The Basics of Housebreaking a Puppy
Housebreaking a puppy can be accomplished within two weeks if you follow the rules and dog training suggestions outlined below.
To make housebreaking a puppy ten times easier, a crate should be used (see Crate Training a Puppy). If you choose not to use a crate, then supervision is required ALL the time!
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When housebreaking a puppy the idea is to teach the dog where TO go, not only where NOT to go.
Whenever a pup leaves the crate after having been crated (over night for instance), the puppy should go directly outside with a command like “OUTSIDE.”
Once the puppy is outside, use a command like “GO POTTY” then, when the dog has FINISHED his business, praise and reward your puppy lavishly.
Keep the pup outside for a little while. Sometimes a puppy needs to go more than once, but more importantly pups like to be outside so we don’t want the pup to associate going to the bathroom with the “come back” in (i.e. end of fun)!
Once the pup has come back in, regardless of whether the pup did its business or not, the puppy either needs to go back in the crate or remain under someone’s supervision.
When housebreaking a puppy, it may make the occasional mistake. If you catch the puppy making a mistake, firmly say “OUTSIDE” and bring the pup outside, then repeat the first step few steps.
If you don’t catch your puppy making a mistake, don’t bother scolding the dog, you didn’t catch him in time and he cannot understand cause and effect.
Avoid the temptation to believe “He knows he did something wrong.” He only knows your body language shows anger. Just realize that your puppy cannot be left unsupervised yet.
Hitting your dog, or rubbing its nose in its stool, etc., does not teach your puppy right from wrong and is considered to be abuse!
Housebreaking a Puppy Using Papers
If you chose to use papers, then substitute the papers for outside.
Spread the paper area around; make the target big enough for the dog to hit easier. You can eventually reduce the area slowly until it is just one pad.
I only recommend papers for small dogs, possibly in an apartment situation where you cannot get him outside quick enough. Remember, train today for what you want tomorrow!
Routine Helps When Housebreaking a Puppy
We must help our dogs succeed by putting them on a solid feeding schedule and exercise schedule plus, making sure that puppies are not in their crates too long. It is essential to get your puppy out in a timely manner. My saying is “When in doubt, get them out!”
Reactive dog behavior modification methods simply don’t work. Remain proactive and give your dog a fair shake. (See Dog Behavior Modification)
When housebreaking a puppy consistency is the key. Dogs learn by trial and error and repetition (which is worth repeating), dogs learn by trial and error and repetition.
We cannot afford to be inconsistent when house training a puppy. In consistencies will only muddle the pup’s understanding of what we want and make the housebreaking process much longer than it needs to be.
About DP Dog Training
Thank you for taking the time to read this article on housebreaking a puppy by Frank D’Andrea.
Frank D’Andrea is a professional dog trainer offering professional dog training programs to clients throughout New Jersey and New York including Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Bergen, Morris.
Frank’s DP Dog Training programs incorporate the three phases of our dog training philosophy; the Learning Phase, the Correction Phase and the Proofing Phase and includes:
If you would like more information about housebreaking a puppy or on any of our other professional dog training programs please Contact Us, Email DP Dog Training or call at 845-368-0868.