Most dogs just want to be wherever you are. However, you may want to limit your dog to certain parts of the house for various reasons. Often bedrooms are upstairs on a second floor, and you may want to keep bedroom areas dog and dog hair-free, especially if someone in the family has respiratory or sleeping problems that could be disturbed by your dog wandering around spreading his doggy fur haphazardly around your sleeping area. Another concern may be that an elderly dog that has previously gone upstairs, is now having trouble negotiating staircases. It may not be that hard for a senior dog to get up the stair,s but getting down may be a wreck waiting to happen. In this case, teaching your dog that he or she can no longer go upstairs may be necessary, and a bit of a challenge if they were used to going upstairs in the past. There are a few ways, however, to train even an older dog that is used to having access to all parts of the house not to go upstairs.
You may choose to use treats or play time to reinforce verbal commands to avoid stairs. Deterrents such as double-sided sticky tape, tin foil, or mats may also be used. Blocking your dog with gates, crates or confinement in a designated part of the home will require some planning and making sure that methods to contain your dog are safe and secure. Be consistent and make sure everyone in the house understands the plan.
My dog keeps pooing on the carpet and keeps going up stairs
I am sending you information on potty training as well as crate training. There is a lot of information, but it should help you with this process. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.
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My very old dog has always slept upstairs with us, but now he can't (and won't try) to come upstairs because of arthritis. HOWEVER, he doesn't like to be alone and barks trying to get someone to come to him. Is it okay to let him "bark it out" until he gets used to it? He has a heart condition, and I'm afraid he'll get so stressed, he'll have a heart attack.
Hello Heather, I would reach out to your vet and ask about the heart condition. (I am not a vet). Normally, allowing a dog to bark it out would be fine, and except with severe separation anxiety, should not cause too much stress; however, with your dog, I cannot say without being a medical professional, so I would speak to your vet about the effects of certain types of stress on his condition and whether that would be dangerous for him. If your vet feels it's dangerous, you might be able to use a harness assist with a handle to help him physically and confidence-wise, make it up the stairs again. https://www.chewy.com/petsafe-carelift-handicapped-support/dp/53762?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=hg&utm_content=Solvit&utm_term=&show-search=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiA7qP9BRCLARIsABDaZzjnPYCqVlkxwzHIyX4JKLyxgE_MpMuXiQ2JEu6wS81JwSoNKdYcaScaAp1jEALw_wcB https://ruffwear.com/products/web-master-harness?variant=32672539077¤cy=USD&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&gclid=Cj0KCQiA7qP9BRCLARIsABDaZzgBdvR3IdVeSBfD1kTTZJSlDImaijSwAjJ4JEilAjeiEKOEjYHFAH8aArXbEALw_wcB Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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He keeps going up the stairs and we don’t want him up there, we have used the water bottle and it works if he see myself with it but not anyone else’s, what would you suggest doing
Hello! Have you considered getting a baby gate or using any other type of barrier to keep him out of that space? If not you might want to look into what's called indoor boundary training.
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Our Boxer Beaux has recently started going up the stairs during the night and sleeping with our kids or on the couches upstairs. Our main bedroom is on the bottom floor. He has always slept in our room on a dog bed and we have always slept with our door open so he can use the dog door and go potty in the night if needed. Occasionally he would leave our room and go get on the couch so we started putting foil on it and broke him of it. Now he is going upstairs to our kids rooms. If we shut our door he cries and whimpers off and on all night and scratches at the door every 30 mins. We have blocked off the stairs with a bunch of different things - baby gates, chairs, solid piece of wood and he just beats at it till he moves it or knocks it down or jumps over it. Or stands at the bottom of the stairs crying to get up. We even put him in his kennel for a few nights which he freaked out barking and scratching since he typically is only in it while we are gone. It's been a miserable few months and we aren't sure what else to do.
Hello Ivy, I recommend two things. First, I recommend periodically sprinkling treats on the dog bed in your room for him to find at different points in the day - so that he develops a habit of going to the bed on his own to check for treats throughout the day and loves his bed more. Show him the treats the first few times, then doing it when he isn't looking, so he will go searching for them. Second, I would work on the Out command (which means leave the area), and with pup on a long leash practice having your kids go upstairs and you tell out when tries to follow. Reward him if he obeys and moves away from the stairs, and use the long leash to reel him in toward you, away from the stairs, while calmly telling him "Ah Ah" if he tries to follow up the stairs and ignores your command. Practice often for short periods of time until pup understands and will obey your Out command and not follow up the stairs. Third, once pup understands to stay away from the stairs when you tell him to, and prefers his own bed more, if pup is still insisting on going up the stairs at night, look into purchasing a pet barrier device, which is something that you can place by the stairs, adjust the range so that pup is corrected when he gets too close to it - within it's range, while wearing a corresponding collar. You want pup to first understand where he is allowed to sleep (in your room), and that he isn't supposed to go upstairs (via the Out practice during the day), then the device can simply correct pup while you are sleeping if he disobeys the rules at night. Another option is to crate pup at night and you can correct the barking with a different protocol. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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