Here is a dog training question from a reader of our site…
Hey, I work at a rescue center and a dog came in that wouldn’t go near anyone even after a week. So I fostered her to see if she would be better in a home. In the end we kept her but we’re struggling with toilet training because she will only go in the house. If we put her in the garden she will scratch at the door until she gets let in. If we leave the door open she will go out but come back in to go toilet. It seems like she thinks she’s supposed to go wherever she is. When we put newspaper down she will use it to hide what she’s done even though we wont tell her off because of her past and she just rips up puppy pads. Do you have any suggestions?
And so, that’s the first thing I would recommend. Well, that’s the main thing I would recommend – but that’s the first reason I would recommend. The second reason I would recommend is the only way rather that the dog is able to sneak off and go the bathroom is because it’s unsupervised. And for you specifically and for anyone that has a new dog, a new foster dog, a new puppy, a new rescue dog, whatever, that new dog does not know your house rules. And so you cannot let that dog sneak off. It’s imperative. Now, eventually you want the dog to have freedom. But you can’t start that way.
And so I would definitely recommend getting rid of those puppy pads, getting rid of newspapers. That’s just a bad habit. Keep the dog on leash. Go out to the bathroom – don’t just put the dog out there – with the dog. While you’re out there, walk the dog back and forth on leash, encourage her to go to the bathroom. When she goes to the bathroom, make it a big deal. Really, jump up and down, make it a super great thing that she went to the bathroom outside. But like I said, just keeping him on a leash is going to be huge. Now, you’ll do that for a few weeks, a few months. It depends on the dog. Once she starts to get it, then you can kind of start backing off on that leash. But right now, you’re allowing her too much freedom because she is able to have these accidents. So you’ve got to cut back on freedom until she’s earned it. Like I said, if you can do that, you’re going to be in great shape. So, time to get to work.