works as against punishments and disapproval.
Marking the spot - When you wipe up after an accident, place the dirty cloth or rags at the spot you want your dog to start using. The scent will draw him there and he will be encouraged to eliminate there.
Using repeated words - Use the same words, for example, " Potty Time" or " Poo Poo", every time he is in the act of eliminating. In time, he will understand what you are asking him to do whenever you say it.
Keep watch - If your dog has already soiled the house, you will have lost an opportunity to train him. Keep an eye on him at all times so that you too start understanding the cues he gives when he needs to eliminate. Typically, he may start circling a place or sniffing loudly. If you see these signs, immediately take him out or to his spot. Supervision on your part will accelerate his training process and reduce incidents of household soiling.
Confinement - It may not always be possible for you to supervise your new dog. In case you are going out or are busy, it is preferable to confine your dog. The confinement should be in a small area with space for your dog to sit, stretch out and turn around in. A section of a room or a dog crate can be used for this. The paucity of space will discourage him from eliminating there. When you release him from this space, take him outside immediately.
Dog training can be very satisfying once you see the results. An adult dog can learn quickly and once he has bonded with you, he will prove to be an ideal companion and play mate.