Tips for Housebreaking a Dog

Housebreaking a dog is probably one of the most challenging issues when bringing a new dog into your home. It requires a lot of patience and a dedication to the overall goal: housebreaking your dog. Here are some tips that can help make this task easier on both you and your dog.

1. Set a Schedule

The most effective way to housebreak your dog is to be consistent. You need your dog to understand that he is not allowed to defecate at his will. He needs to understand that when you allow him to go outside to potty is when he goes. The only way to teach this is by setting a schedule.

A firm schedule could consist of taking your dog outside one time in the morning, one time in the afternoon and one time in the evening. Initially, you will be taking your dog outside a little more often. However, he needs to learn to work around your schedule. If you work during the day, you have no way of being at home to take him out as he needs.

The schedule will help develop consistency and repetition in your dog. If you have followed the schedule, you will notice that your dog will soon be letting you know when it's time to go outside.

2. Use Puppy Pads with Caution

Puppy pads are used to teach your dog where to defecate. The only problem is that puppy pads are often used inside the home. Not only is this a bad message to send to your dog, it can have life-long effects on your ability to housebreak your dog.

Some puppy pads are made of plain white fabric, while others are made to resemble the appearance of grass. While the appearance of grass is meant to remind your dog that the yard is the place to potty, your dog also learns that he is not reprimanded for his behavior when he defecates inside. This is laying the ground work for disaster by letting your dog know that it is okay to potty in the house, so long as it's on the pad. True housebreaking consists of never approving of defecating in the house.

3. Crate Training

Many dog owners are in open debate about the humanity of crate training. While it may seem cruel to cage your dog, the benefits of crate training are tremendous when it comes to housebreaking.

If you're going to attempt to crate train your dog, you need to buy a true wired cage. The cage will come with a wired divider to help you with housebreaking. When you put your dog in the cage, you need to set the divider so that there is just enough room for your dog to turn around.

The limited space restriction will deter him from defecating in the cage. Because most dogs do not like to lie in their mess, this will teach your dog to notify you when he needs to go outside. However, if you give your dog free run of the cage, there is nothing stopping him from defecating in one corner and then going to sleep in the other.