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Guide 2 Pets   >   Dogs   >   Housebreaking

 

Housebreaking Your Dog


Some dogs are very sensitive to disapproval, and will virtually housebreak themselves once they have sense your disapproval of piddling on the carpet. Unfortunately, not all dogs are like that!

To housebreak your dog, you should get a crate which is just big enough for the dog to stand up in, but not too much bigger than that. If you place the dog in a large crate, the dog will simply use one corner for a toilet, and sleep in the other corner - which is not what you want!

The idea is that the dog should stay in the crate unless you are observing it, and it will not want to go to the toilet when in there. The only time when you take the dog out of the crate, is when you can give it your undivided attention. Of course, you will need to make time to ensure the dog is not confined in the crate for too much of the time.

Whenever your dog shows signs of anxiousness such as circling, sniffing or whining, this means the dog needs to go to the toilet. At this point, you should take your dog outside.

The big advantage of this method is that it becomes impossible for the dog to have an accident. No more accidents means a lot less stress for both you and your dog! The point is that you will either be with the dog (and able to take it outside for toilet), or the dog will be in the crate where it will not want to go to the toilet.

After about a month, you will be ready to take the dog out of the crate and give it some freedom around your house, including periods when you will not be observing it. Start gradually with short periods, at most of 10 minutes. If your dog manages several days without an accident, then you should increase the length of these periods by 10 minutes, but if the dog does have an accident, go back to where you were several days ago.

Here are some other tips to help in housebreaking your dog:-
  • Food is a trigger that causes your dog to go to the toilet. You should not leave food out, but instead give your dog food at the same set meal-times everyday, and allow it a maximum of half an hour to eat. After each meal, wait for a quarter of an hour and then take your take the dog outside for toilet.

  • The smell of urine is another trigger that causes your dog to go. If you always take the dog to the same area of your yard for toilet, it will soon learn to always use that spot.

  • If you punish an accident by shouting at your dog, it will probably simply see it as attention and not learn that it has made a mistake. Instead, you should simply ignore and not interact with the dog when it has made a potty mistake.

  • You must make sure that you reward and praise your dog whenever it does the right thing. However, do not use food as a reward, as that will simply cause your dog to go to the toilet again. Rewards should be emotional, so when your dog does do the right thing - give your dog a pat and a rub down.
Some of these training methods, particularly the crate method, may sound like a lot of work, but the investment of the time is well worth the effort. Your dog will soon forget that it can use your carpet as a toilet, and in just a few short weeks you will have a dog that you can trust around your home.

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