What to Do If Your Dog Still Isn't Housetrained

Is your dog not quite housetrained? Read these tips to find out what to try next.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
1-minute read

What to Do If Your Dog Still Isn't Housetrained

Suppose you’re in the same boat as my listener Tammy, whose 2-1/2-year-old dog still isn’t quite housetrained. Tammy says,

“We've never worked out a way for her to tell me or for me to realize she needs to go out to the fenced yard. I anticipate well but sometimes I miss it.”

Here are 3 steps to try next.

1. If “anticipating” isn’t working so well, it’s a good bet your dog needs more toilet breaks than she’s getting. Add a couple of extra outings to her schedule every day.

2. For two weeks, log every time she pees and poops – note the time of day. You might notice that she always pees an hour after breakfast, for instance. So now you know that she needs a toilet break at that time.

See Also: What to Do if Your Housetrained Dog Pees or Poops Indoors

3. If your dog is “free fed” – has food in her bowl to nibble at all day long – switch her to regularly scheduled meals instead. (You can do this over the course of a couple of weeks. Start by leaving her bowl down for an hour at breakfast and dinner and then work your way down to half an hour.) When you have a good idea of when the “ins” went in, you’ll be better able to predict when the “outs” will come out.


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).