Housebreaking

Housebreaking

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Housebreaking and adult dog or puppy is easier with a crate. With the use of a crate, you can housebreak quickly, naturally, and humanely. Take your puppy out to the toilet area first thing in the morning before he stirs and barks, and last thing at night. Also, take him out approximately every two hours during the day. A younger pup will need to relieve himself more often, whereas an older pup can wait up to four hours to go out. Designate an area in your yard as the “potty area”. When making trips outside the area, use a command like Potty or Hurry Up. Stay there until the puppy has done his job. This should take no longer than ten minutes. Reinforce him during and after he relieves himself.

Play outside or take Scruffy back into the house to play only after he uses the potty area. Do not play with your puppy before he relieves himself because he will postpone relieving himself for more play. Playing with your puppy after he relieves himself is very important. If he anticipates play, he will hurry and do his job.

As your puppy becomes housebroken, gradually increase his time out of the crate and begin to eliminate some of the trips to the potty area. Look for signals from Scruffy, such as sniffing or running to the door, that indicate he needs to go out. Let him drag a short four-foot leash from his collar to facilitate a quick whisking out to the potty area. On your way out, talk to him saying, “Let’s go out to potty.” Once Scruffy is housebroken, he can be sent out to the potty area and expected to relieve himself. In the house, you will be able to leave the crate door open and let Scruffy come and go as he pleases. The sooner your puppy can be with you, following you through the house and yard, and accompanying you on errands, the better.

We do not recommend that you paper train your dog. Paper training (other similar versions involving “wee-wee pads” or litter pans) teaches your dog to relieve himself in the house, thus complicating “housebreaking”, and housebreaking should be your ultimate goal. If you have started paper training, put your mind to housebreaking now! Start by making the paper area that Scruffy uses smaller and smaller, until he is using only one page of a newspaper. Get him accustomed to using a potty area outside by moving a soiled paper to a spot in your yard. Get him on a regular potty schedule like the one described below. Praise him and treat him for relieving himself outside and gradually eliminate the paper in the house.

Sample Housebreaking Schedule

A good rule of thumb is that a puppy can “hold it” one hour for every month of age. That is, a 4 month old puppy can be expected to hold it for up to four hours. Take the puppy out every one to four hours, depending on his age.

    7:00 AM

  • Take Scruffy to potty area on leash and reinforce for eliminating.
  • Integrate feeding, play, and training.
  • Take to the potty area and praise.
  • Crate Scruffy and reward.
    9:00 AM

  • Take Scruffy to potty area on leash and reinforce for eliminating.
  • Integrate feeding, play, and training.
  • Take to the potty area and praise.
  • Crate Scruffy and reward.
    11:00 AM

  • Take Scruffy to potty area on leash and reinforce for eliminating.
  • Integrate play and training.
  • Take to the potty area and praise.
  • Crate Scruffy and reward.
    1:00 PM

  • Take Scruffy to potty area on leash and reinforce for eliminating.
  • Integrate feeding, play, and training.
  • Take to the potty area and praise.
  • Crate Scruffy and reward.
    4:00 PM

  • Take Scruffy to potty area on leash and reinforce for eliminating.
  • Integrate play, and training.
  • Take to the potty area and praise.
  • Crate Scruffy and reward.
    7:00 PM

  • Take Scruffy to potty area on leash and reinforce for eliminating.
  • Integrate feeding, play, and training.
  • Take to the potty area and praise.
  • Crate Scruffy and reward.
    8 – 9 PM

  • Remove food and water.
    10:00 PM

  • Take Scruffy to potty area on leash and reinforce for eliminating.
    Crate for the night.

If you are continuing to have an issue in this area of training, please contact our trainers and/or purchase the book “Way To Go” which is sold at Misty Pines in our retail area.


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