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Even though it is generally easier to housebreak a puppy, a dog of any age can be housebroken given the proper techniques.

There may be various reasons why an older dog needs to be housebroken (again). When adopting a dog from the shelter he may not have been housetrained previously. A new, unfamiliar home, different food and water and stress can result in episodes of diarrhea. A change in the family (a baby or new pet) may also cause housebreaking problems. The change may be so stressful that your otherwise perfectly houstrained dog will have a housebreaking relapse. For all these reasons it is important to know how to properly housebreak your older dog, without creating additional stress.

Dogs are creatures of routine. They generally like to go "potty" after they wake-up, after their meals, after a nap, and after they exercise. Important is to recognize when your dog needs to "go" and guide him to the pre-designated area before he does his business. Therefore, you must monitor your dog for at least 2 weeks until the desired outcome is imprinted into your dog's mind.

1. Introduce the dog to his yard or exercise area and let him eliminate before entering the house. If you have no yard, choose a location not too far from home to be the bathroom spot and always take your dog directly to that spot.

2. Take your new dog out at regular intervals, preferably the same times every day, and praise him lavishly every time he eliminates outdoors.

3. While your dog is eliminating, use a word or short phrase like "go potty," for example. This word or phrase will be associated with the act of eliminating and will eventually serve as a reminder of what he's supposed to be doing there.

4. If you catch your dog in the middle of the act of eliminating in the house, immediately take him to his bathroom spot, and give him a treat if he finishes eliminating there. Don't punish him, especially if you catch him only AFTER the act. Cleaning the soiled area is very important because dogs are instinctly motivated to continue soiling in areas that smell like urine or feces. Use a special pet Stain & Odor Remover or white vinegar instead of household cleaners that contain Ammonia (an ingredient similar to urine), because the latter will only arouse your dog's instinct to scent mark.

For more information about housebreaking an adult dog, see the following articles:www.petpromise.org/housebreaking.html

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