Tip of the Month

5/25/2007 Housebreaking

Housebreaking is one of the most common concerns of dog owners. Targeted dog training is necessary at a young age in order to prevent dogs and puppies from eliminating in undesirable areas. Although being a dog owner does not make you a dog trainer, there are steps you can take to housebreak your own dog.

First, it’s important to recognize that most dogs do not like to eliminate in the immediate area that they lie in. By confining your dog to a small area, you can make sure she will not eliminate until you take her outside to do so. Also, proper training for this behavior involves giving your puppy her meals at the same time every day. Remember to take her out to the same bathroom area using the same door each time at regular intervals. In the beginning, the animal trainer will advise you to take your puppy outside to go “potty” every 30 minutes. If you take her out and she doesn’t “go” within five minutes, bring her back in and confine her in her crate or another very restricted area. Keep taking her outside every 30 minutes until she eliminates. Every time she goes “potty” within five minutes of being outside, praise her and give her another five minutes to make sure she is completely empty. Going “potty” outside is rewarded by giving your puppy 10 to 20 minutes of monitored free time in the house. After seven days of no accidents, you can slowly start lengthening the free time in the house. If your dog is still eliminating in the house after completing these steps, seek professional training from a Certified Dog Trainer for further assistance.

Any time your puppy is in the house, you must watch her closely so you can interrupt her if you see her getting restless, sniffing about, or even just moving away from the group. Don’t yell or charge over to her; you want to interrupt, not frighten her. Scaring her will only make dog obedience training more difficult. Then, calmly take her outside to “go.”

If your puppy has an accident in the house, don’t punish or scold her! Calmly take your puppy out to her bathroom area and clean the accident with an odor neutralizer. Your animal trainer or a pet service professional at your local pet supply store can recommend an effective neutralizer. Most puppies have accidents in the house because they are allowed too much freedom in the house too quickly.

Your careful and persistent training will soon provide you with a well-behaved puppy who knows to go outside to eliminate, so keep up the good work!

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