Housebreaking Tips from Pet Dog Trainers

Pet dog trainers know that for dog housebreaking to be successful, you have to do it right. Bad housebreaking techniques can confuse your dog, making it harder for him to learn what's expected of him and do it. Remember, your dog wants to please you. Follow these pet housebreaking tips from dog trainers to housebreak your dog as quickly and painlessly as possible. 

Punish Your Dog Properly

Don't use violence to punish your dog. You want your dog to love and respect you, not to fear you. Dogs who respect their owners are more obedient than dogs who merely fear their owners.

Use a nonviolent means of negative feedback, such as making a loud noise or saying "No!" in a firm voice. Your displeasure with your dog should be punishment enough. Once you've interrupted your dog and offered your negative feedback, remove your dog immediately to the area where you'd like him to use the bathroom. This way, he learns that using the bathroom in the house is wrong and he should do it outside or in another preferred place.

Try to Catch Your Dog in the Act

One of the most common mistakes pet owners make when housebreaking their dogs is to punish the dog for having an accident after the fact. If you punish your dog for an accident after it has happened, he'll likely get confused, and not understand what you're punishing him for. Confusing your dog in this manner won't help housebreaking go any more smoothly. Instead, your dog could begin to fear you and this can make it hard to exercise your authority.

Only punish your dog for accidents if you catch him in the act, or immediately following the accident. That way, your dog will make the connection between his accident and your punishment, and he'll know that he should please you in the future by not having accidents in the house. 

Try to Anticipate Your Dog's Needs

Anticipating when your dog will need to relieve himself is one of the best ways to guard against accidents inside the house. Using a feeding schedule can help, since you'll know you should take your dog outside about 30 minutes after he's eaten. Learn to recognize the signs, such as sniffing and circling, that mean your dog needs to go to the bathroom. When your dog looks like he needs to go, don't wait for an accident; take him out right away, and eventually he'll learn to ask for your assistance when he needs to go to the bathroom.

Crate Your Dog When You're Not at Home

Dogs won't soil the area in which they sleep, so crating your dog while you're not at home can prevent accidents in the home. If your dog needs to be crated for more than three or four hours at once, see to it that you, or someone you trust, is available to let the dog out to stretch his legs and use the bathroom every few hours. Keeping your dog crated for long periods of time can lead to separation anxiety and other psychological problems, so use caution when crating your dog.