Housebreaking is the most indispensable thing your puppy must learn. Common sense should tell you why. Do you want your house to stay spic and span? Handle your puppy’s housebreaking well. Aside from the maintenance of your household hygiene, trained dogs are happy dogs. As creatures of habit, it’s in their nature to keep schedules as pack animals. Here is how you should housebreak your puppy:
Ideal Housebreaking Age
When your puppy reaches the age of 8 to 12 weeks old, it’s high time to begin housebreaking. Remember that adage that old dogs can’t learn new tricks? It is true so why take chances?
Dog trainers suggest using a crate in housebreaking your puppy. A crate is like a cage, with see-through bars and a locking door. Its size should accommodate well the dogs size for it to move around in. It should be used like a dog’s bedroom. It is advised to not confine your puppy in his crate for more than two hours at a time.
The reasoning behind using a crate in housebreaking your puppy is that dogs will not dirty their sleeping areas. However, he may do so if you lock him in somewhere for longer than he can hold it in. Never use a crate to punish your dog, it will backfire. Generally, pups that are three-months old must eliminate every 3 hours, so you should lead him to a special outdoor comfort place more often.
Make Your Puppy Learn Routines
Another tip is to leave the house through one door only. This door should be the one that you want your dog to scratch to warn you about his being called by the nature.
Taking your pup out at around the same times every day will be very beneficial for the both of you. This will help in establishing a routine, and will make him learn to hold it in until you become available to take him out.
Look For Clues
If your un-housebroken dog is accustomed to roaming freely around the house, search for signs that show you he needs to do it. Be really observant enough of his behavior, i.e., heavy sniffing, circling an area, staring at the door with an intense look on his face, etc. If you catch him WHILE doing it, stop him with a quick grab of his collar and pull it up while saying “No” using your deep, stern tone (don’t forget to use a deep, gruff voice when stating commands). Then, take him outside and let him finish what he is doing. Lastly, pat him on his head while saying “Good (his name)!” It is a must to make your dog get used to being praised whenever he does anything that makes you proud. Giving him food as a reward when he does his business in the appropriate spot can help, too.
Patience is a Big Virtue
Like any training endeavor, housebreaking requires a lot of patience. If you definitely despise cleaning your dog’s waste off your Persian carpets on an hourly basis and having your whole house smell like a public bathroom, you want the housebreaking to be successful in a wink of an eye, if not sooner.
Common Sense Makes a Lot of Sense
The use of common sense will aid you big time in dealing with your puppy’s housebreaking. Logical thinking should inform you to not give your dog water before bedtime if his tendency is to pee often at night time. Catering to his schedule first will prove to be very helpful in making it gradually change into yours.
Aside from patience and common sense, consistency is also one of the important factors of this dog training activity. If you suddenly forget about the routines yourself, don’t blame if your dog if he starts committing accidents more often. Remember that the stakes are high (dirty and malodorous house). If you would like succeed in this housebreaking feat or just about in any other training drills, don’t treat it as a game. Allot enough time and commitment on your part.
Best of luck!