I am taking in two Pomeranians who are 12 and 8. Neither of them are housebroken and were allowed to go potty on a tile floor in their previous home. How can I break their old habits and housebreak them? Keeping them outside at all times is not an option. However they will have access to a large fenced yard.
Kudos to you! It can be done! When you get up in the morning, take your dogs out. Walk them till elimination occurs, then praise them, a lot. Give a treat. Walk your dogs again midday, afternoon and at bed time. Always stay with the dogs so when they go you can give praise . Learn their looking for a spot behavior. When you see that behavior indoors, get them out. Any time elimination occurs outside, give praise. If you catch your dogs in the act inside, say no and get them outside. If you find a puddle or pile after the fact put your dogs in another room then clean the spot with an enzyme cleaner to get rid of the odor, not cover it up. The reason for putting them in another room is if your dogs sees you cleaning up after them they will think that is your job. You must be diligent and consistent. Make sure you implement a feeding schedule, if your dogs eats at the same times every day they will poop the same times every day. At night time or when you are gone, crate train.
Here are three websites on how to crate train a puppy/dog
No different than a puppy, but older dogs can either drive you crazy or learn in an instant. It all depends on how much they want to please or what drives the dog to want to succeed. Be consistent and firm and they can learn.
You need to crate them when you can’t watch them, and leash them to you while you can. If they are allowed to wander in the house and make ":mistakes": they will be very hard to train. Confine them to rooms with hard floors until the training shows progress, you may train on the rest of the house later.
They must be trained in all rooms in the house in the long run or they will chose to toilet in any space that has not been covered in training.
While leashed to you, you can catch if they try to circle, sniff, squat or lift a leg. When they try to go indoors, say ":NO": very loud to interrupt them, then take them right outside to go potty.
Take them out right after feeding (twice a day at regular hours, don’t free feed), and again in 30, 45 and 60 minutes or until they have both peed and pooped. When they go outside, praise and reward immediately (within 2 seconds). Use there favorite thing, it’s not always food.
Teach them to ring a set of bells you hand on the door knob to ask to go out. Take them out on the leash for toileting and then right back inside – all business. Keep play and walk time separate from potty time.
Oh good Lord, those poor dogs. Thank goodness you are taking them in and are committed to their best interests.
I know that you can train older dogs, housebreaking I’m not sure but try the links I will include plus you can use Google to search for yourself.
Start off by crate-training your dogs. What you’ll likely want to do is get each dog their own crate. The crate should not be too large so they don’t have enough space to use a corner of it to go to the bathroom. It should be large enough for them to stand up in and turn around. Dogs don’t like to go to the bathroom where they lay down or sleep.
Get the dogs onto a schedule of going out, eating, playing, and going for walks that way you can get them into a schedule for going to the bathroom outside. Eating, playing, and walks will trigger them to go to the bathroom which will make it easier for you.
Really the same way as you would do a new pup……….the benefit is that you will soon know when they go and can time the going outside………the cons are they are in a habit.
Reduce their space to roam and put paper down, reduce the paper until you don’t need it any more……….as healthy dogs do not generally toilet in their beds, crates can come in handy in this instance and saves you lots of work and upset, by doing half bed, half paper for a few days, so they know paper is the placee to go if they have to.
It is a fine balance to getting it right for the dogs and changing their behaviour and giving them options to enable that change……….and keeping your sanity without getting stressed.
First, becuase of their age, get a vet check to make sure they don’t have any medical issues. Then you housebreak them just like any young dog or puppy. I recommend crate training. Tethering them to you with a leash so you can watch them every minute and taking them out at first sign they need to go works well also.