Dog Diapers: How to Use Dog Diapers to Help with House Training
I've had a lot of foster dogs to house train recently and I also happened to have a few dog diapers around for product testing. This got me to put two and two together and try out using the diaper as a house training aid. I discovered that the diaper can be very helpful in many cases!
Generally, dog trainers recommend diapers only for incontinent dogs or dogs in heat and not for house training. I think trainers are worried that people will use the diaper as a crutch and end up not successfully house training the dog at all, which is a valid concern. However, I've found that the dog diaper can be a really helpful aid if used as part of a complete house training program for certain dogs.
Is your dog a good candidate for house training using a dog diaper?
- Is your dog or puppy mostly house trained? The diaper is useful towards the end of the house training process when your dog readily goes potty outside and only has less than one accident a day.
- Is your dog easy going about wearing things and being handled? This method works best for dogs that are calm about being handled and won't mind wearing the diaper. If you don't think this is your dog, you might as well skip it and stick with the traditional house training method. For boy dogs that just have pee accidents, the Male Wrap can be a perfect version of the diaper as it is easier to put on and take off.
First, find a good-fitting and comfortable dog diaper.
Next, it is important to teach the dog that wearing the diaper is a good thing so that he or she is not frightened by the process or become upset when you approach. Do this by taking it slow with your dog and using lots of treats during the process of putting the diaper on. A second person can be helpful at first to feed the treats while you position the diaper. If your dog tries to wiggle out of the diaper once it is on, try to interrupt, and then reward him or her for calmness. If your dog really dislikes the diaper it may just not be worth it since you will be able to house train your dog just fine using the basic house training protocol without the diaper.
The time to begin using the diaper on your dog is when you are almost 100% sure that your dog won't have an accident in the house. The diaper is helpful in the following ways:
- Prevents floor, carpet and furniture clean-up (it can be difficult to remove all lingering odor which can hold back house training).
- Lets you know for sure that your dog has had an accident and that you need to give him or her less freedom. (Sometimes with little dogs they can have accidents that go unnoticed for quite some time).
- Makes going potty in the house somewhat uncomfortable for your dog which can help discourage him from "going" in the house.
- Helpful and courteous to use when visiting as dogs are often more likely to have accidents at a new place. (It is also important to remember to give your dog less freedom at a new place.)
If your dog has an accident in the diaper it means that you need to:
- Give your dog less freedom in the house. Do this by using a crate, tether (only when you are home), exercise pen or by gating them in a smaller area.
- Take your dog outside more often for potty breaks (up to once an hour during the day).
- Reward with a extra tasty treat for going potty outside.
- If the accident is happening by the door, you can help your dog learn to signal to you when he or she wants to go out by teaching them to use a house training bell.
- Clean the diaper and also wash and dry the dog to prevent a rash. A second diaper can be helpful when waiting for the first to be clean again.
Okay, I'm ready for your comments! I have a feeling people will either love or hate this idea. Just remember, that I am proposing using a dog diaper during house training is an add on to a traditional house training program which uses prevention of accidents and rewarding for going potty outside. The dog diaper will not allow you to skip all of the "hard work" but it can help with clean up and consistency.
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