Dog Training

Potty Training an Adopted Dog

potty training german shepherd

Congratulations, you have adopted or rescued a dog and brought it to a safe, secure, and loving environment in your home.

The stress of relocation, abandonment, and other emotional or physical issues may cause a newly adopted dog to have some housetraining accidents.

On the other hand, the dog may have never been reliably potty trained, to begin with.

Reinforce your newly adopted dog’s potty training the same way you would train a new puppy.

Supervise at all times.  If unable to supervise, leave your dog in a safe, secure area such as a designated room, pen, or preferably a crate.

Choose an outdoor potty area and take your new four-legged friend to it (on leash) on regular intervals with a consistent command such as go potty or take a break.

On every successful trip to the potty area, be sure to reward and praise.
potty training

Be aware that a rescued dog may already have a pattern of eliminating where no one can see them.

This is why supervision is so important.  Dogs that may have been punished or yelled at for eliminating in the house may seek out of the way areas, so you do not see them eliminating.

Another quirk to think about is that some dogs are sensitive to certain textures under their feet and will only eliminate on concrete, grass, bark, etc.

With patience and consistency, you can retrain your dog to go on any surface of your choosing.

While in the house, watch for signs that your dog needs to eliminate.

Signs to watch for are sniffing, circling, or trying to disappear from your watchful eye.  If you think there is a small chance that your dog might need to relieve themselves, take them directly outside to their potty area.

If an accident happens, clean it up immediately.  Do not scold or acknowledge the mistake.
potty training

As your adopted dog’s housetraining becomes more reliable, cut back on the strict supervision, and gradually allow more access to the house.

If accidents begin to occur, then you need to go back to the basics.

There are a lot of unknowns about an adopted or rescued dog.

From an adopted dog’s perspective, there are a lot of unknowns about their new human.

Be gentle and patient as you learn about your newest family member.

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