House Rules! A reminder for the new member of the household.
Sometimes after an extensive stay in a shelter, outside ( strays ), or what ever unfortunate circumstance your new family member was in, they may or may not need a reminder about house potty rules. Housebreaking a rescue dog or a dog from a shelter is the same process as for a puppy or a dog re-homed from one home to another. When you arrive home with your new family member, do not go in the house right away. First, show the new dog the yard, front and back, if they go potty, praise them. Then, take the new dog inside to see the house, walk around with the new dog and check things out ( If it's an intact male, watch carefully for a sniff and lift, use an “ah ah” command if it looks suspicious.) After a good 15 minute introduction to his new house. Take the new dog back outside and show the yard again. The new dog will probably go potty again even if he/she did when you first showed the yard. This is a good way of establishing that the potty is outside. Most dogs will want to mark territory, even female dogs. This method is great for preventing marking in the house. It also helps to establish your leadership role as boss. If the dog is crate trained already, utilize this. It is a valuable tool. It can save time, heart-ache, toys, shoes, furniture, floors. Dogs will not potty in the crate if properly crate trained. If the dog is not to be crate trained than confine it to a smaller area in the house until any potty issues are resolved. Confining to a smaller area of the house is like crating, but without bars. Some shelter dogs do not adjust well to being crated. If the new dog doesn't potty in the confined area ( gated off part of kitchen, mudd room, etc....) than expand the area. If an accident happens, take the dog outside to potty, praise them if they go, bring them back inside, and reduce the confine area back to a size that no accidents occurred. A crate is a good way of helping a new dog feel comfortable in the new home. Sometimes, there may be anxiety or nervousness, and giving the new dog its own space will help in the transition. The crate does not have to be a permanent solution. Everyday has different needs. A dog of any age can still be crate trained, but take it slow! Put a bed in the crate and give them a few toys inside. Encourage them to go into the crate, give them a treat if they do. Work some commands while in the crate, sit, down. Do not close the door immediately. Give the dog a few days or so to learn that this is his bed, with the door open. During the next few days, encourage the dog to go lay down in the crate. Put him in a stay in the crate. Shut the door, count to 1. Open the door give him a treat. Repeat with increasing wait times until you can successfully close the door and the dog doesn't mind. If they completely resist a crate, put them in a small room and again give them a bed and toys. Make sure that the crate or where the dog is confined is located in the same room as the family. If not, then keep the dog on a leash next to you. It is very important that socialization go hand-in-hand with housebreaking. Know when to take the dog out side, after play, after sleep, after eat, first thing in the morning, last thing before bed. Treat it like a new puppy, every hour on the hour. If an accident occurs in the house, it is your fault, not the dogs. It takes a while for the dog to learn your patterns, and you to learn the dogs patterns and to get into a routine that works for everyone? The size or age of the dog does not mean that it is housebroken or that it has the slightest idea of what it means to be a part of a family. It can mean larger messes to clean up if we don’t start the process of housebreaking immediately. Some shelter dogs may eliminate in their crate in the beginning. Do not scold them for doing something that has been required of them previously – eliminating in their kennel. If a dog has spent months in a shelter environment, they have had to pee and poop where they also eat and sleep. They don’t have a choice. You will be working to correct this. They will get it. It just takes time. Some shelters only have the space and money to do just that – provide shelter. The dog will most likely not come equipped with good house manners. Unlike a re- homed dog or a puppy, they may resist confinement until they feel safe and assured that they are not being abandoned. They need to be made a part of the family immediately. They may be attention deprived or timid about affection. Be patient and with love, structure, and consistency, they will soon learn that they live inside and will much prefer going potty outside. Some dogs will never learn to ‘signal you”, to let you know when it needs to go. Some dogs will only learn to hold it, until you take them outside. Always praise a dog for ALL correct behaviors!!! Make praising the dog a party!!!!!! Be excited!If you feel silly, than your doing it correctly!!!!!!