10 Effective Housebreaking Tips for Dog Owners
For many pet owners, housebreaking a dog is one of the most feared aspects of training. However, when done correctly, housebreaking does not have to be complex or difficult. It does require a little patience, a strong commitment, and consistency. It typically takes about six months to housebreak a dog fully, but once competed, he will remain housebroken throughout his lifetime. Listed below are several housebreaking tips you can use to make the housebreaking process easier for you and your family.
1. Train at the Right Time
For best results, you should start housebreaking your puppy between the time he is 12 to 16 weeks of age. Starting to train before this age will be futile because the puppy will not have enough bladder control to prove successful. Without full bladder control, your dog will not have the ability to be housebroken. If you start at 12 weeks and your puppy is having trouble lasting between bathroom breaks, you may need to stop and wait a few week before beginning again. If you are bringing a dog home that is already older than 16 weeks then you can start training right away.
2. Confine Puppy
When housebreaking a puppy, or even a new dog in the home, it is easiest to confine him to just one location. This could be just one room of your home or it could be a crate. This will make it easier to control your dog and allow you to find accident quickly. If the scent of your dog’s urine sets into the flooring, it could entice your dog to urinate at the same location.
If you decide to crate train your puppy, it is extremely important to purchase the right size crate. You want a crate the is big enough for your dog to stand up, lie down, and to turn around. This will give the dog enough room to be comfortable while inside the crate. However, if you use a crate that is too large, your dog may use the extra space as a “potty.” If your crate is to large, block off a section of the crate until your dog is bigger.
3. Create a Routine
Having a set routine is crucial when housebreaking dogs. You should have a set time for feedings, playing, resting, and for going outside. The more consistent you can be with this schedule, the more luck you will have when training your dog. This means that you have to make a strong commitment to training. It is a good idea to enlist help from others when housebreaking your dog.
4. Regular Potty Breaks
If you have puppy, it is important to realize that he will need to go outside to the bathroom quite frequently. Small puppies do not have a very large bladder and they will not be able to wait more than a couple of hours to go outside. Most experts agree that the typical puppy can hold his bladder for about one hour for every month old his is. For example, if your puppy is four months old then he needs to go outside at least every four hours. Keep this in mind when creating your regular routine.
5. Take to Same Spot
Select a spot in your yard where you want your puppy to relieve himself and make sure to take him to the same spot every time you take him out. Your puppy will smell his own scent there and remember that this is the place where he should go to the bathroom. In addition, as your puppy grows, he will always use this space as his “potty,” which will make clean up easier.
6. Reward Puppy Only After Done
Rewarding your puppy after he goes to the bathroom outside is a vital part of housebreaking. This will let your dog know that he did a good thing and it will encourage him to do the same thing again. However, it is very important that you wait until the dog is completely done to reward him with a special treat. Giving a reward too early could distract the puppy, which could cause him to finish relieving himself after going back inside.
As stated earlier, dogs thrive on routine. Keeping a set time for going outside is just as important as making the entire process as consistent as possible. Use the same words, like “go potty” every time you take your dog out. If you cannot be home for a set “potty break,” enlist the help of neighbors, friends, and family members. To keep things as consistent as possible, be sure to explain your routine to your helpers.
8. Look for Signs
As your dog become more confident in housebreaking, he will start displaying signs when he needs to outside. This could include things like pacing by the door, whining, sniffing, and/or barking. Seeing these signs in your dog is a very good step and it shows that your dog is learning that he must be outside to go to the bathroom. Pay close attention to these signs and act quickly. Your dog will likely use these same signs throughout his lifetime, which makes it very important to notice the signs early.
9. Prepare for Accidents
No matter how consistent you are or how good your dog is doing at being housebroken, accidents will still happen. This is all part of the learning process. It is best to prepare yourself for this right now and to not overreact when it happens. Your dog could misinterpret this negative attention, which could hinder the housebreaking process. It is crucial that your thoroughly clean the area up afterwards, so you dog does not smell his scent. This could confuse your puppy as to where the appropriate place to relieve himself is.
10. No Punishment
While your fist instinct may be to punish your dog every time he makes a mistake, do not do it. You must take command of your dog early on and let him know that you are the leader. This means that you must be firm and direct, but punishing your dog can have adverse effects. It will lower your dog’s confidence and build a fearful bond with you instead of an appropriate owner-pet relationship. This could not only hinder the housebreaking process, but it may also make it more difficult for you to teach other training techniques to your dog.
Housebreaking your dog is one of the first things you want to teach him, so you want to start as earlier as he is ready. While it does take a lot of extra effort at first, you will be very happy later on that you took the time to train your dog properly. Using these helpful tips will make the housebreaking process easier and less stressful. It is important that every member of the household is onboard with helping with the process and that everyone knows what their responsibilities are.
It is also important to take your dog to regular vet appointments and keep him up-to-date on all his shots. Dog grooming is also very important and it will keep your dog looking and feeling good. Tucson dog grooming services include everything from shampooing and cutting to teeth brushing to flea and tick treatments, and more.