House-training an Adult Rescue Dog – Part 2

Aim for at least 6 breaks a day

Take him out twice in the morning (the first one should be as soon as you get up), twice during the day, and twice in the evening (one after dinner and the last one right before bedtime). After a few days, once he’s got used to the regular breaks, you can reduce it to four trips. Four bathroom breaks are the standard for adult dogs.

Be regular

Not just with your timing, but also the spot you take him to eliminate. Take him to the same spot each time – it will help reinforce the routine and he will associate that spot with doing his business. He might not like the exact spot you choose and go somewhere nearby, but try to keep the general area the same.

Lots and lots of praise

As soon as he is finished eliminating shower him with praise and even give him a treat. It is important to do it as soon as he is finished so he can make the connection of the reward with the action.

Give him some extra playtime once he is finished rather than taking him straight back inside, otherwise, he may hold on to his pee to be able to stay outdoors for longer.

Don’t punish

If your dog had an accident while you were out or in another room, don’t punish him when you see it. He won’t be able to make the association of the punishment with the action. Rather, clean the area thoroughly so the residual smell doesn’t draw him back.

If you catch him as he is in the process of elimination, startle him with a clap or shout and quickly get him outside so he can finish off. Once he is done, praise as normal.

This guide doesn’t cover dogs with special needs, so be sure to adapt and adjust accordingly.

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