Housebreaking Tips for your dog or puppy:
There are many similar house-training easy steps and tips to train your dog. So, if you are inexperienced at house schooling a puppy, or perhaps, an older adopted dog, you are not alone. Do not despair. If you don't know "the tricks of the trade" however, it can be very frustrating.
Be organized, be watchful, be quick and be persistent. The schedule should be regular.
1. Crate Teaching - Overnight. The puppy or dog should not be allowed any water before bedtime, or crate time, otherwise it will have to urinate during the night, and that means in its crate. A Pup has a small bladder and not yet trained to hold it.
Crate training is without doubt, the best method we know of for quickly teaching your new dog. The size of the crate is very important. If the crate is too big, then the puppy may decide it's big enough to do a job at the far end. That's not what you want! The crate should be just large enough so that the dog or pup can stand up, turn around and lie down again. A crate suitable for an adult dog might be a bit too large for training a young puppy. Ocassionally your pet might have an accident in the crate, but that will be rare.
2. First thing in the morning, with your coat, boots etc. already on, and cookies in your pocket, open the crate and immediately take the puppy, on lead, to the door and the outdoors. Watch it very closely. Be prepared to stay outside for as long as it takes. Walk Fluffy back and forth. Finally, when Fluffy does a job, heap praise upon the pet, "Good job, Fluffy!" while quickly reaching for a cookie to give as a reward.
When praise and reward (extrinsic motivation) closely follow the act of doing going potty, Fluffy will relate the two, and that's what you want. It will take a few repeats, over a few days, but instant praise and reward will work wonders. The quicker the praise and reward following the job, the more impact it will have with Fluffy. The reward must come within seconds of the deed or it is too late.
3. Learn your puppy's body language. After each meal, you must keep a close watch on the pup for signs that it needs to do a job. So, in cold weather it's best to have your coat already on or by the door, and treats in your pocket. Fluffy will be playing or just sniffing around when suddenly its behavior changes (body language) and it may circle or when a bit older, go to the outside door. As soon as you see that, ask, "Fluffy, do you want to go out or do you want to go potty?" Attach the lead and quickly take it outdoors. Again, if nothing happens, exercise will speed up the process, so walk Fluffy back and forth. The dog will suddenly squat and urinate.
That's the moment of praising, "Good job, Fluffy" or "good potty Fluffy", followed immediately with a cookie. It usually takes longer for a bowel movement, so if you know the puppy has not had one, you have to stay outside, walking it back and forth.
It takes great patience on your part, but eventually the puppy will begin to circle around and around, squat and eliminate or defecate. Again, you heap praises on the puppy. "What a good job "Fluffy" or good potty, or whatever. The cookie reward, as always, must follow immediately.
4. You were not watching close enough. It's in the home. The dog suddenly has decided that this is the moment to eliminate. You were too late. It's your fault, not the puppy's fault. Therefore, without any fuss or scolding, take the dog outside and wait for another job which may or may not come with some walking. Be patient. It takes time and dogs can be frustrating. It's important to have cookies in your pocket for moments like this.
5. Suddenly, while inside the home, you notice the pup about to eliminate You are too late again - maybe. Shout in a loud voice, "STOP". Grab the dog quickly and take it outside. The loud sharp command will usually stop the pup, interrupt the act for enough time to get it to the door and outside.
6. Accidents or setbacks do happen. You can expect that one day may not be as successful as the previous day and Fluffy might have an accident in the home. At the first part of the pet coaching time, do not scold Fluffy. In fact, do not make any kind of fuss about it, but do take the dog outside and hopefully be able to reward it for good dog behavior. If Fluffy has shown good progress and suddenly does a job inside and you are certain that by now it should know better, you can show disappointment with a "Oh no!" "Shame on you Fluffy!" The tone of your voice should be appropriate. The dog will be able to tell that you are not pleased with that behavior. If accidents occur often, it's a sign to re-examine the housebreaking schedule.
7. That's the routine you must regularly follow for however long it takes the dog to get the message. Puppies usually want to please you so it may not take very long.
Fluffy will begin to try to tell you that it wants to go out. If you have been watching the after meal behavior, you will notice how the puppy tries to tell you. It may be by circling in front of you or hanging around the door which is probably the most common method. Eventually, and hopefully, as time passes, Fluffy will go to the door and bark. The pet is not housebroken just yet, but you are getting closer.
8. If you are having difficulties with the above method of potty training, there are many books on the subject. They are written by experts with years of experience, who can show you other good methods, and easy steps. The books range from very inexpensive, to modestly priced. There are several on our Housebreaking a Puppy page for example, that cost less than $20.00 each.
See the many house training books - Housebreaking training
Each book will have a brief review.