Positive training can end pup's accidents

By: peggy swager Special to The Gazette
July 1, 2013
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Some dogs seem relatively easy to house-train while others defy all efforts. Then there are dogs who have house-training problems that crop up even after the dog was supposed to be trained.

To avoid excessive cleaning of your carpet, be sure to take smart steps with your dog.

Use the right approach. Shoving a dog's nose in the mess or rolling up newspapers for punishment delays success. What helps the process is figuring out when the dog needs to do his business and then escorting the dog outside.

With puppies, they will need to go soon after eating, playing and napping, as well as every few hours. By taking the dog outside right after these events, you can teach the dog where to do his business.

To motivate the dog even more, use a leash and walk the dog in the yard. When the dog has success, award a treat as well as praise. Be sure to wait until the dog is done before you reward, or you will interrupt the process.

Use a similar technique if you have just adopted a dog, until the dog learns your routine.

Reliable house-training of a puppy can take a while when it comes to bladder control, especially for smaller breeds.

Be sure to use an enzymatic cleaner to get rid of the odor rather than simply covering it up. If the pup is a few months old and still can't hold his pee, then have a vet check for other issues such as an infection.

In some situations, a dog can regress upon entering adolescence. The first thing to do is use a crate when the dog is unattended. The second is to repeat your house training as if this were a puppy. The third is to enroll the dog into a class for basic training.

Structured training can help house-training regression. Also, make sure you are not using punishment-oriented training because punishment often causes house-training issues in more sensitive dogs.

Changes in your household, such as new family members or stressful times, can cause regression. Even after you resolve the trigger issue, you might need to repeat the initial house-training efforts.

Other issues that often take root that first year include submissive peeing (dog pees when you loom over the dog), greeting peeing (dog loses bladder control when excited) and male marking (dog hikes a leg in the house).

These problems are more than house-training issues; they are behavior problems.

The good news is that with the right training, all these issues can be resolved.


Swager is a behaviorist and dog trainer. For more information on where to foster, look online under links at peggyswager.com.

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