One Day Housetraining is Fast & Simple

Question:
My puppy is 10 weeks old and has been paper trained since 4 weeks. I want him to go outside so I started gradually moving the pads closer to the dog door. I have taken him out on the leash after eating and then he messes inside. He has found some favorite spots in the house. I do not want to settle for a paper trained adult dog.

Dr. Nichol:
I agree. No adult should settle for being paper trained. Bathroom etiquette and a high school diploma are the bare minimum for success in any modern society. No more social promotion, darn it.

Your puppy is perplexed by his potty pad predicament because he’s learned that it’s OK to soil in his home territory, a concept that is contrary to canine instinct. One Day Housetraining is the answer. This is not a home grown technique but a research-based method developed by certified applied animal behaviorist Ian Dunbar, PhD. Founded on our dogs’ innate social hardwiring, elimination marking near the perimeter of the territory is rewarded with a jaunt in the wilds of the great beyond, allowing them to check the bulletin boards and post a few messages.

Pick a day that you can dedicate to intensive housetraining. Early in the morning put your shiny new puppy in a confined area like a small bathroom, sans rugs, towels, and shower curtain. Don’t interact with the kid except hourly when you leash-walk him to the dumping ground. If he eliminates in the general vicinity of the target he gets a treat and a walk off property. If doesn’t produce, say nothing and return him to confinement. Repeat hourly until bedtime.

Brand new puppies, right out of the box, usually succeed in just one day. Those with established bad habits, like yours, need more repetition, and in some cases, additional behavior modification. Use plenty of food rewards. In the words of Dr. Dunbar, “A puppy will learn that his good work is the equivalent of tokens in a food vending machine.” You are the machine. In the meantime be sure to eliminate any faint odors of old urine with a good enzymatic cleaner like Anti Icky Poo (available online).

Dr. Jeff Nichol treats behavior disorders at the Veterinary Specialty Centers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe (505-792-5131). He cares for the medical needs of pets at the Petroglyph Animal Hospital in Albuquerque (898-8874). Question? Post it on facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Mail to 4000 Montgomery Blvd NE, Albuq, NM 87109. Unpublished questions may not be answered individually.