Correcting the Resistant Dog


On rare occasions, stubborn or insensitive dogs don’t have any reaction to standard housebreaking corrections. If you find that your dog is that kind of guy, you may need to use stronger corrections in your housebreaking program. There may be some people who feel that using harsher correction methods is inhumane, but I feel it’s important for people with resistant dogs to have options; the only other alternative is usually giving your dog away or taking him to the animal shelter, since few owners are willing to live with an unhousebroken dog.

Remember, these stronger corrections must only be used with insensitive dogs that don’t respond to milder corrections. They’re last-resort corrections that are to be used only after you’ve tried the milder corrections and found them ineffective. They’re meant to be used ONLY with a complete housebreaking program. Do not use these methods if you’ve lost your temper, since you’re likely to overdo it. Remember, this is about teaching your puppy, so you need to be clearheaded enough to make good decisions about the strength and timing of your corrections.

If your dog has not responded to milder corrections, try using a pull on his leash the moment he begins to have an accident. Use a quick, snapping motion with the leash to get his attention. The pull is meant to surprise your dog so you can stop him and direct him to do the right thing. It is NOT meant to hurt him, so use only as much force as you need to get his attention. This correction works especially well if you’re doing umbilical cord training, so if you think you need to try this, you might want to consider that method.

SAFETY NOTE: Because of the physical nature of this correction, it should only be used with healthy dogs. Older dogs, delicate dogs or those with physical problems should not be corrected using this method. If you’re unsure about whether the method is safe for your dog, consult with your vet prior to trying it.

Some other options for correcting your dog are Pet Corrector Spray or a shake can. The Pet Corrector makes an unpleasant hissing sound and the shake can makes a loud, startling noise when you shake it or throw it near your dog. You can buy a Pet Corrector or shake can online or in your local pet store – or you can make your own shake can by putting 10-15 pennies in an empty soda can and taping the hole closed. These are good corrections for dogs who become playful when you correct them verbally or physically, since the correction doesn’t seem to be coming from you. You’ll need to have the penny can or Pet Corrector with you when your puppy’s having an accident, so leave them in strategic locations around the house or just keep one with you while your dog’s hanging out with you in the house. If your puppy starts to have an accident, use the Pet Corrector or throw the shake can down on the floor near your dog so it makes a loud noise to startle him. Try not to let him see you throw the can and be sure you don’t hit him with the can.

Remember, you should never hit your dog or rub his nose in his mess. The methods detailed above are the strongest corrections that are appropriate in a good housebreaking program. If you’re using them and your housebreaking still isn’t going well, make adjustments to the other parts of your training program, such as scheduling, confinement and supervision.

Purchase Supplies Related to This Article

Pet Corrector Spray

The Pet Corrector makes a loud, unpleasant hissing sound that will allow you to humanely and effectively correct specific behavior problems like barking in the crate.

Shake Can

You might want to try a shake can for your dog’s barking issues. It’s an easy-to-use, effective choice for most dogs, but it may not be appropriate for sensitive/shy dogs or for hunting breeds that may not be affected by loud noises.

Leather Leash

These high-quality leather leashes are waaay cheaper online than in most pet stores!

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