Puppy Housebreaking Made Easy
Puppy housebreaking takes time and patience, but knowing some simple rule can make the process easier. Here are some tips to make housebreaking a dog easier.
1) Follow the Rules
There are two tried and true rules to effective puppy housebreaking. The first rule is, if you don’t catch your puppy in the act, don’t punish him! If you punish your puppy for having an accident after the fact, he may not be able to equate the punishment with the accident, and therefore he may not fully understand why you’re punishing him or how he can prevent further punishment. Only punish your puppy for accidents when you catch him in the act; that way, he can understand why he’s being punished and can begin to learn not to mess in the house.
The second rule is, praise your puppy when he does the right thing. Don’t create a situation in which your puppy feels constantly punished. Let him know when he’s pleased you; this will make him want to please you again in the future.
2) Choose a Method and Stick to It
There are several different methods of puppy housebreaking. Three of the most popular are:
- Paper training
- Crate training
- Constant supervision
Paper training begins inside the house, and involves training your puppy to relieve himself on newspapers or puppy pee pads. Once he’s got the hang of that, you can begin teaching him to go outside.
Crate training works because dogs don’t like to urinate or defecate in the same place where they sleep. In crate training, the puppy is placed in a crate or cage at night and whenever you can’t supervise him during the day. When you take him out of the crate, you also take him outside so he can relieve himself. Crate training can be very effective, though puppies should be allowed plenty of time out of the crate, so they don’t develop behavioral problems.
Constant supervision means that you spend all of your time with the puppy, watching his behavior and reacting appropriately when it looks like he needs to relieve himself. This method isn’t for everybody, but it can be suitable for retirees and people who work from home.
3) Use Specific Verbal Cues
Specific verbal commands can help your dog to more quickly understand what you’re doing and what you’d like him to do. Say the word “outside” whenever you take your puppy outside; to encourage your dog to do his business, use a phrase like “Go potty” or “Do your business.” When your puppy’s finished, praise him with the words “Good dog.”
4) Make Your Puppy’s Feeding Schedule Work for You
A feeding schedule can be a great help with puppy housebreaking. Your puppy will need to go outside when he wakes up, and he’ll need to go outside about thirty minutes after eating or drinking. Keeping this in mind can help you avoid unnecessary accidents.
Keeping a regular feeding schedule can also help those who need to plan their dog’s or puppy’s trips outside. A consistent feeding schedule means that your puppy’s bathroom breaks will be consistent too.