How To Toilet Train An Adopted Dog
Guest blog by Rina Jamie
For animal lovers, adopting a pet is one of the most fulfilling experiences there is. Dogs are especially popular when it comes to pet adoption, and it is no surprise why. Not only are dogs fun and great companions, but they can also make our lives better. In fact, survey results reported on US News show that pets have provided pet owners with emotional and physical support, reducing stress and promoting movement.
However, as we discussed in our post “How To Help Homeless Animals In Your Community”, adopting a pet is not always a walk in the park—pun intended. There are a unique set of challenges that owners will face when adopting their dog, such as potty training. This can be especially tricky for adopted dogs to learn later on in life, especially if they have already experienced bad training or trauma.
Why is potty training so important?
Living in harmony with an adopted pup involves instilling discipline, especially when it comes to using the bathroom. Not only does this teach your dog good habits but it also safeguards, you, your family, and your surroundings. According to Rose Seemann's "The Pet Poo Pocket Guide", not many pet owners are aware of just how much waste their pet creates and how damaging it can be when improperly managed. This is true even if your pet does its business outside. Remember, any poop left outside can enter the air, water, and soil. Now, while some people think this harmless, dog poop has been found to be responsible for up to 50% of air bacteria and 30% of water bacteria in several states.
Conversely, when your pooch is toilet trained, they’ll know exactly where on your property to do their business. This ensures that their waste doesn’t spread and it’s easy for professionals like Poodini to come in later and safely do the dirty work.
So, just how can you toilet-train your newly adopted dog? Here are ways to do just that:
Keep a close eye on your dog
Similar to young puppies, newly adopted dogs are not yet dependable when doing their business. Keeping a close eye on your dog is crucial during the housebreaking phase. Close supervision is needed whenever your adopted dog isn’t crated indoors.
It only takes a few seconds for an accident to happen, so familiarize yourself well with signs that your dog may need to go out. Watch out for your dog sniffing the floor, circling, running out of sight, or even wandering away from a toy.
Give praise and treats
As per a study called “Does Training Method Matter?” by Ana de Castro and her team, it is best to avoid aversive-based training such as adding harsh scolding or unpleasant sensations in the hopes of reducing unwanted behavior. The study found that these training methods can affect the welfare of dogs within and outside of the training context. Instead, it works best to focus on positive reinforcement when your dog does its business when and where it is supposed to.
If you take your dog outside and he potties in the correct spot, then give it plenty of pats, praises, and even treats. Your pet will learn to associate doing their actions with something positive, which increases the likelihood of repeating the behavior of going in the right spot.
Go on regular walks
Regularly going outside for walks can help your dog get used to a routine for relieving itself. It usually helps to take them for a short walk first thing in the morning and two hours after every meal. Make a final trip outside at the end of the day to ensure that your dog does not have accidents in the middle of the night. Walking is also good for your dog’s health. It gives them opportunities to socialize with other dogs, get more mental stimulation, and even have behavioral training. Being out and about allows you to bond with your dog while teaching them the discipline of going to the bathroom at set times. While toilet training for an adopted dog doesn’t usually happen overnight, it can definitely be done. With these tips, your adopted dog can expertly do its business in no time!