House Dog Training

This article will offer simple house dog training tips to make housebreaking positive and successful. Tools such as crate training make the process go much more smoothly. Single word commands and consistent commands are essential. A regular feeding schedule helps regulate elimination and helps you set your dog up for success and reward.

Crate Training

Utilizing a crate or dog carrier can make housebreaking much simpler. It's important to introduce your dog to the crate with treats, a blanket, and toys in the crate before closing the door on him. A dog will not eliminate where he sleeps unless he is very ill so while he is in his crate, he won't pee or poop. Once he likes the crate, you can put him in and close the door. A rule of thumb is that a puppy under 3 months of age should only be in a crate for an hour at a time. Then he can stay in the crate for an additional hour for each month older that he gets but never more than 4 hours at a time, 6 at the most.

You can keep the crate in an area where other members of the family are so that the dog doesn't feel isolated. After the appropriate amount of time, if you take the dog outside for 5 to 10 minutes, he will most likely eliminate. Then you can reward the behavior and play with him before returning him to his crate. After 3 weeks with no accidents, you might be able to try having your dog out of his crate for longer and longer periods of time.

Maximizing Commands

Dogs respond best to commands that are simple, consistent, and clear. A command should be anywhere from 1 to 2 words max. The same words should be used every time the command is given. "Go pee" is an excellent command to use in housebreaking. Set your dog up for success. Say the command when you're quite sure that the dog probably needs to eliminate anyway. Setting a feeding schedule and going outside 20 to 40 minutes after feeding helps.

Avoiding Punishment Whenever Possible

Punishment often results in dog behaviors you want to avoid. Punishment includes yelling, scolding or pulling on a choke chain. When you punish a dog, the dog learns to fear you. Dogs often experience punishment as a form of aggression. He may even become aggressive in response. If you scold the dog for eliminating in the house, for instance, he'll learn to hide his elimination from you versus learning not to eliminate in the house.

Using Rewards

By ignoring or interrupting unwanted behaviors and rewarding desired behaviors, you harness the most powerful aspects of conditioning. It's best to figure out what feels the most rewarding for your dog. In housebreaking, interrupt your dog with a loud sound or saying, "no!" if you catch them in the middle of an accident. Then gently take them outside and say the "go pee" command. Give them a reward once they have peed or pooped outside. Give the same rewards every time they've eliminated outside.