House Training Adult Dogs
Treatment for House Soiling Due to Fear of Going Outside
A country dog who moves to an urban environment or a dog who has never been outdoors-say, one who was raised in an indoor kennel or laboratory, or one who was trained to go on paper inside and was never taken outside-can sometimes feel so overwhelmed that she will not eliminate outside. Some dogs will urinate but not defecate, probably because defecating puts a dog in a more vulnerable position.
In addition to our recommendations for general house training, you can try the following suggestions:
- You might need to let your dog become comfortable outside before you can expect success with house training. Take your dog to a quiet area outdoors and spend time there. Drive to a quiet park or establish an area in your yard for elimination. If you are using your yard, it may help to invite a friend’s dog over to hang out with you (assuming that your dog enjoys that dog’s company). Sometimes the sight and smell of another dog eliminating will prompt a reluctant dog to go. Alternatively, you can try depositing urine from another dog in the area where you’d like your dog to eliminate. The odor alone might prompt your dog to eliminate.
- If you have a balcony or deck but no yard, put down a plastic tarp and cover it with grass sod. This might just be a short-term step until your dog gets used to her new environment. (To try this option, you must have an enclosed, secure balcony to ensure the safety of your dog.)
Treatment for House Soiling Related to Bad Weather
There are a few dogs who are perfectly house trained-except when the weather is bad and they don’t want to go outside. These dogs are often tiny, like the toy breeds, or have short, thin coats, like some of the sight hounds. Another factor that can wreak havoc with house training is the city sidewalk in winter. People use salt to melt the snow, but most dogs feel a burning sensation on their feet when they walk through salt. If your dog learns that her feet hurt every time she goes outside to eliminate, she may become resistant to going outside.