House Breaking Tips

House breaking a puppy or dog that isn’t trained is accomplished by rewarding good behavior (going to the bathroom outside) and preventing her/him from going inside. Some dogs will learn and pick up what you are asking them to do very quickly while others may take a bit longer. Don’t be frustrated, and keep working with your pup.

Here’s a few tips:

1: A good rule of thumb is that a puppy can’t hold it longer than their age in months or shouldn’t have to. So a three month puppy can be let out every three hours. Some may catch on and regress. It takes a while for your dog to develop bowel and bladder control. Older dogs may need to start out with a walk or trip out to the yard every three or four hours to prevent accidents in the house. If you crate or confine your pet, keep this to a minimum and talk with everyone in the household to make sure the consistency of commands, praise, and time is ok with everyone.

2: Keep your dog on a regular schedule of feeding, walking, and going out. Ideally, dogs should go out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and before and after being left alone or confined for a few hours. In between the outings, know where your dog is in the house. You’ll want to watch for body language signs that it’s time to go outside. These may include pacing, sniffing, whining, circling, or leaving the room and looking for a spot. Not all dogs learn to scratch or stand by the door.

3: If you catch your dog starting to eliminate in the house, clap your hands or make a sudden noise. You will startle your dog, try to not scare, and your dog may stop and give you enough time to get him/her outside. Allow your dog to finish going outside and reward with praise and treat. If there’s nothing left to eliminate when s/he gets outside, don’t worry. If you find that your dog did go in the house and you didn’t catch the act, don’t punish. Your don’t won’t understand why.

4: Do not rub your dog’s nose in any mess. Don’t scold your dog. Don’t physically punish your dog. If your dog made a mistake, it can also be true that you may have made a mistake (timing, supervising, etc).