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A Survival Guide to Puppy Housebreaking

Updated on September 30, 2013

The Problem

To understand why housebreaking dogs can be so difficult, you need to understand the dog's thought process. Your puppy isn't being naughty on purpose; rather, they just don't understand the rules. Dogs don't inherently understand why peeing on grass is good while peeing on carpet is bad. If you want them to understand the rules, you'll have to teach them.

Puppy!
Puppy!

Basic Solutions

  • Be patient and calm. Yelling at your dog will only confuse them further, especially if its something done in the past.
    • If you can catch your dog relieving themselves indoors, reprimand them in a clear, verbal manner.
  • Take your dog out at regular intervals. Remember that a small puppy has an equally small bladder.
  • When your dog does relieve themselves outside, praise them. This will help to reinforce the training. Consider carrying treats with you to reward them.
  • When (Not if) your dog has can indoor accident, clean it up immediately and thoroughly. If the spot still smells like urine, the dog is more likely to keep peeing there.
  • Dogs have a tendency to "mark" areas using their urine. Discourage this behavior by quickly removing the urine.
  • Take your dog somewhere that many dogs have relieved themselves, such as a dog park, or an unpopular neighbor's lawn. Dogs are more likely to go where they can smell that other dogs have gone.

Protecting Your Home

  • Consider investing in pee pads. Note that these are NOT permanent solutions. However, in the mean time, pee pads can help to protect your floors.
  • Use a cleaner appropriate for the surface in question. Don't make a bad situation worse by further damaging the material.
  • Discourage your pet from resting or playing on couches and beds, at least until they're housetrained.

Poll

How long did it take you to housetrain your pup?

See results
Puppy!
Puppy!

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