If you don't catch your puppy making an "accident," don't punish
him for it.
Housebreaking Rule #2:
When he does it right outside, praise him!
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 praise them 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 take 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. Dogs do not like
to soil their beds because they would be forced to lay in the mess. It
works, and while in these confines, most pups will control their bladder
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 crates. 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-potty 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
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.
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 It,' '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.
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.
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.
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."
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.