Archie had an accident, again. You found out when you crossed your rug and stepped in a wet spot. Don't let it discourage you. House training takes time and patience on your part. Learn your canine’s body lingo, reward outdoor potty sessions and monitor how much and when he drinks. Your pooch will learn to make your backyard his bathroom rather than leave surprises indoors.
Routines and Cues
Get in a potty routine by taking Archie out first thing in the morning, and then 30 minutes after each meal, as well as before you leave the house, prior to bedtime and any time he gives you cues: He’ll circle in front of the door, sniff the rug or even come paw at your leg. These little signs let you know that Archie is getting that urge. Just to be safe and before he has an accident, snap on that leash and get him outside quickly. Getting on a waking-mealtime-bedtime schedule will reduce his random breaks.
Reward Good Behavior
Each time you take Archie out to potty, grab a handful of treats. When he goes, use a cue phrase like “go pee” or "do your business." Get excited and repeat your phrase over and over while he urinates, then offer treats. He’ll start to learn that when he tinkles in the grass, his human gets happy and he gets goodies, making him want to repeat that good behavior. If he doesn’t go after being out there for several minutes, though, take him back in for about 10 or 15 minutes and try again.
Never limit your dog’s water intake, but regulate it during potty training. Your pooch has to tinkle shortly after drinking, roughly 20 minutes afterward. If you leave a big bowl of water out all the time, you won’t necessarily know when he last had a sip. During the era of his potty training, put down that bowl of water, let Archie gulp as much as he wants, and pick the bowl up when he walks away. Undertake a short chore for about 20 minutes while keeping an eye on the pooch, then take him outside to pee. Let him drink several times a day, following up with outdoor potty sessions each time.
Sure your carpet looks clean to you. After all, you used every type of carpet cleaner and floral-scented coverup you could find. Even though you can’t smell the urine anymore, your dog can. That’s why he keeps going back to the spot to relieve himself. You’ll need a bottle of enzymatic cleaner, the type that breaks up urine odors that only dogs can smell. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label carefully and use it on Archie’s favorite toilet spots, even tile.
If Archie already did his business on your rug, there isn’t anything you can do but clean it up and move on. He doesn’t remember what he did an hour ago while you were cooking dinner. Focus on positive reinforcement and overlook accidents. In the future, put him in his crate when you can’t watch him. If he’s confined to his little home, he won’t have access to urinate all over the place. A dog likes to keep his living space unsoiled, meaning he’ll use the crate just for resting, not for going potty. He’ll want to wait to do his business until you take him outside.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.