Pee and Poop…what to do about it when things go wrong!

Getting a puppy is a wonderful thing.  Teaching your pup that the correct place to relive himself is outside is relatively simple, But there is a lot of misinformation out there and this can go horribly wrong.   Dogs that go for two hour walks and without a pee or poop and then come into the house and immediately “go”.   It is so frustrating.  Then there are those that hide themselves away in the basement or a bedroom and you have no idea that a mess is lurking waiting for someone to step in it. The damage to floors and carpets can be considerable. In some cases a replacement floor is required.

Sometime you have rescued a dog from a puppy mill where they lived their whole life in a crate. So the crate training method of house training does not work., because the dog is perfectly happy doing his business in the crate.

Also the dog is usually older so that the behavior has been established.

Old fashioned approaches to this problem go from the ineffective to outright abuse. One of the enduring tactics is rubbing the nose in the offending mess. This does nothing more than make the dog afraid of you, and unlikely to relax enough to relive himself when you are present.

So what to do?  It is a combo of what not to do and what to do!  First thing to do is to establish a feeding and watering   schedule.   This will encourage the elimination of waste to also be on schedule.  If your dog has been used to having food available at all time then allow the food to be down an hour or so, and then remove until the next feeding time.    The next thing is to put a leash on the dog and tie him to you. You need only to do this for 2 to 4 days.  Even the most reluctant dog will eventually have to relive themselves and that is your opportunity. Under no circumstances should the dog be punished.  If you see the dog starting then you just say OOPS! And quickly get them outside.  Then reward with a high value reward, such as real meat or cheese, if even a tiny bit or pee or poop appears.   Take them out frequently and it does help to clean up any mess inside and put it outside where you would like the dog to go.  At night crate the dog except those dogs who have messed in the crate before.  Those dog keep on the leash and tie them in the bedroom.  This regime is only for a couple of days then you continue the schedule of outside visits. It is crucial that you continue to reward within 3 seconds of going pee or poop for a couple of weeks.  Do not stand at the door watching, you need to be beside your dog so you can reward at the correct moment.  It will not take long for the dog to realise that “holding it in” until the nest trip outside means that they get a very tasty reward.

I usually use the dried liver treats for this training.. you can get yours here