Congratulations on your adoption of an adult rescue dog! Far too many adult dogs spend their later years in a shelter, unwanted and unloved, so it is always so special when someone takes one home.
A benefit of adopting an adult dog is that their personality is already developed, so you know what you are getting. One of the difficulties though with an adult – especially one that has been in a shelter for a while – is house training your new furry friend. Even if he is just moving from one home to another, he still has to get used to a new home and new routine.
Here are some steps to help you train your adult dog with the minimum amount of stress (on you and your pup).
Take some time off
Your pup will need to go out for midday breaks, so ideally you will take off a few days from work. If you are not able to, you could hire a dog walker for a few days.
Use a crate from day one
As soon as you bring your dog home, use a crate for sleeping. This crate training will only be for a few days or up to a week until he is fully house trained.
Not only will sleeping in a crate help him feel safe and secure, dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping area. This will help with teaching him bladder and bowel control.
The crate must big enough so your can dog can lie comfortably, stand up, and turn around, but not big enough so he can relieve himself in one corner.
Put the crate in a high-traffic area in your home so your pup feels part of the family. Remember – you aren’t keeping him in the crate 24-7. Take him out a lot for walks, play time, training, and just some bonding. Don’t keep your dog in for longer than his bladder or bowels can hold – otherwise, you are making it harder on both him and you.