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Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs

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Disclaimer: The material provided by Bailey on this web site is designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. The information presented is provided with the understanding that Bailey is not engaged in rendering medical or professional behavioral services. Such information should not be used as a substitute for behavioral advice provided by a qualified canine behavior therapist.

Please remember that Bailey's advice, comments, or opinions are solely Bailey's, and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff here at Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs.

Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs is not responsible for actions taken based on the advice provided herein.

Housetraining an Adopted Dog

Dear Bailey,

How do I teach my dog to not go to the bathroom in my house? It's a Pomeranian, about 2 years old. We adopted it, and I think it has been abused.


Andrew Kotz

Bailey's Reply:

Dear Andrew,

How wonderful of you to bring an abused dog into your home and hearts!  Here, let me lick all over your face...< lick, lick, lick.... >  Now, where was I?  Oh, yes, your housetraining question...  

The first thing I would recommend is that you take your Pomeranian to the vet to get a urinalysis done.  Whenever there is an infection or problem with a dog's urinary system, no housetraining program in the world is going to be entirely effective.  Once your Pom has been checked out, and there are no physical issues remaining, then you can start a housetraining program.

“The first thing I would recommend is that you take your Pomeranian to the vet to get a urinalysis done.”

Even though your dog is 2 years old, it doesn't necessarily mean that she automatically knows the appropriate spot to eliminate.  Housetrain her as if she were a very young puppy.  Take her to the same location frequently, waiting there for up to 10 minutes.  When she eliminates, have praise and treats ready to give to her after she's done.  If she doesn't go, place her in a crate for 5 minutes.  When the time is up, walk her back to the same spot and wait again for her to go.  The rule is that she gets some free time in the house only after she's eliminated.  

If she makes a mistake in the house, don't punish her by rubbing her nose in it, throwing her outside, or yelling at her after you've discovered the mess.  This tends to be counterproductive, making your dog fearful of you.  It also teaches your dog to eliminate where you won't be around and won't see it, like under the couch.  If you discover an accident, don't react to it.  Calmly place your dog in an area where she can't observe you while you clean it up; you will draw attention to the area if she can see you!  Bring your dog out when you're done.  And don't hold a grudge!

It's important to remember that you can prevent all housetraining mistakes!  Remain very observant of your dog at all times when she's out.  When you can't supervise her, then she should be in her crate until she is fully housetrained.  See the Housetraining tips page for more detailed information.

Sniffs and licks,


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