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A Dog Diaper or Male Wrap Can Help with Housetraining. Yes, Really!

  

By Jess Rollins
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I've had a lot of foster dogs to housetrain 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 housetraining 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 housetraining. I think trainers are worried that people will use the diaper as a crutch and end up not successfully housetraining 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 housetraining program for certain dogs.

Is your dog a good candidate for housetraining using a dog diaper?

  • Is your dog mostly housetrained? The diaper is useful towards the end of the housetraining 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 housetraining 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 housetrain your dog just fine using the basic housetraining 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 housetraining).

  • 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 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 housetraining is an add on to a traditional housetraining 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.

Comments

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Author: J. Smith
My teacup poodle would piddle on the carpet inside. I tried using dog diapers and was very successful. She will not go in the diaper (or at least hasn't yet in the two weeks I've used them). I take her out for normal potty breaks then reapply the diaper inside. It's a little bit of a hassle but much better than having piddle spots on the rug.
Author: Paula
I have a feeling my dog will chew up the diaper... how do you avoid this? Pet Expertise response: With supervision and some Bitter Apple Spray. It also helps to make sure that your dog has something yummy to chew on like a bully stick to keep him or her occupied.
Author: Louise Roberg
I just bought these because my 2 yr old terrier is alone during the day, and has started to mark in the house. He just started this. I hate to have to kennel him, so I am going to try these bands. I hope they work.
Author: Ryann
I have a dog that has to wear a male wrap almost always because he constantly pees on everything. My mother and I have work most of the day so we can't take him on frequent potty breaks during those times. We switch out diapers and clean then constantly but he has a horrible rash. Is there any other way to prevent this?
Author: Mary
Good idea. I wouldn't have thought so, but as a trainer myself I have found that it helps even with the confusion that my 15 yr old dog sometimes has about where to pee. She tolerates the diaper well, but doesn't want to pee with it on.
Author: Ryann
I have a dog that has to wear a male wrap almost always because he constantly pees on everything. My mother and I have work most of the day so we can't take him on frequent potty breaks during those times. We switch out diapers and clean then constantly but he has a horrible rash. Is there any other way to prevent this?


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