View Full Version : Housetraining an older Cavalier?

8th November 2007, 08:11 PM
I am seriously considering adopting a 2 year old female Cavalier who is crate-trained, but has never been housetrained. I was wondering how difficult it will be to housetrain her and if there was anyone who has already gone through this with an older dog who might have some advice for me?

Thanks very much!

8th November 2007, 08:42 PM
You can most definitely teach an old dog new tricks. Just go about the house training in much the same way you would with a puppy.

I know we get to hear of the nightmare dogs that pee everywhere, but it is my honest opinion that once a dog considers the inside of the house to be "his big kennel", he does not want to pee in there. Dogs do not normally wish to soil inside their own kennel.

We recently adopted a 2 year old in tact male (now 3) who was not considered to be entirely house trained. When we bought him home we put a belly band on him for a few days, I took him outside hourly & gave the "do wee" command, followed up with rewards, and within only a couple of days I could trust him entirely inside of the house.

Do expect a few accidents though, as moving to a new home can be stressful. I am sure there is a broad range of dogs that are as individuals easy to train, with others requiring a little more understanding & patience.

I am sure that some of the rescue threads would cover this really well.

9th November 2007, 08:25 AM
I adopted 2 four year old girls almost a year ago who were not house trained. I trained them exactly as I would have with a puppy. Take them out frequently, nice treats when they perform and watch them like a hawk. I still do not trust them to be in another room on their own and perhaps I never will be able to trust them. They are 99% reliable now but the odd accident happens if I am not vigilant. I am training them to use poochie bells - Bella will ring on command and even rang the bell herself the other night to go out and do a poop :rah:

Best of luck if you go ahead with the adoption.

9th November 2007, 10:38 AM
I'd think if the dog is crate trained already it will be considerasbly easier to housetrain as you can use that as a tool.

Generally housetraining is housetraining -- you take the same approach for adults. However for some adults, especially older adults or those who have been confined in small spaces where they were allowed to remain in their own soil, it can be difficult and sometimes they will never be totally reliable.

Get Shirlee Kalstone's little book on housetraining -- it gives lots of schedules you can use and advises on working with older dogs. :thmbsup:

10th November 2007, 09:51 AM
I'm not sure if it's a Cavalier thing or not, but arasara's dog Kosmo and my 6yr old rescue Hope both circle before they go.
She was a mill mama and surely not house trained.
Although she has never gone in the house, I have seen her circling like she wants to.
I just watch her like a hawk and put her outside every few hrs.
I go outside with her and tell her she is a good girl and always have the treats ready whenever I see her go.
I've heard most Cavaliers will do ANYTHING for food and she is no exception.
Good luck, and congrats on your new fur baby:)