House Training an Older Dog – Re-Training a Yorkie

Tips on House Training an Older Dog

I have accepted a 6 yr old female yorkie from arizona and brought her to Ohio. The previous owner told me she was house trained. Well she goes in the house. I have potty pads around where she has gone but she still does her business and sometimes next to the potty pad. What is the best way to retrain her?

Our Response

Hi and thanks for your question – you need to start from the beginning as if she has never been trained. You can continue using puppy pads but they are not always the best option as you are still asking your dog to potty in the House – which is never a good idea. If you do want to go down this route thats fine…we will explain both methods.

1. Start by making sure that anywhere that your dog has peed or pooped is clean – you need to get rid of any old smells as this will encourage your dog to pee anywhere that has an old smell of pee or poop.

2. Purchase a Crate as this is a great way to keep a close eye on your dog and stop her from peeing or pooping around the property.

3. Show her where you want her to pee or poop. So if you spot her about to pee on the floor pick her up and place her on the pads.

4. As soon as she has been on the pads give her lots and lots of praise – and a treat – you need to let her know that she has been a really good girl.

5. You need to remember that it is like training a baby – your dog has never been house trained otherwise she still would be – so you need to explain to her where she is expected to potty as she just won’t know.

6. Supervision is vital – by watching your dog all the time makes it much more likely that you will succeed. You could also try the umbilical chord obedience training method – this involves attaching a leash to your dog and then tucking the end in your trousers or belt – this way everywhere you go your dog will have to follow and iy also makes it much more likely that you will be able to correct negative behavior exactly as it happens. So if she pees or poops on the floor or is about to say ‘No’ pick her up and place her on the pads and wait for her to start going and then say ‘good girl’ and give her lots of praise and a treat. If you happen to walk past her and she is using the pads then great – say ‘good girl’ and give her a treat.
7. Remember that the idea behind puppy training pads is to gradually move them closer and closer to the back door until they are completely outside.

If you want to use the conventional potty training methods then follow these tips…

1. Attach a leash to your dog and take her outside regularly – get a good idea when she is more likely to pee or poop – i.e. first thing in the morning, after eating or drinking and just after she wakes.

2. If you catch her about to pee or poop in the House then attach a leash to her and take her straight outside. Always take her to the same place outside with the same smells. Wait for her to about to pee or poop and as soon as she starts to crouch down say ‘go potty’ and when she does say ‘good girl’ and straight after she has pooped give her lots and lots of praise and a treat.

3. If she does not pee or poop in the time that you give her and you should always give her an allotted amount of time to go. If she won’t go in the time that you give her then take her back inside and place her in the crate for a few minutes. Then take her back outside using the same cues. Remember to always use positive reinforcement as it works well.

Hope this helps!