House Training your Dogs and Submissive Urination

The most important house training rule is to avoid accidents!

To house train a dog we are relying on the fact that dogs are fairly particular about where they "go" and build strong habits. It is very important to prevent accidents, because every time he relieves himself in the house, he is building a preference for this area.

Every time your dog potties inside, blame YOURSELF (but please be forgiving)! Until your dog has learned where to go potty, he should be under constant surveillance (with his leash tied to your belt if possible or on your lap), in his crate, or tethered on a comfy mat (tether should be used only under supervision).

The crate should be just big enough for him to stand up, turn around and lay down in. If your dog is having accidents in the crate, make sure it isn't too big and remove absorbent bedding.

When you are inside and he is out of her crate, keep him tethered to your waist and watch him constantly for sniffing or circling. Take him out immediately when you see this behavior.

Set a timer to go off every hour (this time can be increased as you progress) so that you don't forget to take him out before nature calls. If he doesn't relieve himself when you take him out and it's been a few hours, take him back in for 15 minutes (under your closest supervision or crated) and then try bringing him back out again. If he does "go", wait until he is completely finished before praising, feeding a treat and having a little play time together.

Stick to a strict schedule:

You should take your dog or puppy out many times during the day, especially after eating, playing or sleeping. Feed 2-3 times per day and leave the food down for about 15 minutes per feeding. Your dog can generally "hold it" for its age in months + 1 hr, but no longer than about 8 hours as an adult. The more often you bring your dog outside in the beginning the better because you will minimize the chances for mistakes and give your dog more opportunities for you to reward him for doing what you want. Water can remain down until about 8:00 at night.

Be consistent and keep it simple:

Until he is reliably house trained, bring him to the same spot each time, and leave a bit of his waste there. Use this spot only as a potty area, and not for play. Bring him there on leash and say something like "hurry up" when you see him getting ready. As he goes, say nothing so as not to distract him, but when he finishes praise or click, give him a tasty treat and spend 5 minutes playing outside away from the potty area. If he doesn't go, return to the house, put him in his crate and wait 15 minutes before trying again.

"But, what if he goes in the house?

Hit yourself on the head with a rolled up newspaper! If you see your dog relieving itself in the wrong spot, bring him quickly outside and praise him for finishing there. If you find a mess, clean it very well (without him watching you) using an appropriate cleaner. Another helpful tool once your dog is 90% trained is a dog diaper or male dog wrap. I know this sounds a bit odd, but it can be a really helpful way to prevent messy accidents especially when out visiting with your dog. The dog diaper or male wrap will prevent your dog from soiling the area (and making it more attractive to future accidents) and also is somewhat unpleasant for the dog so it can help to disco.urage accidents. Of course, this is not in itself a solution, but it can be a help.

Training a dog to overcome submissive Urination

The common advice regarding submissive wetting is to ignore your dog by looking away or not approaching him and to hope that he or she grows out of it. There are some other tips which mostly involve managing the problem such as making sure they have pottied recently and to make a point to say hello to your dog on an easy to clean surface. Male wrap (for male dogs) or dog diapers can help to contain the urine and can be especially useful if you are having many guests over.

The traditional advice or ignore, manage and hope usually does work fine. It's true that most dogs do grow out of submissive urination by about one year of age, but, some would not. So, for those adult dogs and if you prefer not to have to wait months and months for your puppy to get over the submissive peeing, read on!

Keep some treats by the door and when you come home feed your dog treats for sitting politely. Once he is able to do that fairly calmly and without peeing, before feeding a treat, you should lean over him just a tiny bit before feeding the treat. The next step after he is able to accomplish that without an accident is to lean and bend towards him before feeding the treat. Continue to progress like that in small steps and over several days until you can bend and pet your dog and even talk in an excited voice while he sits calmly and happily waits for a treat.

If your dog does start to urinate because you have pushed on a little faster than your dog can manage, simply turn away from him. Do not scold as it will only make the problem worse as he tries harder to submit to you in future greetings. Just chalk it up to experience and resolve to go slower next time. If your dog begins to urinate even as you approach, you can start by tossing treats to him from a distance or try standing sideways.

I bet you'll find that this solution is surprisingly easy and effective.

To perfect your dog's dry greetings, you will need to practice feeding him treats for sitting calmly in some different situations such as for greeting different people and in other locations.

This technique works because it gets the dog's mind off of "greeting" and onto something else like sitting for a treat.

Happy training to you and your dog!

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