House Training

Easy Housebreaking Steps

Keeping a dog in your home requires priority one be housebreaking your puppy or adult dog for more reasons than we can cover now. The top reasons are for maintaining a happy home for your family and dog, health issues, and the peace of mind you are not going to come home to urine or feces in the home. If you need better reasons than these and decide to avoid housebreaking your puppy or adult dog, a middle of the night trip to the bathroom where you step in a fresh pile of dog doody will quickly change your mind!!

For those who think housebreaking your puppy or adult dog is going to be several months of following a long tedious process requiring you to be hovering over the dog or pup 24/7 this is not the case. By following a few simple steps you can have any dog regardless of age house broke in two weeks or less.

For puppies the training begins as soon as you bring the pup home. Puppies have no control over their ability to hold the urge to urinate or defecate so look for the obvious signals they will exhibit before “doing their business”. Normally a pup has to “go” every two to four hours, especially after eating and drinking water. When you see the signals of the puppy beginning to look at and smell the floor this is a clear indication they have to “go” so immediately pick the pup up and take them outside while gently repeating the word “out”. Once the pup has been placed in the yard and done his business make a really big fuss over him by showing him how pleased you are. He will begin to associate your being pleased with what he has just done outside, and the one thing all puppies and dogs want to do is see their owners happy.

For adult dogs and puppies there are going to be accidents but only let the dog know you are not happy with what they have done IF you actually observe the dog in the act. To let your dog know you are upset more than a minute or more after he or she has went in the house does not work, as the dog will not know why they are being punished. Never hit the dog for going in the house. Use firm NO command words and then put them outside. When you are away from the home, use a dog training crate for the dog to stay in until you return.

Housebreaking your puppy or adult dog will go smoothly and quickly if you use these simple steps.

Have you had trouble housebreaking a dog? Please relate your experience and tips below.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. carl Robinson

    Jan 8, 2014 at 6:51 am

    how best to train a 4 month old irish setter without using crates etc as we do not have one. What are peoples best experiences in this matter?

  2. lisa

    Nov 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    help I have a puppy that will not go out to do its business does it right in front of me have tried to train it to go out side

  3. Amy Rogers

    Aug 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I have a two year old cocker mix sophie , who just doesn’t get it no matter what I try she is stubborn I say like her momma …. she hates to sleep in the crate and cries because her brother gets to sleep with me yet if I allow her to sleep with me she will wake up at some point and go . I don’t know what else to do . I let her out with her brother every night . no water after 7 just like my children im at a loss please help.

  4. Duane

    Aug 9, 2013 at 11:01 am

    My 6 yr old rescue cocker started having “accidents” in the house when she is left home alone after our 15 yr old cat passed away. She doesn’t have them when we are home and she is terrified of crates/kennel’s. Her previous family would leave her locked in a bathroom for up to 10-12 hours a day. We have started putting puppy pads where she normally goes. Is this encouraging her to go while we are gone?

  5. Bonnie

    Aug 9, 2013 at 10:20 am

    What about an adult dog that is afraid to go outside in the dark? How do you suggest handling that one?

    • Marianne Sanders

      Aug 9, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Go out with the dog and give a treat just for going out.

      • Susan Boylan

        Aug 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        I agree…lots of treats. Go out with him on his leash. Maybe there’s too much noise…short walk at dusk and then stay out later until it gets darker.

  6. Linda

    Aug 9, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I have had my rescue dog for 5 years now and he still pees inside. No matter what I do he marks. How can I stop this? He is approx. 9 now. Should I just accept its never going to change?

    • Susan Boylan

      Aug 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Has he been neutered?

    • Carol

      Aug 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      My vet gave me this suggestion and it works! When you find a puddle or mess, CALMLY blot up as much as you can and pick up the solids. Then CALMLY walk your dog to the door and bring him outside. Once she’s outside, let her sniff the paper towel, then PRAISE HER. This will communicate that this is a good thing outside. I had a dog who had been in the shelter for over a year and she had learned to go inside. After 6 months of frustration, my vet gave me this advice and I only had to do it twice before she was completely trained.

  7. Evelyn Jim

    Aug 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I bought a pup from a “breeder” and picked ip pup at 9 1/2 weeks.. Ok so can u tell me why a puppy WILL defecate in their crate despite 1-2weeks of training? Even at 4months old

    • Marianne Sanders

      Aug 9, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Pup may have too big a crate. If this is the case, try putting a barrier in part of the crate. Just give the dog enough room to turn around in. If they have too much room, they can defecate in part of the crate and still avoid it. IF the dog doesn’t care – it could be a sign of parasites. Get to the vet.

    • Jolie

      Aug 9, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Your first mistake was buying from a breeder. Unless it was a reputable breeder as opposed to a puppy mill, the puppy had no socialization and watched all the other dogs go in the same place it sleeps – there’s no other place to go. I have two former puppy mill breeding dogs, and it has taken time and patience to get them to understand what is expected.

    • Susan Boylan

      Aug 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Maybe the crate is too big. You will need several crates while crate training, ie smaller to larger as the pup grows. The pup should be able to stand and curl up to sleep…it should not be much bigger than they are. That way they don’t have the space to make a spot to “go” inside the crate. Since you’ll be using several crates, you don’t need to get the most expensive ones when they are still growing. Hope this helps.

      • Jodi

        Aug 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        Just one crate is sufficient. Put a cardboard box inside the crate to limit the space. Use a smaller box whenever the pup grows and needs more room.

    • Jane

      Aug 12, 2013 at 8:00 am

      We had adopted a dog who had the same problem. I hired a trainer. This is what she said. First she asked if the dog would poop in front of us. He never did. She stated that the dog was probably scolded for pooping in his crate or in the house and associated pooping with yelling/scolding/anger. He was afraid to go in front of anyone. Here’s what she told us to do and it worked like a charm> 1. NEVER show the dog that you are upset over the poop.
      2. Take the poop and put it outside somewhere in the vacinity of where you want him to go. 3. When your dog happens upon the poop, praise the heck out of him and give him a treat and an enthusiastic “Good!!”. DO this EVERY TIME, whether he poops or not. 4. Always carry treats with you. When he finally does poop in front of you (and he WILL, eventually). Make a huge, happy excited fuss over him and give him a treat. >> He’ll learn it’s not poop that’s bad and not him that’s bad.
      Also, keep in mind that a puppy is not a dog and should be taken out to do his business no more than 20 mins after eating. You could be waiting too long and he simply may not be able to hold it.

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