It is time to wrap up the weekly series of housetraining hints. I had a few tips in mind, but it became obvious which one to share when a big issue came up several times in training appointments this past week. The trouble rears its head when you think you are a roll; house training is going well overall, yet you continue to find occasional puddles or piles your dog has left behind. If this is what you’ve been going through, then this hint is for you:
Until your dog is house trained, do not allow her to roam unsupervised indoors.
That means your dog should be outdoors being praised the moment she finishes doing her business, indoors in her crate, or indoors under your direct supervision. This means you can see her every moment and you know exactly what she is doing between potty opportunities. If you get involved with your kids, your other dog, a phone call, or your computer, your dog can slip behind a piece of furniture, into the next room or find a little-used room (like a guest room or the dining room) to relieve herself.
Contrary to popular belief, she is not being sneaky, rather, she is trying to keep the areas in which you eat and socialize clean by going off to do her business. Don’t put her in that position and create housetraining problems. Make sure you can see her, so that if she gets restless and you suspect she may need to go, you can quickly get her outside to continue to build on success. In order to watch her closely enough, you may need to close doors, use baby gates or an exercise pen, or tether her near you with a chew toy to keep her busy. It’s a small, and very temporary, inconvenience for the peace of mind you’ll have knowing you’re on your way to a house trained dog.