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How to Housebreak Your Dog or Puppy


Dogs are creatures of habit; and once they develop a habit, breaking it can be a long, frustrating process. Your dog needs guidance and encouragement from you to develop a toilet habit you can live with. Animal behaviorists have learned a lot about dogs over the last couple of decades, and there are many tips available that will make housebreaking your dog or puppy a less frustrating task.

When you consider some of the things your dog or puppy is willing to roll in, or put in their mouth, it's a bit hard to believe they're picky and specific about their toilet areas. Dogs will go to great lengths to avoid soiling near where they eat and/or sleep. That means any accidents an un-housebroken dog has will be far from its food dish and bed. To a dog, however, "far" can mean about 6-10 feet. This leaves lots of "fair game" space in your home, unless you guide the dog to suitable spots.

Whether your dog is a puppy, or an adult dog new to your home, the process is the same:

- Every few hours, take the dog outside to a place you designate as a "bathroom" area.

- 30 minutes after the dog or puppy eats, do the same.

- Stay in this bathroom area, and praise the dog lavishly when they relieve themselves.

- If the dog doesn't use the bathroom when you've taken them outside to the appropriate spot, try again 15 minutes later. Continue doing this until they've actually used the bathroom spot.

- When the dog is inside, watch closely for any signs of needing to "go". A dog will circle and sniff areas when they're about to relieve themselves.

How quickly your dog becomes housebroken depends partly on their personality, but mostly on your diligence in taking them outside at the right time. If your puppy is less than four months old, you should plan on getting up during the night to take it outside. Puppies over four months of age can usually "hold it" through the night, but if your dog cries to be let out, it is best to get up and let them tend to the urge. It is vital that you give your dog every chance to succeed during this time. Positive reinforcement of the proper behavior is the fastest way to teach your dog anything.

Accidents happen, and when they do, your response will affect how quickly your dog learns to "go" outside. If you catch your dog in mid-squat, clap your hands or call their name loudly to distract them. Once you have their attention, quietly and calmly take them outside. Be sure to praise your dog or puppy well when they finish relieving themselves outside properly.

If you find a wet spot or droppings on the floor when your dog is not around, simply clean it up. If your dog approaches to investigate what you are doing, ignore them. Don't talk to or pet the dog at this moment, because it could be interpreted as praise. Above all else, avoid yelling or physically punishing the dog, because they won't make the connection between their mess, and your anger.

Additional information and resources related to this article can be found at: http://www.mypetanimals.com/articles/200506/housebreaking-your-dog/

© 2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard

This article is provided courtesy of The My Pet Animals Shopping Portal - http://www.mypetanimals.com

This article may be freely published on any website, as long as the links are live, and this notice is left intact.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Fri. April / 19 / 2024

PetSmart tattoo redo contest will gift winners a pet portrait cover up - USA TODAY
PetSmart tattoo redo contest will gift winners a pet portrait cover up  USA TODAY

America’s animal shelters are overwhelmed. Pets – and staff – are at breaking point - The Guardian
America’s animal shelters are overwhelmed. Pets – and staff – are at breaking point  The Guardian

Pet owners could find more rental options under California bill - Yahoo! Voices
Pet owners could find more rental options under California bill  Yahoo! Voices

Finding an apartment may be easier for California pet owners under new legislation - The Hill
Finding an apartment may be easier for California pet owners under new legislation  The Hill

What Can Having Pets Teach You About Parenting? - The Atlantic
What Can Having Pets Teach You About Parenting?  The Atlantic

Pet Health Redefined As Chewy Opens Personalized Vet Care Clinics - Forbes
Pet Health Redefined As Chewy Opens Personalized Vet Care Clinics  Forbes

Family says city DART raid of North Side pet shop was excessive - KSAT San Antonio
Family says city DART raid of North Side pet shop was excessive  KSAT San Antonio

Dogs aren’t the only ones who use smell to identify loved ones. - Psychology Today
Dogs aren’t the only ones who use smell to identify loved ones.  Psychology Today

Pets Seized from Home - Salina - KSAL
Pets Seized from Home - Salina  KSAL

Meet the CEO who makes your dog-food delivery feel like visiting a Disney resort - Fortune
Meet the CEO who makes your dog-food delivery feel like visiting a Disney resort  Fortune

Opinion | Octopuses aren't meant to be pets - The Washington Post - The Washington Post
Opinion | Octopuses aren't meant to be pets - The Washington Post  The Washington Post

Finding an apartment may be easier for California pet owners under new legislation - ABC News
Finding an apartment may be easier for California pet owners under new legislation  ABC News

Warm, Welcoming Environment For Pets At Puppy Cuts Pet Spa - Town-Crier
Warm, Welcoming Environment For Pets At Puppy Cuts Pet Spa  Town-Crier

Pets of the Week: Bettie, Binx, Charlotte and Seamus are ready for adoption - Long Beach Press Telegram
Pets of the Week: Bettie, Binx, Charlotte and Seamus are ready for adoption  Long Beach Press Telegram

WNCT.com's Best of Pets: Turbo - WNCT
WNCT.com's Best of Pets: Turbo  WNCT

Pets | News, Sports, Jobs - The Sentinel - Lewistown Sentinel
Pets | News, Sports, Jobs - The Sentinel  Lewistown Sentinel

Traveling Internationally With Pets? This 'Pet Travel Concierge Service' Streamlines the Process - TravelAge West
Traveling Internationally With Pets? This 'Pet Travel Concierge Service' Streamlines the Process  TravelAge West

Pets of the week | Features | davisenterprise.com - Davis Enterprise
Pets of the week | Features | davisenterprise.com  Davis Enterprise

Animal Shelter debuts new trial adoption program | Pets | fairfaxtimes.com - Fairfaxtimes.com
Animal Shelter debuts new trial adoption program | Pets | fairfaxtimes.com  Fairfaxtimes.com

Tattoo regret? PetSmart offering chance to cover up old ink with pet portrait - KABC-TV
Tattoo regret? PetSmart offering chance to cover up old ink with pet portrait  KABC-TV

How you can limit your pet's carbon paw print - CBS News
How you can limit your pet's carbon paw print  CBS News

Pet Policies for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Other Domestic Carriers - The New York Times
Pet Policies for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Other Domestic Carriers  The New York Times

CGHS/SPCA ‘Help Feed Hungry Pets’ food drive - NEWS10 ABC
CGHS/SPCA ‘Help Feed Hungry Pets’ food drive  NEWS10 ABC

Crazy Critters: Central Florida organization cares for exotic pets - WESH 2 Orlando
Crazy Critters: Central Florida organization cares for exotic pets  WESH 2 Orlando

Attleboro Woman Creates Pet Memorial Bridge to Honor Lost Pets - wbsm.com
Attleboro Woman Creates Pet Memorial Bridge to Honor Lost Pets  wbsm.com

Illinois House approves bill banning people from having servals, kangaroos as pets - WAND
Illinois House approves bill banning people from having servals, kangaroos as pets  WAND

For Pet's Sake: Bladder stones in pets - NBC Montana
For Pet's Sake: Bladder stones in pets  NBC Montana

Paws for Pets: Diesel the Dog | News | ncwlife.com - NCWLIFE News
Paws for Pets: Diesel the Dog | News | ncwlife.com  NCWLIFE News

Fairfax County Animal Shelter offering new program that gives pets 'trial' period with prospective adopters - DC News Now | Washington, DC
Fairfax County Animal Shelter offering new program that gives pets 'trial' period with prospective adopters  DC News Now | Washington, DC

I do not think people should keep octopuses as pets, but I d... - kottke.org
I do not think people should keep octopuses as pets, but I d...  kottke.org

vermont, vt, pets, springfield, humane society, barn cat, adopt, adoption, cat, pet - The Vermont Journal & The Shopper - Vermont Journal
vermont, vt, pets, springfield, humane society, barn cat, adopt, adoption, cat, pet - The Vermont Journal & The Shopper  Vermont Journal

A site literally called 'Spy.pet' claims to have scraped billions of public Discord messages and wants to sell them - PC Gamer
A site literally called 'Spy.pet' claims to have scraped billions of public Discord messages and wants to sell them  PC Gamer

Two people, pets unharmed after electrical fire rips through Derby home - KAKE
Two people, pets unharmed after electrical fire rips through Derby home  KAKE

PETS OF WEEK: Brooklyn and Klaus - WiscNews
PETS OF WEEK: Brooklyn and Klaus  WiscNews

A pet cremation service is scamming customers, victims allege - Los Angeles Times
A pet cremation service is scamming customers, victims allege  Los Angeles Times

Pet of the Week: 2024 pets - WTOP
Pet of the Week: 2024 pets  WTOP

Got any of your pet’s fur to spare? This Hong Kong artist wants it - South China Morning Post
Got any of your pet’s fur to spare? This Hong Kong artist wants it  South China Morning Post

Best Pet Wellness Plans for Routine Care (April 2024) - MarketWatch
Best Pet Wellness Plans for Routine Care (April 2024)  MarketWatch

California Tenants Pets | National News | goshennews.com - Goshen News
California Tenants Pets | National News | goshennews.com  Goshen News

California Tenants Pets | News | goskagit.com - goskagit.com
California Tenants Pets | News | goskagit.com  goskagit.com

Best Pet Insurance Companies for April 2024 - NerdWallet
Best Pet Insurance Companies for April 2024  NerdWallet

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters™ reduces adoption fees for shelter pets this spring - OBX Today - Beach 104
BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters™ reduces adoption fees for shelter pets this spring - OBX Today  Beach 104

Finding an apartment may be easier for California pet owners under new legislation - goskagit.com
Finding an apartment may be easier for California pet owners under new legislation  goskagit.com

The Best Products and Tools to Clean Up After a Pet - Lifehacker
The Best Products and Tools to Clean Up After a Pet  Lifehacker

There's One Stardew Valley 1.6 Pet Type You're Going To Want To Save All Your Gold For - Screen Rant
There's One Stardew Valley 1.6 Pet Type You're Going To Want To Save All Your Gold For  Screen Rant

Pets of the week: Lyric is an energetic puppy. Binx loves to get attention - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Lyric is an energetic puppy. Binx loves to get attention  MLive.com

How much is a vet visit? Behind the soaring cost of pet care - USA TODAY
How much is a vet visit? Behind the soaring cost of pet care  USA TODAY

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Young boy violently kicks pet guinea pig to death - KMPH Fox 26
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Young boy violently kicks pet guinea pig to death  KMPH Fox 26

New Mexico Living Pet Pics April 18, 2024 - KRQE News 13
New Mexico Living Pet Pics April 18, 2024  KRQE News 13

Pets pass antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs' to humans - UPI News
Pets pass antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs' to humans  UPI News

California Tenants Pets | National News | clintonherald.com - Clinton Herald
California Tenants Pets | National News | clintonherald.com  Clinton Herald

Pets And The Solar Eclipse - Texas A&M Today - Texas A&M University Today
Pets And The Solar Eclipse - Texas A&M Today  Texas A&M University Today

It's Never Easy to Say Goodbye to A Family Pet - 101.9 The Bull
It's Never Easy to Say Goodbye to A Family Pet  101.9 The Bull

Liquid Gold for Pets: Beloved Pets Brand's New Liquid Supplement - News Channel Nebraska
Liquid Gold for Pets: Beloved Pets Brand's New Liquid Supplement  News Channel Nebraska

Zoetis Stock Slumps on Report Suggesting Its Arthritis Drugs May Make Pets Sick - Investopedia
Zoetis Stock Slumps on Report Suggesting Its Arthritis Drugs May Make Pets Sick  Investopedia

Did Ancient South Americans Keep Foxes as Pets? - Smithsonian Magazine
Did Ancient South Americans Keep Foxes as Pets?  Smithsonian Magazine

Call Kurtis Investigates: Grieving pet owners say they didn't get their pets' ashes back - CBS News
Call Kurtis Investigates: Grieving pet owners say they didn't get their pets' ashes back  CBS News

Street Dog, Asheville Humane Society, Least of These host free vet clinic - Citizen Times
Street Dog, Asheville Humane Society, Least of These host free vet clinic  Citizen Times

Would your dog eat you if you died? Get the facts. - National Geographic
Would your dog eat you if you died? Get the facts.  National Geographic

Pet Travel | Domestic and International Travel With a Pet - USDA APHIS
Pet Travel | Domestic and International Travel With a Pet  USDA APHIS

How To Keep Pets Safe During the Solar Eclipse - TODAY
How To Keep Pets Safe During the Solar Eclipse  TODAY

Why the CEO of a $12 billion pet services company still responds to customer emails himself - Fortune
Why the CEO of a $12 billion pet services company still responds to customer emails himself  Fortune

Pets | Lucille: Your Next Furry Friend - Out South Florida
Pets | Lucille: Your Next Furry Friend  Out South Florida

Chow Chow Makes Friends with Bumblebee and It's Too Cute to Handle - Parade Pets
Chow Chow Makes Friends with Bumblebee and It's Too Cute to Handle  Parade Pets

Costco Pet Insurance Review & Pricing (2024) - MarketWatch
Costco Pet Insurance Review & Pricing (2024)  MarketWatch

Rabies Vaccination Clinics & Pet Health | Environmental Health - Erie.gov
Rabies Vaccination Clinics & Pet Health | Environmental Health  Erie.gov

Oriental Shorthair Cat Is Totally Unimpressed When Mom Takes Him Bird Watching - Parade Pets
Oriental Shorthair Cat Is Totally Unimpressed When Mom Takes Him Bird Watching  Parade Pets

Amid summer sizzle, parents go extra mile for pets - The Times of India
Amid summer sizzle, parents go extra mile for pets  The Times of India

Tiny Kitten's Epic Stomps Every Morning Have Neighbors Wondering If Bigfoot Lives Upstairs - Parade Pets
Tiny Kitten's Epic Stomps Every Morning Have Neighbors Wondering If Bigfoot Lives Upstairs  Parade Pets

Pet Catchers codes for April 2024 - VG247
Pet Catchers codes for April 2024  VG247

American Airlines revises its policy for bringing pets and bags on flights - CBS News
American Airlines revises its policy for bringing pets and bags on flights  CBS News

Pet owners warned after coyote snatches small dog in Delco - NBC Philadelphia
Pet owners warned after coyote snatches small dog in Delco  NBC Philadelphia

Police chiefs back law which helps them tackle pet thieves preying on animals - Express
Police chiefs back law which helps them tackle pet thieves preying on animals  Express

Terrance the octopus has dozens of babies an Oklahoma family now cares for - The Washington Post
Terrance the octopus has dozens of babies an Oklahoma family now cares for  The Washington Post

9-year-old boy discovers 50 reasons why you shouldn't have a pet octopus - Boing Boing
9-year-old boy discovers 50 reasons why you shouldn't have a pet octopus  Boing Boing

WoW Dragonflight Best Hunter Pets - GameRant
WoW Dragonflight Best Hunter Pets  GameRant

New York state Senate passes bills aimed to protect animals, sale of pets - Spectrum News
New York state Senate passes bills aimed to protect animals, sale of pets  Spectrum News

Pet Travel | How To Bring Your Pet to the United States - USDA APHIS
Pet Travel | How To Bring Your Pet to the United States  USDA APHIS

The bond with pet dogs and cats is strong, deep and uncomplicated - The Washington Post
The bond with pet dogs and cats is strong, deep and uncomplicated  The Washington Post

Humane Society sees unprecedented number of shelter dogs due to families leaving Hawaii - Hawaii News Now
Humane Society sees unprecedented number of shelter dogs due to families leaving Hawaii  Hawaii News Now

One person, five pets dead in Danville house fire - wcia.com
One person, five pets dead in Danville house fire  wcia.com

Amazon Pet Day 2024 is May 7-8: Deals on Purina & Furbo - About Amazon
Amazon Pet Day 2024 is May 7-8: Deals on Purina & Furbo  About Amazon

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost? (April 2024) - MarketWatch
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost? (April 2024)  MarketWatch

Bernese Mountain Dog's Adorable 'Happy' Bath Routine Is Going Viral - Parade Pets
Bernese Mountain Dog's Adorable 'Happy' Bath Routine Is Going Viral  Parade Pets

Tick season is here: Here’s how to protect yourself and your pets - NEWS10 ABC
Tick season is here: Here’s how to protect yourself and your pets  NEWS10 ABC

Why Crag Dogs Are a Bad Idea - Climbing - Climbing
Why Crag Dogs Are a Bad Idea - Climbing  Climbing

How does the solar eclipse affect animals? Veterinarians share insights and pet safety tips - CBS News
How does the solar eclipse affect animals? Veterinarians share insights and pet safety tips  CBS News

Family Accidentally Ends Up With 50 Baby Octopuses After Their Pet—Thought to Be Male—Laid Dozens of Eggs - Smithsonian Magazine
Family Accidentally Ends Up With 50 Baby Octopuses After Their Pet—Thought to Be Male—Laid Dozens of Eggs  Smithsonian Magazine

Zoetis falls 8% after report that its arthritis shots may have sickened pets - MarketWatch
Zoetis falls 8% after report that its arthritis shots may have sickened pets  MarketWatch

O'Hara adoption event highlights role of pets in addiction recovery - TribLIVE
O'Hara adoption event highlights role of pets in addiction recovery  TribLIVE

The Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets (2024) - MarketWatch
The Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets (2024)  MarketWatch

Pet of the Week - Max - Come Meet Me! - Sierra News Online
Pet of the Week - Max - Come Meet Me!  Sierra News Online

Pets - Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (U.S - National Park Service
Pets - Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (U.S  National Park Service

Dad Gets Son Pet Octopus, Who Lays Over 40 Eggs (Exclusive) - PEOPLE
Dad Gets Son Pet Octopus, Who Lays Over 40 Eggs (Exclusive)  PEOPLE

Stolen puppy returned to Frisco pet store by disguised man, Petland says - CBS News
Stolen puppy returned to Frisco pet store by disguised man, Petland says  CBS News

Pet Insurance That Pays Vets Directly (2024) - MarketWatch
Pet Insurance That Pays Vets Directly (2024)  MarketWatch

Photos of your pets sent in to mark National Pet Day - Herald Series
Photos of your pets sent in to mark National Pet Day  Herald Series

The Best Pet Insurance for Older Dogs 2024 - MarketWatch
The Best Pet Insurance for Older Dogs 2024  MarketWatch

The Pet Industry Is Doing Great. And Getting Worse. - Forbes
The Pet Industry Is Doing Great. And Getting Worse.  Forbes

Oklahoma family grows unexpectedly after pet octopus lays dozens of eggs - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland
Oklahoma family grows unexpectedly after pet octopus lays dozens of eggs  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

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