DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Housebreaking An Older Dog - Where Do You Start?

A visitor recently commented on the boyz’ impeccable toilet habits.

And then came the BIG question – “What would you recommend for my 3 Westies? They mess in the house all the time." (My thoughts – THAT must be a lot of fun to come home to!). (Pic is from

housebreaking an older dog
The Westies in this discussion are not puppies, but adult dogs. My response was based on 3 things – the experts' advice, experience, and intel gathered from dog forums.

Here are my suggestions for housebreaking an older dog:

1. Get them a checkup at the vet to rule out medical issues that may cause them to be incontinent. If you don’t, you’re wasting your time. For example, one of these dogs takes medications for seizures. Is the medication contributing to the problem?

2. In general, housebreaking an older dog parallels the process for housebreaking a puppy. Choose crate training (, paper training, or the direct method. The direct method involves keeping a watchful eye out for the obvious signs of poop or pee readiness – sniffing, circling, and squatting.

3. An older dog may have developed issues that need to be addressed a little differently. Three of these issues are separation anxiety, dogs who refuse to go outdoors during bad weather (Alvin borders on this woosie small dog syndrome), and older dogs who received inadequate housetraining; for example a shelter dog or a dog whose owner could not devote the time to housetraining.

The separation anxiety issue was addressed on a It’s Me Or The Dog TV show (animal Planet). A Dobermann would pee as soon as his male owner walked out the door. The owner’s wife kept a large mop by the front door. Victoria Stilwell addressed the anxiety problem and the peeing stopped. No – it ain’t magic, although it does seem that way when the problem is solved in an hour-long show. The important point here is the expertise of a dog behaviorist.

4. You will need a step by step procedure to implement and you need to stick to it without deviation. Illustrations are mandatory as well as a well-laid out easy understandable approach.

So, you can search the net and learn from any quack who happens to have an opinion about housebreaking an older dog, OR you can learn from the experts at Kingdom Of Pets. The online book is called The Ultimate HouseTraining Guide, and you can buy it (no, it’s not expensive) by clicking the picture shown below.

If by chance you should have additional issues with your adult dog (excessive barking, chewing, jumping, aggression toward other dogs, etc) – you might opt for the big kahuna - the Kingdom of Pets bible called Secrets To Dog Training (click the title to find out more). This uses DVDs, case studies, and represents the collective expertise of dog trainers with hundreds of years of experience.

I wished my visitor the best of luck with her Westies and congratulated myself for devoting the time and energy to housetraining the boyz when they were pups!