Be patient with your foster dog. Even housetrained adult dogs will make mistakes, especially if they’ve been at the shelter for a long time and have been eliminating in their kennel. If there are smells in your house from another dog or cat, some foster dogs may “mark” out their territory. This action should be re-directed immediately with a calm “Oops” and escort him outside where he can finish. You will then want to use some odor neutralizer (like Nature’s Miracle) on the areas where the foster dog “marked” to insure he will not smell and mark that area again. You can begin to housetrain a puppy at 8 weeks of age. Even if you bring home an adult dog that is housebroken, you will want to follow these guidelines until your foster dog adjusts to his new situation and to your schedule.
Determine where you want your foster dog to eliminate – it could be the backyard, side yard or an indoor substrate.
When you have determined where he should do his business, take him to the same place every time, and tell him “go potty” or “do your business”. Take him out when he wakes up, after he eats or drinks, after a play session, or at least every 2 hours. Puppies should go out every 45 minutes until you learn their pattern. Stand with him for 5 minutes. If he eliminates, reward him (with treats, praise, a favorite game and your own special happy dance). If he doesn’t go in 5 minutes, take him back inside and try every 15 minutes until he goes. Every time he goes, make sure you reward him!
Supervise the puppy closely while you are inside. If he starts to sniff the floor, or even squats to go, interrupt with a calm “Oops”, scoop him up quickly and take him to the approved spot and praise when he finishes.
If he goes in the house while you are not paying attention, don’t correct him – it is not his fault. Clean it up and go back to your schedule. Use an odor neutralizer (like Nature’s Miracle) to get rid of the smell. NEVER put the dog’s face in his mess, or yell at him. He will not understand you and you will only be teaching him to fear you.