I can already tell I’m going to have a lot of titles with words like “Redux” in them. Oh boy. 😉
One of my clients has a 8 month old puppy that doesn’t want to go potty outside. This is a moment when we have to out-stubborn our dogs. To tell you the truth, out-stubborning a dog is half of successful dog training. (The other half is knowing when to praise and when to correct.)
When you have a dog that is refusing to be housebroken, and the dog is crate trained, then this is what I recommend:
1. Take your dog out in the morning and ask it to go potty.
1a. It goes potty. Praise him or her and bring them inside for breakfast.
1b. It doesn’t go potty.
2. Take your dog back inside and put them back in the crate. Try again in half an hour. Eventually, your dog will decide it’s tired of crossing its legs, and it’s time to go potty outside — at which point, refer back to 1!
Most people go wrong because they feel bad about putting their puppy back in the crate. They feel like it “should” eat breakfast (it can eat in the crate), or it “should” come out to play. While I understand that we want our dogs to be able to stretch their legs and have fun before we leave for work, tell me which is better: a dog who, within a month, is allowed to romp around the house when people are home, playing and enjoying themselves with no one worried about accidents, or a dog who, a year into its life, is still restricted to one room, being on-leash, tied to a piece of furniture or left outside because it STILL isn’t housebroken?
Sometimes, being a good owner means a little bit of tough love. A few days of tough love can positively impact a dog for the rest of its life. And let’s be honest, here: the puppy isn’t going to be more than upset in passing at being put back in the crate. Then it’s going to chew on a toy or take a nap, and it isn’t going to feel bad. We might; we’re human. But for a moment, put aside your human tendencies and put the puppy in the crate. It’ll thank you when it’s older.
…No it won’t. But your family, friends, and everyone else who interacts with your dog will!