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Basics of Housetraining

The Basics of Housebreaking Your Dog or Puppy

  1. Confine your dog in a small (den-like) area, with water and a proper chew toy. This should not be in an isolated area in your home. Use a training crate or a gate for confinement and NEVER isolate a dog behind a closed door.
  2. Do not give the dog bedding in this area until you know he/she is holding his urine. If the dog has an accident, the bedding can be pushed aside, maintaining a clean den.
  3. Pick up the papers!  Unless you are training a very young puppy, it is not necessary to use paper training as a means to house break your dog.
  4. Clean soiled area using 50% vinegar/water solution or an enzyme cleaner such as "Natures Miracle" or "Eliminate." This will prevent the dog from being drawn back to the same area.
  5. Maintain a consistent schedule for your Housebreaking routine. This will help your dog anticipate the time he/she is going to need to eliminate and help you to predict as well. For example morning, afternoon, evening, before bed.
  6. Feed him/her a good diet the same time every day and feed in the confinement area to reinforce cleanliness. Only leave food down for half hour at each meal. Do not leave food down for your dog all the time, so you can avoid erratic elimination habits.
  7. Dog must be supervised when out of confinement area with a leash or a tether attached to his collar at all times. This will make the dog more accessible and help prevent accidents.
  8. When changing diet, gradually introduce food in 25% increments.
  9. Pick up water one hour before bed time.
  10. Begin to enlarge the confinement area when you notice your dog is regularly clean. Do not reprimand for an accident you did not see occur. If you witness an accident give the dog verbal correction (NO) and bring dog to the proper place.
  11. Always take out the same door, using the command "Out." The dog will then learn to go to that door to let you know when he needs to go out. You may also tie some small bells to your doorknob and ring the bells before going outside. Your dog will eventually ring the bells himself.
  12. On leash, bring your dog to the same spot each time, stay there until he/she eliminates. Attach a word to the action such as "empty" and always remember to praise verbally.
  13. Most importantly, dog should be in confinement area when not 100% supervised. This will prevent uncorrectable accidents. Confinement should be supplemented with plenty of exercise.

 

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