If you don’t catch your puppy making an “accident,”
don’t punish him for it.
When he does it right outside, praise him!
Housebreaking your new puppy doesn’t have to be
hard or messy, nor should it take very long if done
right. Getting your dog to do its business outside is
a matter of training, and the more attention you can
give to your puppy during this crucial training, the
shorter this awkward stage will last.
Methods of housebreaking
Starting Inside: There are several
ways to housebreak a puppy. With the first, you can
put down papers or pretreated pads, encouraging them
to use these areas for going to the bathroom. The pads
are scented with a chemical that attracts the puppy
to use them. Whenever you see them starting into their”pre-potty
pattern,” such as walking around and sniffing
the floor, you gently pick them up without talking and
carry them over to the papers/pad and then when they
go to the bathroom.
When all goes well and they are using the papers consistently,
the papers are either moved closer to the door and/or
another set is placed outside. The transition is made
from concentrating the toilet habits to one spot inside
the home to one spot outside the home. Finally, the
papers inside are eliminated. The only problem with
this method is that for a period of time it encourages
the animal to eliminate inside the home. In our experience,
housebreaking may longer when this method is used.
Crate Training: The second popular
method of housebreaking involves the use of a crate
or cage. Make sure the crate isn’t too large –
just big enough to fit their sleeping blanket or mat.
Dog do not like to soil their beds because they would
be forced to lay and bowels for a longer time than we
would expect. Young puppies, at 8 or 9 weeks of age
can often last for 7 or 8 hours, however, we would never
recommend leaving them unattended in a crate for that
long in most circumstances.During housebreaking, whenever
the puppy is inside the home but cannot be watched,
he is placed in the crate. This might be while you are
cooking, reading to the children, or even away from
the home. The last thing you do before you put the puppy
in the crate is take him outside to his favorite spot.
The first thing you do when you take the animal out
of the crate is another trip outside. No food or water
goes in the crate, just a blanket and maybe a chew toy
to occupy his time. Overnight is definitely crate time.
As your faith in the puppy grows, leave him out for
longer and longer periods of time.
Constant Supervision: The last method
involves no papers, pads, or creates.
Rather,you choose to spend all the time necessary with
the puppy. This works very well for people who live
and work in their homes, retired persons, or in situations
where the owners are always with the animal. Whenever
they see the puppy doing his “pre-pattern”
they hustle him outside. It is important that the dog
is watched at all times and that no mistakes are allowed
to occur. When he is taken outside, use a leash or lead
to keep him less distracted and watch the puppy closely
– as soon as all goes as planned, he should be
praised enthusiastically. Do not play until after the
pup goes so he learns to go quickly on command. Use
Simple and consistent Verbal cues
Specific verbal communications will also help the two
of you understand what is desired. It is an excellent
idea to always use a word when it is time to head to
the bathroom. We like”Outside?” Remember
that whenever you use a verbal command or signal, it
is important that everybody in the family always uses
the same word in the same way.
Once outside, we try to encourage the pup to get on
with the act in question. We use the phrase “Do
your numbers.” Others use ‘Do Lt,’
‘Potty,’ or ‘Hurry Up ‘As soon
as your pup eliminates, it is very important to praise
them with a “Good Dog” and then come back
inside immediately. Again, make this trip that started
outside with a specific word “Outside” be
for a purpose. If we are taking the pup out to play
with a ball or go for a walk we will not use this word
even if we know they will eliminate while we are outside.
If Accidents Happen
One of the key issues in housebreaking is to follow
Rule Number One: If you do not catch your puppy doing
it, then do not punish him for it! We do not care what
someone else may tell you or what you read, if you find
a mess that was left when you were not there, clean
it up and forget it.
Discipline will not help because unless you catch the
puppy in the act, he will have no idea what the scolding
is for. At this point in his life a puppy’s memory
is very, very poor. Your puppy has urinated and defecated
hundreds of times before he met you. Nobody made a fuss
before and the pup will not relate the punishment, regardless
of its form, together with something he has done without
incident numerous times before. Especially if he did
it more than 30 seconds ago! Puppies are just like our
children. Unless something was really fun (and a repetitious
act like going to the bathroom is not), they are not
thinking about what they did in the past. They are thinking
about what they can do in the future.
The same should be said as to your first reaction when
you actually catch them in the act of urinating or defecating.
Do not get mad. Quickly but calmly pick them up and
without raising your voice sternly say “No.”
Carry them outside or to their papers. They are going
to be excited, but stay there with them a while and
if they finish the job, reward them with simple praise
like “Good Dog.”
Remember, though the housebreaking process may get frustrating
at times – especially the times cleaning up the
occasional accident – be patient and stay calm.
If you want housebreaking to go quickly, regardless
of the method you use, follow these simple tips and
try to spend as much time as possible with your puppy.