Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Housebreak a Dog

          Most people think one of the hardest things to do with a new dog or puppy is housebreaking them.  I have heard people say "if they go in the house, rub their noses in it and they won’t go in the house anymore."  This could not be further from the truth.  If your dog goes in the house and you get angry and rub their nose in the mess, all you are going to accomplish is to confuse the dog.  If you look at it from the dog’s point of view, they are going to know you’re mad, but will not be sure why you are mad.  Then you rub their nose in an area where they have just gone, your dog is going to think you are mad at the way they smell.  After all, marking is one way dogs communicate, and all you will be saying is I don't like you.  This is not a good message to send to your new dog or puppy.  Dogs are creatures of habit, and they also live by instinct.  If you take advantage of these things, housebreaking your new dog or puppy will be a breeze.  I am not going to tell you there won’t be a mess or two to clean up.  New puppies and dogs will mess in the house for all kinds of reasons.  Don't forget you are taking a dog and putting it in a new environment.  This could cause the dog to be scared and insecure, which will lead to a mess or two.
          I have covered this subject in another article of mine, "Puppies Need Care", however I felt this topic needed more than just a paragraphs worth of attention. If you have any questions feel free to make a comment or email me.  I will do my best to help you get your new puppy or dog housebroken

          The best way to housebreak a new dog or puppy is to confine them to a small space for the first few days you have them.  I know that may sound cruel, it is not.  What it does is take advantage of the basic instinct of a dog not to go to the bathroom where it sleeps.  Now you cannot just put your puppy or dog in a kennel and leave it there to mess in the area where it is confined.  You will need to take advantage of the fact that dogs are creatures of habit.  You will need to let your dog out at the same time every day, whether to go for a walk, or to play in the yard. When your dog does go to the bathroom outside, give it praises.  Let the dog know you are happy with what it just did.  The next time you take your dog outside bring it to the same spot where it went to the bathroom before.  The dog will smell the area and go there again.  Once the dog knows this is a good spot to go it will start to want to go there.   Be careful of the times you choose because this will set up a habit your dog will have for a very long time.  Once it knows it is to go outside at a certain time, it will want to go to out at that time for the rest of its life.   So if you decide 4 AM is the time it is to go out, you can expect to be putting the dog out a 4 AM for the duration of its time with you, and if you don't the dog will more than likely bug and harass you until you do let it out.

          If you already own a dog that is house broken, it will be much easier to housebreak a new dog.  As for having the new dog and your current dog meet and form a good relationship, that will be another article in and of itself.  Using the area where your current dog goes to the bathroom will make it that much easier for you to house break a new dog.  The same rules apply, confine the new dog to a small space for the first few days, but when it is time to go outside, take your new puppy or dog to an area where your current dog goes, the new dog will start to go there as well.  This will help you to housebreak the new dog much faster, and it will also help the new dog become equated with your current dog through all the scents your dog has left for the new one to find.  It is much like a greeting in dog language.  

          The sooner your dog is house broken, the sooner you will be able to let them explore your entire home.  Do not stop letting them out at the designated times however, if you do the puppy will start to go in the house.  You need to make the habit of going outside stick with the new dog.  Once the habit is truly formed your dog will start to remind you it’s time to go out if you forget.  Housebreaking a new dog is not that hard, it just takes patience and determination.  Housebreaking your new dog will help to ensure your dog is healthy and happy for a long time to come.  Thanks for reading, and once again, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me.  I will do my best to help you with whatever doggie problem you may have.

Nick Carreno

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