Ask Seth: House training a Dog

How do you house train a dog? I've adopted a 4 yr old German shepherd and I need some tips on house training her.

Training an adult dog is similar to training a puppy, just a little modified.  To prevent undesirable elimination, keep her in a confined small area where she can be observed.  She should not have unsupervised access to the entire house.  You should create a schedule in which you take her outside for a walk or to eliminate.  When you see her sniff at the ground and/or circles around, calmly take her to the desired elimination area.

Dogs have a desire to eliminate after eating, drinking, playing sleeping or being crated, so take her outside after any of these activities.  I recommend that you feed her the measured amount of food at the same time each day.  Let her have 10-15 minutes to eat and if she walks ways then pick up the ball.   This will help in creating a schedule of elimination.  When she begins to eliminate, quietly praise her.  When she is completed give her a big “GOOD GIRL” and offer a reward right then.  Do not wait until you get back in the house because the reward is delayed and not directly associated with the elimination.  As she become potty trained you can reduce the treats.  Do not scold her if you do not catch her in the act.  Prevention is the best action for success.  One trick that I use is to place a bell on the door that the dog goes outside from at the dogs nose level.  Before going outside, gently place your dog’s nose on the bell causing it to ring each time she goes outside.  If you repeat this for several days, the dog will ring the bell when she wants to go outside, usually to eliminate.

Do have have any house training tips? Share with us in the comment section!

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