general guidelines will help you get through the
1. You should start over as if the dog was never
trained in the first place. Use preventative measure
to establish good toilet habits—you should
not wait for the dog to signal! Most puppies/dogs
will have to eliminate in the morning when they
wake up, 15-20 minutes after eating, after any vigorous
play period, and after napping. Keep a calendar
and record the time of each success and mistake.
You may notice a pattern that will help you plan.
2. Feed at set times (adult dogs two times per day;
puppies three times a day). Do not vary the schedule.
Place the food down for 15 minutes. The dog should
be fed in a quiet atmosphere with no interruptions.
If the dog does not eat, remove the food. The dog
will be hungry at the next feeding. It is very normal
for a dog to miss a feeding or two. If you are concerned
you should contact a veterinarian for further advice
3. Feed a high-quality pet supply food and do not
vary it. Fixed formula diets that are purchased
at a pet store are more expensive, but can really
help during the housetraining period. Higher quality
foods are more digestible and have less filler.
This means your dog won't have to go as often and
droppings are smaller. Table scraps or treats should
not be fed during housetraining unless it is immediately
after the dog has successfully eliminated outside.
Treats should not be given at any other time.
4. The dog should be taken out to his toilet area
at set times. You should stay out with him and chant
in a low tone of voice, “do your business”
over and over until the dog starts to eliminate.
Afterwards use lots of praise for a job well done!
You should only stand outside with the dog for 3-5
5. If the dog does not go while outside, he should
not be given free run of the house unless you have
your eyes on the dog 100% of the time. Many dogs
will sneak away and eliminate as soon as you become
involved in something. If the dog cannot be watched,
he should be confined to a small area or placed
in a crate. You may also tie the dog to your belt
so that the dog has to follow you. This is called
umbilical cording. If the dog starts to eliminate
you will be right there to take him outside. (More
information can be found under crate training.)
6. Clean up accidents with a product designed to
remove urine odor. Do not let the puppy/dog see
you clean up the mess. NEVER scold or take the puppy/dog
to that spot and shove his nose in it. This will
only confuse him further.
7. Be vigilant with your dog's routine. The dog
has not earned the right to have freedom unsupervised
in the house. Crate training and umbilical cording
will help them establish communication. If you can
be very consistent for two weeks, you should notice
a dramatic improvement.
If you would
like to work with a Wisconsin Humane Society behaviorist
one-on-one regarding this behavior topic, please
call 414-431-6173 to schedule a consultation.