Housebreaking Your Dog

Training your dog to eliminate in appropriate places is not particularly difficult. However, it is quite demanding. The most demanding aspect of housebreaking is the knowing when your puppy needs to go out. Anticipating elimination requires patience and careful supervision. The practices listed below will expedite housebreaking. At first, do all of them in a systematic fashion. As your dog becomes reliable, modify or eliminate the various practices.


1. Limit the time food is available. Feed your dog at regularly scheduled times. Remove the meal(s) after thirty minutes. Dogs will learn to eat at mealtime.


2. Feed a consistent diet. Stay with one brand of dog food and don’t add table scraps to his meals. Dogs have sensitive stomachs. The introduction of new foods may result in diarrhea.


3. Use a crate or confine your dog to a small area when you cannot supervise them. Dogs are less likely to soil confined areas.


4. Excitedly, repeat a phrase like “Outside” when you release your dog from the confined areas to relieve himself. Later, he may tell you that he needs to relieve himself by acting excited.


5. Accompany your dog to the bathroom area. Use a command such as “Go potty”, when you want the dog to eliminate. Ultimately, your command will become associated with this activity.


6. Give your dog treats and plenty of praise when he eliminates in appropriate areas. Rewards are critical because they will eliminate any confusion resulting from previous housebreaking attempts.


7. Do not punish your dog for eliminating in the wrong places unless you catch him in the act. The reason for punishment will not be clear. Indeed, he may learn to eliminate in conspicuous places.


If you have a new dog, the following suggestions may be helpful:

·        Make repeated trips to the designated area every two to four hours. Increase the time between trips as time goes on.

·        Young dogs are unable to go eight hours without using the bathroom. Come home for lunch or lay papers at one end of the area. Increase your dog’s space so that he does not have to lie in his own mess.

·        Take a trip after the pet has been quiet or asleep for any period of time.

·        When dogs are suddenly distracted, they may need to eliminate.

·        Dogs sniff or circle to the left before they eliminate. Watch for these behaviors.


Rebel takes his toy out with him to go to the bathroom.