Understanding House Soiling
House soiling problems are very serious in the eyes of dog owners in majority of cases. In fact there are many dogs given up, abandoned and destroyed due to house soiling issues.
For the purposes of this post, house soiling behaviour differ from marking behaviours.
Unfortunately house soiling issues are often a result of poor or incomplete potty training on behalf of the owner and in most cases would have been highly preventable. House soiling behavior manifesting for physiological reasons such as infection or other illnesses, are not treatable through behavior modification techniques, and should be treated by a veterinarian. In some cases even once the medical portion of the issues has been treated, behavior modification methods may be required to alter the habitual tendency soil the house.
With insufficient training being a heart of most house soiling problems it is fitting to suggest that proper house training techniques be carried out. I recommend that house training be taken back to square one, starting with supervision. Observing the dogs’ cues and signal for elimination requirements is a learned skill, which not all pet owners possess. The dog must be either within viewing distance, on leash, tethered, in a crate, or a puppy-proof room with a designated potty area. Additionally, the dog must be escorted to the designated potty area frequently throughout the day, particularly after naps, eating, exercise or heavy play periods. Good Reinforcement must be provided for eliminating in the designate potty area during or directly after elimination occurs.
NO punishment is necessary for accidents; in fact it will be detrimental to the training process.
Punitive consequences will likely drive the behavior into an owner absent or hidden behavior, which makes it way more challenging to change. Accidents should be well cleaned with an enzyme based cleaner excellent to remove all possible alluring scents. These techniques may also be used in conjunction with other behavior modification techniques simply as a method of management while the actual route of the problem is addressed.