Housetraining an Adult Dog

If you adopt an adult poodle, you might be lucky enough to get one that is already housetrained. All you'll have to do is show him where you want him to potty. You can do that by hanging out in the potty area for as long as it takes, then praising and rewarding him with treats when he eliminates outside.

If your new adult is a male (particularly if he's not neutered or was recently neutered), he might have the urge to lift his leg in your house to mark it as his own. If you catch him in the act, gently but firmly tell him “No,” then take him outside. When he pees in the potty spot, praise him to high heaven and give him a treat. Be sure to remove the odor from the spot he marked in the house.

If your poodle seems to have never been taught that the house is not the place to go potty, treat him like a puppy. He won't require as many trips outside, but he should be crated or in his ex-pen when you can't supervise him, or in his long-term confinement area when you are away from home for a few hours. Take him out at regular intervals, and reward him for doing the right thing. He'll probably catch on quickly.


Pet-store puppies can be more of a challenge to housetrain because they've been forced to eliminate in their cages. If you find yourself with a poodle that doesn't hesitate to soil his crate, stop depending on the crate as a housetraining tool. Instead, be extra vigilant with watching her and taking her outside on schedule. Don't take the crate away — it can still be her “safe haven.”

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