Housebreaking a dog, no matter what their age is now one of the easiest things to do these days. There are a few things you need to have, there are the housebreaking supplies of course; but you should learn to use repetition, have patience and above all you should have a sense of humor.
When Skye came to live with me, I had to teach her that going potty in the house was not an option. You see Skye grew up in a kennel and could let herself out into her dog run to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She didn’t have to wait for some human to get up, go downstairs and open the door for her; so in the beginning we had a few accidents. I also found out early on in Skye’s training that if I rewarded her with a “potty biscuit” after she did what she needed to do outside; she got the idea a lot faster. She never got a whole cookie and often times she would be rewarded with a piece of cereal.
When I was growing up we had dogs and there never seemed to be much trouble to housebreaking them. I do remember one incident involving my grandparents’ Boston Terrier Peggy that had to do with the Sunday paper. You see, she was paper trained and when she was young to housebreak, my grandparents put newspapers down for her to go potty on in the spot they had chosen for her in the kitchen. Then when they couldn’t get her to go outside, they tried putting newspapers on the lawn to try and convince her that grass was OK, which finally helped to train her. The incident with the paper happened one Sunday morning when my grandpa was laying down on the couch enjoying his paper. Peggy walked over to a section on the floor that Grandpa was not reading and relieved herself there.
While you can still use the old method of housebreaking with newspapers, there are now many alternatives to that old standby. You can now purchase pheromone enhanced puppy pads that have a plastic backing. These are good because they keep the urine from soaking through the pads. You can get pheromone drops to use outside in the spot you want the dog to go. You can get artificial grass systems that can be used indoors (for rainy days) or outdoors to keep those burn spots down in your lawn.
When you are housebreaking a dog, here are a few simple tips:
- Taking the dog out should be the first thing you do in the morning.
- After feeding your dog, wait about 20 minutes, and then take them out.
- Taking the dog out should be the last thing you do at night.
- If you want to use a treat as a positive reinforcement, feel free to do so. It will help your dog learn faster. If you don’t want to use a treat, a pat, hug or words of praise will work just as well.
Watch your dog’s body language, if they start dancing around, pacing, or sniffing for a spot; take them outside. Usually this behavior means that they have to go outside. By following these simple tips it will be no time before you can sleep late on your weekend off.