Housebreaking is EASY!

Housebreaking is EASY! Keep your dog in as small an area as possible and take it out as often as possible. Only allow it free time when it has just gone to the bathroom, it is easy. Provided it is done consistently and is started as soon as your new puppy comes home. So pick up ALL the newspapers and put that cute puppy in a crate. “Oh, I couldn’t do that. It is so cruel.” Puppies view crates as their beds. How often I come home from training half a dozen dogs each day during my busy season and all want to do is get into my “crate”.

“Well, he cries and cries in there.” So feed him in there. He’ll associate something very positive with it. Leave  the food down for ten minutes. What he doesn’t eat pick up and leave it for the next meal. DO NOT give in. He will not let  himself starve. He needs to be regulated and if we don’t regulate what goes in then how can we regulate what comes out?  If you don’t teach your dog to like the crate think of how he will feel when is staying at the vet’s office overnight in  a crate or run for the first time. Boom, you have just made a stressful circumstance even more stressful. Which is crueler?
Now that you have skeptically purchased a crate remember no bedding or toweling. Every dog knows that then can go to the bathroom  in their bedding which will absorb and hide anything they might do.


To Get that Cute Little Munchkin HOUSE TRAINED:

  • 1. First thing in the morning and last thing at night take him out to relieve him.
  • 2. Take him out very often-the younger the puppy the more frequently you’ll need to take him out. If you work during the day have a dog walker come in to walk Fid.
  • 3. When he relieves himself let him run around the house for about 16 minutes. If he doesn’t relieve himself, outside, then give him a kiss and place him in the crate.

“I’ll take him all the way around the block, walking him for minutes and he comes in and goes right on the carpet.”Sure he will, he is not yet housebroken.” Don’t walk him any longer than 5-7 minutes. He is out there to do a job, which is to go to the bathroom, not check out the neighborhood. If you return him straight to the crate after he hasn’t done anything then it is IMPOSSIBLE for him to have an accident on that beautiful Persian.

NEVER, NEVER use treats! True story: PROBLEM: An elderly woman called me with a Miniature Poodle. You know the “Labs with a  college education.” The dog was about ten months old and her vet referred her to me because the dog was going to the bathroom  every twenty minutes. I thought to myself, “Huh? The vet told her to come to me. The dog has a urinary tract infection.” I told this woman that before I go out to her home, she should have her vet run some tests because it sounds like it probably has a urinary tract infection. “Oh no!” she insisted. “We have run test after test, no infections, no stones, and no diabetes. She is perfectly healthy. I need you to help me.” I reluctantly agreed to see her after some more probing, unsure of what I was going to discover. I was in her home no more than five minutes. Each time her dog went outside “to go potty” on her lush grass, she gave it a treat. It turned out that the dog was squatting as if she was relieving herself but upon inspection of the dog’s private parts, she was completely dry. DIAGNOSIS: A very well trained owner. TREATMENT: No more treats! PROBLEM SOLVED.

If your dog is not housetrained by four months of age call a professional dog trainer immediately! (Go to International Association of Canine Professionals website at Toy dogs and Spaniel breeds are even harder to housebreak so  don’t wait any longer than about three and a half to four months to bring in the trainer. Even if you live in a big city like New York City, where it is recommended to not bring your dog outside until they are fully vaccinated, there are things that you can do to prepare and make the transition from pads to outside much easier.  Keep it simple-don’t let Fido run around the house until he has gone to the bathroom. Stick to the simple program and you will not have any trouble! Good luck!

Babette Haggerty, IACP CDT
Originally published in The Pet Tribune. Fall 1996.

Reprinted from Woman’s Best Friend: Choosing and Training the Dog that is Right for You Published by McGraw-Hill (2003).
Written by Babette Haggerty page 189

Help! I Have a Dirty Dog. What is a Girl to Do?

Don’t despair; help is here. You have to use a reverse housetraining process. What this means is that instead of keeping Diva  in the crate for extended periods of time, you will keep her outside for extended periods of time where she can reliever herself.  This takes away the opportunity from her to have accidents in the crate. You will want to keep Diva in a safe place outdoors. A grassy, shaded fenced-in area in your yard is ideal, or a secure, screened-in patio will work too. Once she relieves herself, she goes into the crate for a short period of time, the time that would normally be “free time”. Don’t worry: she will not view this as a punishment.  If you don’t have a safe place for her to stay outside for periods of time, keep her leash tied to your belt loop instead of  using the crate for confinement and take her outside every half hour. If you live in a walk-up, you are not as lucky, but you certainly will be skinnier. After all, think of how many more cuties you will meet if you are getting skinnier and walking more  frequently. You will also be able to work more on your obedience training because you’ll be practicing that many more sit-stays in the doorway. It is still important that you keep feeding g her in the crate as well. Remember to only keep her in areas outside that are safe and secure from children teasing her, other animals that may harm her or even people who may want to steal her.