Importance of Housetraining your dog.

Importance of Housetraining your dog.

Importance of Housetraining your dog.

“I just don’t get it.” Marge, Chloe’s owner, was bewildered and hurt. “We have a nice home with a spacious backyard and a dog door, so Chloe can go outside whenever she wants to ‘do her business,’ yet she still pees and poops inside!” Chloe, a small Maltese, gave us both a beautiful dog grin as if everything was well in her world. Further conversation showed that Chloe, now an adult, had been eliminated in the house since she was a puppy when she came to Marge’s residence.

Chloe had never truly been housetrained, we all agreed.
Wherever dogs live in close proximity to humans, housetraining is essential.
In fact, dogs’ ability to be housetrained contributed to the intimate bond that evolved between them and humans throughout the domestication process.

Dogs, as a species, are naturally predisposed to keep their resting places (dens) free of excrement and urine, reducing the likelihood of parasite reinfection. They may also pick the margins of their area while eliminating to convey to other canines that this is their territory via marking activities. The consistency of canine excretion behaviors was a major behavioral reason why dogs were considered suitable domestication prospects.

Even with these risk factors, housetraining might be challenging at times. In fact, recent studies have shown that urinating and/or defecating in the home is the leading cause of animal surrender to shelters. Those dogs with housetraining issues that do remain in the house are often sent outside with little human interaction. Learning to eliminate in the proper location and at the appropriate time may clearly save a dog’s life and avoid euthanasia.

So much is at risk for both people and pets. The good news is that we now have the tools and know-how to successfully housetrain our dogs.

Not fiction, but facts

A newborn dog is unable to regulate her own urination. In reality, the mother’s licking of the puppy’s tummy and genital regions stimulates urine and feces. This sets off a response known as the “anogenital reflex,” which forces the puppy to immediately excrete. This guarantees that Mom will be there to prevent urine and feces from soiling the nest and attracting predators or insects. By the age of sixteen to eighteen days, puppies have lost this impulse and are urinating and defecating on their own.

Puppies may wander out from their local location to eliminate someplace close as early as three weeks of age. By nine weeks, they’ve settled on a distinct toileting region, which is typically the same as their mother’s. At this period, the puppy learns about substrate (the sort of surface it eliminates on) and placement preferences (where to eliminate). The good news is that pups are generally ready to begin housetraining when they move to new homes.

Housetraining entails steering these natural urges to pee and defecate away from the dog’s sleeping space and toward a toileting area defined by a surface and location that we find appropriate. In other words, dogs are preprogrammed to do this, and housetraining just stacks the deck in our favor by ensuring that the areas they use to eliminate are acceptable to us.

In general, we do this by prohibiting elimination inside and promoting elimination at a suitable toileting location, which is usually outside. To be more exact, we avoid indoor accidents by anticipating when the puppy will need to go potty and escorting her to the right toilet location. The puppy is either monitored or kept someplace she is unlikely to eliminate at all other times.

We encourage her to use appropriate toileting spots by teaching the puppy location and surface preferences (taking her to the same spot on a regular basis), as well as intrinsic rewards (the relief of emptying a full bladder or bowel) and external reinforcement (food treats and praise) for using the designated location.

What Does This Indicate?

Housetraining is the process of teaching your dog when and where to pee and defecate. While there is considerable flexibility in terms of when and where, we generally mean outside the home, in a designated toileting place.

Elimination: Defecation and urination

Toileting area: a designated location for urination; toilet area
Accidents: Eliminating in what we believe is the incorrect location

Tie-down: To restrict where the dog may wander in the home, attach a leash to something secure, such as a large piece of furniture or an eyebolt fastened into the wall. This should only be done while someone is home and close to oversee.

Is this really the case?

Because she is angry with me, my dog poops and pees in the house. While this has been exploited in cartoons to make some extremely humorous gags, assigning that level of cognition to a dog is a stretch. When dogs are angry with us, unlike some people, they are vocal about it, and we can tell because they growl or scowl at us.

While a gap in housetraining may contribute to our guilt (“I feel guilty about leaving my dog alone for so long, therefore she must be upset at me”), it’s more probable that your dog’s confinement or alone time was just too long for him to wait to eliminate. “When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go,” as the saying goes.
When I notice an accident, I know my dog understands she’s done something wrong because she looks guilty. Dakota, a six-month-old Jack Russell Terrier, is a good example.

Terry, Dakota’s owner, was having trouble keeping her from pooping in the house. He tried everything, including putting Dakota’s nose in the excrement and smacking her in the rear when he returned home and saw a mess. Dakota was hiding with her tail tucked and her ears down as Terry entered the home, not simply because he was discovering excrement. Dakota looked so remorseful, Terry assumed this meant she understood she had done something wrong.

Dakota didn’t understand why Terry was furious with her and was acting subservient to avoid being punished, which Terry didn’t realize. Dakota had no means of correlating Terry’s punishment with the deed since it occurred so long after Dakota’s removal. If this method was maintained, Dakota was likely to develop an aggressive reaction toward Terry in order to avoid being penalized.

“My dog avoids me or looks sheepish because she understands pooping in the home is improper and she should not do it,” a person would believe.

She also had the option of not doing it, but she did it anyhow.” Humans will then attempt to find out why the dog decided to do the opposite of what she knew was “the correct thing to do.” They could assume that the dog is obstinate, spiteful, or just plain dumb, or that she “doesn’t want to do what I want her to do.”
When accidents occur often, people’s sentiments are wounded. We believe that the next time the dog has the impulse to eliminate inside, she should remember how upset we were and decide not to do so. However, this is not how dogs behave.

Because they do not want to be punished, dogs do not repeat behavior that resulted in an unpleasant consequence. They also don’t feel bad about it afterward. Yes, the dog associates her owner’s rage with a mound of feces, but not in the same way that the human does. Dogs are oblivious to the fact that defecating on the floor is an activity that enrages people.

“Feces on the floor [not the act of placing poop on the floor] will make my owner furious,” they appear to correlate with the owners’ response. As a dog, the canine reaction to fury is to try to escape the owner’s rage by hiding or by displaying submissive behavior aimed to deflect hostility.
Unfortunately, this does not work for the dog. The owner is still enraged after discovering a feces mound on the floor. Now the dog is acting bashful in an effort to pacify the owner.

“You knew this was inappropriate from my earlier reaction,” the owner believes. It’s as simple as looking ‘guilty.’ You still choose to do it!” “I’ve displayed the appropriate conduct for the conditions, so why are you still so angry?” the dog wonders. It’s no surprise that both sides are dissatisfied and perplexed, and that nothing changes.

What Exactly Is Marking?

  • Urine is used by certain dogs, mostly males, to express territoriality.
  • They might be reacting to other dogs’ hostility or nervousness, or to household activities, or they could just be dispersing smell about the house. The following characteristics define marking:
  • Urine in tiny volumes being deposited
  • Urine being splattered on personal or unique household goods
  • Outdoor urination and feces are normal.
  • Leg-lifting is a urinating position that is popularly recognized.

The standard recommendations for housetraining (while emphasizing constant monitoring), antianxiety medication on occasion, and, as a last resort, belly bands are generally used. Belly bands are wraps that prevent male dogs from peeing by absorbing urine and making urination unpleasant for them.

How to Reinforce Position Holding for your dog.

If my dog has an accident, I may help avoid future mishaps by rubbing her nose in the feces or urine. Owners of dogs surrendered to shelters were asked to respond to the statement “It is useful to rub the dog’s nose in her mess when she soils in the home” in one research. Almost a third of respondents (31.8%) agreed, with another 11.4 percent saying they were “not sure.” The study’s authors acknowledged that there was “room for improvement” in terms of teaching dog owners on proper housetraining techniques.

This misconception, out of all the housetraining myths going about, has the greatest potential for damage. Most incidents are detected several minutes to many hours after they happen, in practice. Experiments on how learning occurs have shown that punishment must be tightly connected (within seconds) with the activity being punished in order for the penalty to have any chance of reducing or stopping the behavior in the future.

Punishment administered many hours after elimination will not be related to the act of elimination, making it useless for teaching the dog what we actually want him to learn—to eliminate only when and where it is appropriate.

Unfortunately, the “rub their nose in it” strategy has been around for a while. Some individuals wrongly believe that is a helpful reaction for the following reasons:
The dog learns to stay away from the spot where the accident occurred. We can only imagine how many dogs avoid that room when their owners are around after such an incident. Of course, the dog does not learn to avoid the behavior; instead, she may learn to defecate in a less visible location in the future.

The circumstances surrounding the mishap do not repeat again, leading the owner to believe that rubbing the dog’s nose in it worked. For example, until her bladder control improves or the weather improves, the dog is not left alone for lengthy periods of time, so she empties her bladder completely each time she goes to the right elimination area. When there are excrement spills, the owner locks the garbage away to prevent more “dietary indiscretions” that induce diarrhea.

The owner believes that the penalty fixed the issue since everything looks to be fine following the occurrence. The issue was really addressed by improved management.
The owner may make more active management measures to prevent the situation from recurring. As the weather improves, the dog spends more time outdoors, where she does not have to eliminate as often.
Alternatively, the owners may elect to keep the dog away from the dirty area by limiting the dog’s dwelling space to match the dog’s concept of a den. When they have to be gone for lengthy periods of time, they hire someone to come over and walk the dog.

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Because we humans place a higher value on action than avoidance, the activity (nose rubbing) seems to explain why the dog is no longer having accidents.
More concerning than the fact that it is usually ineffectual, rubbing a dog’s nose in her own feces has another negative effect: since the dog does not comprehend what humans want, we become unreliable social communication partners, possibly harming our connection with our closest friend.

Because the dog doesn’t understand why she’s being punished, she either avoids us or continues to be subservient. She leaves with no understanding of why we are so enraged, much alone what we desire. The dog can’t make us happy since she doesn’t comprehend what we desire. Have you ever had a boss or family member that was like that? It’s not pleasant for anybody.

The “guilt effect” is common among dog owners, and some even admit to rubbing their dog’s nose in her poo. They’re annoyed that their dog avoids them or seems uneasy around them, and angry that it hasn’t worked as well as they hoped since the dog still soils the home. Stopping human actions that don’t work is the first step in restoring the social link and modifying the dog’s behavior.

What Should We Do First?

“An ounce of preventive goes a long way…” If time allows, start thinking about where the puppy’s toilet will be and how you’ll set up indoor confinement and a potty routine before the puppy arrives. The bathroom area should ideally be someplace with a surface that is not like those found inside (grass, if possible, or pavement or whatever is easily accessible to you), in a location that can be covered from the elements.

Indoor confinement should be in a space big enough for the puppy to comfortably lay down and turn around, but small enough that her natural urge to keep the place clean is not harmed.

If the space is too large, the puppy will be able to dirty it while still escaping the mess. Depending on the circumstances, this may be a cage, a pen, a gated space, a leash linked to a tie-down (only while someone is home and monitoring) or to a person, or all of the above. However, if the puppy has to eliminate and no one is present to carry her to her elimination spot, the puppy will most likely eliminate, regardless of how tiny the space is. (See the section “To Crate or Not to Crate, That Is the Question” later in this chapter for further information about crates.)

The Value of Timetables

You can usually predict when a puppy will eliminate, allowing you to get her to the potty location in time for her to do the proper thing. When you schedule meals, you can roughly estimate when the puppy will need to go potty. The following are occasions when a puppy is likely to eliminate:
When she initially gets out of bed, both in the morning and after a nap
Following a meal and a drink, and then again twenty to thirty minutes later

Following playtime or excitement

Scheduling includes not just keeping track of feeding and availability to water after she departs or before she enters her confinement site (such as a crate), but also activities like playing and napping.
Most puppy feeding plans call for three to four meals each day for pups aged eight to sixteen weeks, depending on their size. Plan on at least eight to ten potty breaks each day, with one at midnight for very young pups, between meals, activity periods (play and walks), and sleeps (eight to twelve weeks of age).

If home soiling persists, it may be reasonable to limit water consumption at night from before the final potty break until the following morning, although this depends on the dog’s age and health, as well as the climate in your area. Before reducing your dog’s water consumption, always consult with your veterinarian.

A housetraining journal will come in handy since it will allow you to track and analyze whether or not mishaps are decreasing in frequency. If you don’t maintain a journal, you’ll just remember and judge the most recent accident; you may not know it’s been weeks since the previous one—and there may be more improvement than you anticipated!

The timetable, what was done and when (urination and feces), and any mishaps should all be recorded in your journal (time and location). It’s simple to set up a notepad or spreadsheet, or for the more technically inclined, there’s an app accessible for smartphones. These apps might assist you in keeping track of housetraining statistics in your home. For Android users, Growling Software’s “Dog and Puppy Housetraining” and for iPhone users,

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