So often new dog owners struggle with the task of housebreaking.  It may be a puppy that has just come home or a young dog that has been adopted from a shelter.  It can be a daunting job getting through to a dog that previously has been allowed to pee in its crate or dog pen. The dog will naturally be confused in the beginning.

So often new dog owners when bringing their puppy home will put pee pads all over so the puppy can go on them. Sometimes also putting them in a larger crate to provide a potty area.  Ask yourself one question, where do you ultimately want your dog to potty? If the answer is outside then you want to pick up those pee pads and get rid of them. Get yourself on a schedule by jotting down when the dog goes out and goes potty. You should start to see a pattern in the dogs potty habits. i.e. The dog eats, then goes out 10-15 minutes later and potties. The dog wakes up from a nap……outside.  Drinks a lot of water…outside. Plays hard … outside. I generally don’t leave unlimited access to water for my new dog but rather offer water. That way I know what goes in and will have to come out.

New dog and puppy owners give too much freedom to their untrustworthy new additions. Dogs or puppies that are not housebroken need to be confined in a crate if they can’t be watched or tethered to someone in the house who can watch them.

Now about that crate, they are not cruel, in fact dogs if crate trained properly will view the crate as a safe haven and place to relax. If it is a puppy you are housebreaking make sure the crate has a divider that can make the large crate smaller. Why?  Dogs like to be clean and generally don’t want to sleep where they potty. Use that to your advantage, give the puppy enough room to sleep comfortably, stand up and turn around to re position.  This will teach the puppy to strengthen those muscles and hold what they need to eliminate until they are taken out.

When you take your dog out to go potty don’t spend all kinds of time walking around. Give your dog a potty word that everyone uses and spend 5-10 minutes. If the dog doesn’t go, it is back in the house and in the crate to try again in a short amount of time.

There are going to be accidents, and moments of frustration. Some dogs get the whole process better than others. Having another dog that goes out can sometimes help in creating clarity for a new dog. Is this everything you need to know about housebreaking……no but this should help get the process under way and on the right track.