Housebreaking an Adult Golden
People normally associate housebreaking with puppies, but adult dogs can experience periods of regression, or some were never taught where to go in the first place. To successfully housebreak an adult Golden, you need to develop a predictable schedule; keeping a chart and recording what happens during each potty trip will help immeasurably. If there are any accidents in the house, put those on the chart as well. After a few weeks, you will be able to see those times when you need to put in more walks and those when your dog can go a little longer between trips.
An adult dog will usually be housebroken much faster than a puppy. At the same time, remember that his body is still learning a new skill and the muscles necessary to “hold it” may need time to develop. If your adopted dog lived outdoors or in a kennel, he went to the bathroom anytime he needed to. Teaching your adult Golden to hold it and go outdoors will be a new concept for him, and he will need time to get good at it.
Here are some tips for housebreaking an adult dog:
Take your new Golden out to potty once an hour for the first three days. Chart his potty activities, including accidents. After the first three days, modify your schedule as necessary.
Crate your new Golden when you are going to leave the house.
Walk your Golden after meals, exercise, and play sessions.
Limit access to water and food; feed on a regular schedule.
Go to one place in the yard for potty breaks, and give him only a minute to do his business. Praise him (“Good potty!”) when he goes.
Housebreaking is not rocket science, but it is time consuming. The good news is that adult dogs pick up the skill much faster than puppies. If you feel like you've followed these guidelines but are still not making progress, consider consulting your veterinarian. Some dogs, especially when they are under stress, develop urinary tract infections that make their need to eliminate more frequent and less predictable. Some intestinal parasites can also go undetected and can interfere with even the best housebreaking plan. With patience and time you will see that Goldens are a quick study; unless there is a medical problem, your new Golden will be reliably housebroken before you know it.