Dogs are incredibly smart animals. In fact, the average pooch can understand about 165 words, with the smartest dogs learning well over 200. This intelligence is what makes dogs such excellent companions, especially for individuals struggling with mental health symptoms.
Despite their intelligence, some emotional support dogs still struggle to break bad habits. One type of training many dogs struggle with is toilet training– after all, dogs don’t instinctively know which areas are acceptable for bathroom purposes, and which are no-go zones.
If you’re struggling to toilet train your ESA dog, don’t worry. With diligence and patience, your dog will be better socialized in no time. Here are three ESA dog training tips and tricks for housebreaking your beloved pup:
1. Never Leave Your Untrained Puppy Unattended
It’s much harder to toilet train your ESA dog after she’s already gone to the bathroom inside your house. Puppies can’t hold it for very long, so the best toilet training strategy is to prevent accidents before they happen. Keep your pup in sight at all times, and take her outside every about every 30 minutes or every hour.
2. Clean Up Messes Quickly
If your pup does have an accident, don’t punish her. Instead, clear the mess away as quickly as possible. Scolding your dog will only make her scared to go to the bathroom while you’re around, which makes leash training especially difficult. Just ensure that indoor accidents are swiftly sanitized and deodorized so your pup doesn’t associate that area with relieving herself.
3. Keep a Feeding and Potty Schedule
When trying to toilet train your ESA dog, regularity and predictability are your most powerful tools. If you feed your pup at the same time each day, she’ll probably need to go to the bathroom at predictable intervals. Take her outside after eating, after playtime, and after every nap. With time, your ESA dog will learn to recognize toilet breaks and hold her bladder until the time is right.
While toilet training is important for any companion animal, ESA training might be even more essential. After all, an emotional support animal that causes the owner stress might be a provide less effective pet therapy for depression or social anxiety disorder. To foster the best relationship with your ESA dog, use these three toilet-training tips. Your carpet and your furry friend will thank you.