If your Golden Retriever is prone to causing accidents inside, it is completely normal.
You aren’t a bad pup parent just yet, and there is no reason to tell them that they’re a ‘bad boy’ either.
Imagine you’ve arrived in a foreign nation and you have no clue how to communicate with all the local people. Now, imagine that you’ve got to rush yourself to the nearest restroom, but have no clue what to ask or whom to make awkward gestures to.
In addition, let’s also assume that you wouldn’t be able to recognize restrooms even if you searched for them in the manner you would back home.
So where does that leave you?
Aren’t you just going to pick a spot and do exactly what you were mad at your Golden Retriever for?
Housebreaking a Golden Retriever is as simple as teaching them a new culture, and since they are so intelligent, it won’t be too long before they stop making ‘mistakes’ all around the house.
Housebreaking a Golden Retriever with the NOAH Strategy
Even though housebreaking a Golden Retriever is a pretty simple process, it isn’t always going to go as smoothly as you expect it to be. To make things simpler, use the NOAH Strategy of potty training and here’s what NOAH translates to:
O-pportunity for an
A-ccident in the
If you know your Golden Retriever enough to take them out before they even realize they have to go, you will never have another accident in your home.
Arguably, the biggest mistake pup parents make here is that they don’t take them out that often and therefore, the poor animal has no choice but to answer nature’s call in your home. Don’t get mad at your puppy, because they don’t realize they need to clean up after themselves.
4 Step Guide to Housebreak a Golden Retriever
1. Take Them Out More Often
Training experts recommend that pup parents should take their puppy outside after every 20-minutes, however, a more realistic goal would be for every hour. The main goal here is to take your puppy outside before they realize they need to go.
You see, Golden Retrievers’ bladders can only only hold it in for an hour or so (based on their age in months). A puppy that is only 2-months old may be able to hold it in for 2 hours, a 3-month old puppy may wait for 3-hours, and you probably get the gist.
If you start taking them out after every 20-minutes to no avail, you can bump it up to 30- and even 40-minutes. However, if you’re taking them out by the hour, and they still relieve themselves inside your home, you might want to set the timer to 30-minutes again.
Also, don’t just start playing with your dog because Golden Retrievers have short attention spans. Give them at least 20-minutes to explore and do their thing and if they don’t go about their business, you could head back in or, perhaps, have a little Frisbee game.
2. Always the Same Spot
Dogs often answer nature’s call when they can sense it around them. For this reason, you should try walking your Golden Retriever to where they relieved themselves the last time or a spot they may have taken a particular interest to. Of course, this could as easily work to your disadvantage if you aren’t of the habit of cleaning up accidents effectively.
To stop your pup from sensing their previous accident in your home, make sure you use an efficient enzymatic cleaner, and not just scrub away with soap and water.
3. Praise Them Whenever They ‘Go’ Outside
Since your puppy may be confused at what angered you when they relieved themselves inside your home, why don’t you do the exact opposite when they do the right thing? Give them a treat, or host a little praise party with tickles and scratches whenever they go outside and it won’t be long before they connect the dots.
One common mistake pup parents make here is to praise them too soon or too loudly or, ironically, even interrupt their ‘process’. The last thing you want is to shout, “Good boy”, only to have them leap at you after stopping midstream.
Instead, praise them calmly and affectionately, just as you would a child.
4. Constrain Them
Housebreaking a Golden Retriever also involves constant monitoring, because, let’s face it, you have other things to do. For instance, if you are cooking dinner and you’re too focused on getting everything right, know that your puppy is up to no good.
If they go in the house, you might have to start your potty training right from the beginning. If they chew-up the shoes you wear to work, you might have to free up $100 from somewhere to buy a new pair. If they swallow your socks, you might have to get them surgically removed. Worst case scenario: they might find your stash of raisins and we all know how that ends.
Clearly, letting your puppy stroll about unsupervised, especially when they are still undergoing training, can have serious consequences. For puppies, ‘crate training’ is the best route to successfully housebreaking a Golden Retriever, because they never go where they sleep.
For older pups, you should practice keeping them on a leash inside or outside your home, and only when you can’t keep an eye out for their mischief.
Our Final Thoughts
While we may teach you all the essentials for housebreaking a Golden Retriever, don’t expect accidents not to happen anytime soon. When they do occur, try not to react and punish them. They have no clue what they are doing wrong and why you are upset.
Instead, stay patient and keep your training going. Don’t worry though, Golden Retrievers are exceptionally intelligent dogs and they are bound to learn where they can and cannot go very soon.
When they do, don’t forget to give them a nice treat!