Dog Housebreaking Guide

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Housebreaking a dog can be easy as pie or as difficult as learning Chinese in one day. There are a variety of factors that affect how quickly your dog catches on that the bathroom is outside, not on your carpet . Generally, it is easier to housebreak a puppy than an older dog (surely you've heard the phrase "can't teach an old dog new tricks?"), although do not by any means lose hope if you need to housebreak an older dog. The key to housebreaking a dog is patience. Not usual patience, either, but tremendous, unconditional patience.

Housebreaking a Puppy

Always try to housebreak a puppy right away. Of course there is that honeymoon period where you want the pup to like you, so you may hesitate to set up the house rules. Puppies learn by consistent rules though. Never allow your puppy or dog to do one thing on Tuesday and then scold him or her for that very same thing on Wednesday. Expecting accidents is one way to not be disappointed. Puppies actually do not have full control over their bladders until they are a few months old! They are unable to "hold it in", so make sure you implement walks after every meal. Do not leave untrained puppies home alone for long periods of time. Always take puppies for a walk when you wake up and before retiring to bed. Puppies will need to go out at least six times a day. Take your puppy for a walk whenever you notice him or her circling or sniffing intently. If your puppy does have an accident, do not just wipe the spill up with paper towels . Dogs will continue to go to the bathroom where they smell their urine, so a strong pet odor remover  is necessary to prevent frequent accidents. Crates  are a great way to housebreak a dog, since canines are den animals and do not like to do their business where they sleep and play.

Housebreaking an Older Dog

Although more difficult to accomplish, older dogs can be housebroken. They have full control over their bladders, unlike puppies. Older dogs can be housebroken in a similar fashion to puppies, although added patience is definitely necessary. Get your dog used to a leash  and used to walking on a leash first. Use treats  and praise to train the dog to go to the bathroom outside. Never scold an older dog. Stay positive and keep trying!

Housebreaking Tips

  • Using a crate can be a great way to housebreak a dog, but don't leave him in there for too long! Crates are a great way to make sure your dog doesn't have an accident on your couch  overnight, but leaving a dog in the crate for more than 4 hours during the day is going to make him stir-crazy.
  • Sometimes puppies will follow by example. If you have another dog that is housebroken, take both dogs out for a walk at the same time. Your pup might follow the other dog's lead and start using trees, not carpets, as the main toilet .
  • Stick to a schedule. Feed your dog at the same time every day and walk immediately after every meal.
  • Try out a belly band ! Belly bands prevent male dogs from lifting their legs to urinate.
  • Puppy training pad s are a great way to prevent your floors and carpets, but they should not substitute other training methods. Think about it. Your dog isn't going to magically learn to go to the bathroom outside by doing its business on a pad in the house. This may sound obvious, but a lot of people really believe that the puppy training pads actually train the puppy to go outside.
  • Keep stain and odor removers  on hand at all times.

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