Your dog has a desire to please you. All dogs want to please their master. Your dog depends on you at many different levels. In the wild, groups of dogs or wolves have a leader.
They learn, without direct or formal training, how to fit into their group and follow the “rules.” Your dog may not realize his dependency on you in the same way that you see it.
There is a natural desire to fit into your group or family. Because you are the leader, much of his behavior is dependent on you. There are ways to teach your dog what you expect of him.
The most effective training will approach the task with an understanding of his instincts. Your dog’s past, your consistency, Spraying, your dog’s age, and health, training techniques, and punishment or reward will influence training.
Your dog’s past
If your dog is a puppy, he may be easier to train because his behavior is still mostly instinct. An older dog may have been kept in a kennel, tied up outdoors, or in a home with training pads.
Your dog may or may not have had training in the past. His behavior will be influenced by whatever he may have already learned, and you may have to reteach him. That can be easy to accomplish.
If your dog is aged, there could be issues like arthritis or incontinence to take into account. If your dog is healthy, the training will be the same no matter what his history is.
Your dog will learn and follow your schedule. With a little time, there will be an anticipation of your leaving and returning to the house. If you walk him morning and evening, he will learn to expect that. If he can depend on walking, he will want to wait.
Dogs prefer to do their business outdoors. If you are not consistent with a schedule, your dog may not be either. You do not have to leave or return home at the same time every day, but the walks must happen. Feeding times must also stay consistent.
Your dog will learn to expect when to be fed. If he believes he cannot depend on you, he will start working to find ways to rely on himself.
He may start digging through the trash. Feeding your dog at regular intervals will allow you to know when to expect his bladder and bowels to move. He will develop a habit that you can expect.
If your dog is lifting his leg to mark his territory or to make his presence known, it is instinct. It is urine that he is spraying, but it is not coming from the urgency of his bladder.
It is a natural behavior that should stop on its own after a short time. Spraying is more of a problem if there are other animals in your home.
Your dog’s age and health
A puppy may not pick up on your schedule or habits right away because of immaturity. An older healthy dog may be watching for patterns in your lifestyle.
Do not change your practices to accommodate your dog. Allow your dog time to change and adjust to you regardless of your dog’s age. It may take a little longer for a puppy, but it will happen. You may have to change your expectations with a much older dog.
There may be health issues that could prevent him from being able to meet your desires. The size of your dog could affect how long housebreaking takes. A small dog has a small bladder and may need to go more often than a large dog. Be patient and use positive reinforcement as you train your dog.
If there is any question about your dog’s health, visit a veterinarian before starting. Any time your dog does his business outdoors, give a reward immediately.
If you wait, there will be no understanding of the point of the gift. Your reaction must be immediate so that your dog can connect the reward to the behavior.
Eventually, you will not need to provide a treat. If you catch your dog relieving himself indoors, act as soon as you notice. If you make a sudden loud noise, the behavior will probably stop mid-stream. When it stops, get your dog outside as quickly as possible.
After he has finished, offer a reward. You only need to get his attention, not cause him to feel threatened.
Once back inside, you need to clean his mess up with a product that will take away the scent. Products for that purpose are available at most pet stores.
Do not use a product that smells like ammonia because it will only reinforce the odor of the urine. If you leave the smell there, his instinct will cause him to go there again.
Punishment or reward
Punishing your dog by rubbing his nose in his mess will not work for the same reason. Due to nature, the odor causes him to think of that spot as the place to go. A stern, authoritative word is all you will need to correct your dog.
He will know from your tone of voice that you are upset with him. Punishing your dog for anything, even just a few minutes after the infraction, will not work. He will not have an understanding of the purpose of the punishment. Because he is an animal, punishment or reward must be immediate.
Staying consistent with feeding and walking times will be your most reliable tool in training your dog.
Keep your dog’s natural desire to please you in mind and be patient. Positive reinforcement will always work better than punishment.
Hitting your dog with anything is never recommended. You will have a strong bond with your dog, or he will be scared and skittish around you. Unconditional love and acceptance of your dog is the best way.