Dealing with Dog House Training Accidents

Dog house training accidents can be very discouraging. Many dog owners are surprised that their dog can go so long without an accident and then suddenly have one. Many experts say that a dog is not trained until he goes three weeks without an accident. If it's in the first stage of training your dog, an accident means you have to start the clock back at the beginning. This can lead to anger and an impulsive reaction in the moment. Those kinds of reactions can actually sabotage the training or worse, damage your relationship with your dog and lead to more serious behavioral issues. Here are some ways to handle dog house training accidents in a way that will lead to greater success with the training, while maintaining a positive rapport with your animal.

Learn before You React

One of the best tools in raising a dog is education. If your dog is having accidents, take it as an opportunity to learn more about house training versus blaming your dog and becoming more stern. Your local pound or dog shelter often will provide great information for free.

Stay Calm

Yelling at your dog will only make him more afraid of you. It will also make him more anxious, and anxiety can lead to more accidents as well as other behavioral problems. You can assert your authority without yelling or ranting.

React Quickly

The best way to curb eliminating in the house is to catch your dog in the act. Interrupt him with a loud and harsh sound that is annoying but not scary. The sound should be quick and sharp, like a harsh vocalization or shaking a jar of pennies.

Take Your Dog out Immediately

After you have caught him in the act, lead your dog outside or to a designated elimination spot. Make it a consistent spot each time, as much as you can. Taking him outside if you are at another house or building will still teach him that outside is better than inside.

Reward Proper Elimination

Even if you just caught him mid-accident, reward him the minute he produces even the tiniest waste outside. Speak positively and offer his favorite treat if you have it. Then return to normal with your dog. If you act angry or sullen, your dog won't know why and he'll just become anxious and worried. He might even become aggressive in response to your anger.

Reacting Post Accident

If you don't catch your dog in the act, but find the evidence of an accident later, you have to let it go. Shaming your dog or making him smell his accident will only make him feel afraid to eliminate in front of you. Clean it up with a pet cleaner that will eliminate all trace of smell and try to keep your dog away from that spot.

While dog house training accidents can be challenging, they present an opportunity for training and reinforcement of positive behaviors. They are also a normal part of dog house training for every dog.