If you don’t teach your best friend not to pee and poop in your house, he won’t be your friend for long will he
Successful housebreaking is by far the most important element of a loving, lifelong relationship between you and your family dog. Fortunately housebreaking a puppy or adult dog is not complicated with a little dog information and dog training, housebreaking your dog can be easy. All you have to do is prevent peeing and pooping in the house, and reward peeing and pooping outside. While putting this simple concept into practice is not difficult, it does require your diligence, dedication, and patience. Believe me the rewards are definitely worth the effort.
In this article we will provide some basic information about dogs on which our housebreaking techniques are based, explain the benefits of crate training along with positive reinforcement training for housebreaking your pooch.
Here are five rules about dogs that will guide your housebreaking training:
- Adult dogs can be house-broke the same as puppies:
- If you adopt an adult dog, you may not have to worry about housebreaking if he has already been trained correctly. Dogs, even the smartest ones, do not naturally know it’s wrong to go potty indoors. They must be trained, and most adult dogs are. But you cannot assume this is always the case. If the dog was always kept outdoors, raised in a cage, a puppy mill, or not trained correctly by a previous owner you will need to start fresh and housebreak them using the same basic techniques as you would for a puppy. Adult dogs do not have to go as often as puppies, which will make the training much easier for you. Keep in mind however that adult accidents will create bigger messes
- Puppies have limited control over their bladder and bowels:
- A puppy younger than 20 weeks will need to go potty once every hour when they are awake. A very young puppy (under 12 weeks old) will need to go more often, possibly every 30 minutes or more.
- For an older puppy, a general rule for determining the number of hours the pup can go without going potty is to take his age in months and add one. Therefore a four month old could hold it for about five hours. Small breeds usually cannot hold it quite as long. Large breeds can hold it a bit longer as a rule. Remember that this is a general rule of thumb and your puppy’s ability to control will vary.
- Also don’t forget dogs usually go after you feed them too. This could be the perfect time to take them for a wander on the grass and praise them when they get it right!.
- When puppies are sleeping they typically can hold it a little longer. But please don’t think a puppy that can hold it for 6 hours while sleeping can hold it that long while awake, they simply cannot
- Dogs like to sleep in a clean spot:
- If given a choice, dogs like people will never sleep in an area that is soiled with pee or poop. in the wild a dog, wolves, coyotes, foxes, etc. sleep in a den and go outside to relieve themselves. Their pups learn to do the same.
- Dogs will try their best not to soil in their sleeping area. your puppy is less likely to pee or poop in a small den or confined space. Confining him to a den whenever you cannot watch over the pup will guarantee they do not get a chance to begin the bad habit of going anywhere else in the house. I would recommend training your pup to a crate, as their own den. This will become your pups safe place where they go to relax, chew toys and sleep. Training your dog to a crate is an excellent approach to housebreaking providing you follow the next rule.
- Dogs do best when kept to a routine schedule:
- Feeding your dog on a set schedule will help him to go potty on a regular schedule. If you let your dog eat and drink whenever he wants you will be less able to predict when the pup needs to go out to potty. By all means take them out on a regular schedule, first thing in the morning, always after they eat or soon after and several times during the day, then again before going to bed at night.
- Punishing your dog after you have discovered a mess in the house is pointless and may do more harm than good:
- Your dog will not understand that you are upset about something that happened in the past, even if it was just a minute or two ago. They will think they are in trouble for what they are doing at the instant you discover the mess. They may be happily coming up to greet you or sitting quietly, whatever they are doing at the time is what they will think they are in trouble for. This obviously is the wrong message to give your dog and will likely confuse and possibly cause physiological issues.
When it comes to house training the most important thing to remember is communication. You are teaching the dog how you communicate to them. Therefore be consistent and do not send mixed messages. Rewarding good behavior works best, dogs are very social animals and love attention and therefore learns quickly what it takes to get what they want. so, always reward your dog when they are responding correctly to your commands. By taking this approach to training your dog you will likely get faster and better results.