Housebreaking & Training
The most important thing to remember is that house training your dog is your responsibility. Until your dog is fully trained, it is up to you to make sure the dog isn’t left alone somewhere he shouldn’t use as a bathroom. Take your dog outside on a leash and watch them go! They can’t be rewarded if you are not there when they go. Often times dogs that are just let out will play and sniff outside and when let in do their business.
Because you cannot watch a dog 24 hours a day this is where good crate training comes into play. Once your dog considers his crate home, his toilet habits will change.
The best (and fastest) way to house train a dog:
1. Consistently reward and praise your dog each and every time is uses the bathroom in the correct location. Yes – every time until the dog is house trained. It might seem weird at first but it lets your dog know exactly what you expect from it. Remember, rewarded behaviors are repeated. You can add a word while they are going / getting ready to go. But it will take time for the association.
2. Crate the dog when are not watching it or have the dog teathered to you using its leash. Beware you still need to keep an eye on your dog for potty signs. They could go even when teathered. It just keeps them within eye sight.
3. Take your dog out multiple times a day to the desired spot. Be consistent with the times also – after a meal, after sleeping, etc. If they don’t use the bathroom after a reasonable amount of time take them inside.
4. Should you catch your dog going inside, stop them immediately by clapping or making another loud noise. Then IMMEDIATELY take them outside – don’t clean it up first even if it’s just you at home. (Yes, that sounds gross but the “damage” is already done.)
Does the dog finish outside? If so reward it with lots of praise and treats. While you might be fuming inside don’t take it out on the dog. The positive reinforcement and inside interruption will go a long way.
5. Do not punish the dog for accidents. Actions like rubbing its face in the urine, yelling at it, etc. are ineffective at best – and can cause your dog to not trust you. This is even truer if your actions take place hours after the dog already peed on your carpet. It can also cause your dog to sneak away to do its business.
6. This rule is super-important – keep an eye on your dog when it is loose. Once you pick up its signs, take it outside to go. A few times of that combined with crate training and positive rewards will go a long way to having potty training success.
7. Always remember – you CAN do this! By combining crate training with positive reinforcement!you are using the or training your puppy. Don’t despair!