Housebreaking problems are the most common reason why dogs are being given away. You can avoid this by following five simple steps to help you housebreak your new dog.

photoFirst thing you can do is to keep a close eye on your dog. It is important that you know where your dog is at all times. If you are busy with something and think that you won’t be able to do this, put your dog in a crate or somewhere that he is confined, but make sure that this place is somewhere he cannot urinate or defecate. It is important that the dog does not get free reign of the house.

Dogs urinate and defecate in the house because they feel comfortable doing it. This is why the second step is to immediately correct this error when the dog does it, and make sure to give the dog a strong and motivating correction. This will instil to the dog that it is uncomfortable to urinate or defecate inside the house.

To further establish that the inside of the house is not the right place to urinate and defecate, bring your dog outside and to a specific spot where he can eliminate. Try using a command when the dog is “taking care of business” to associate the command to the urinating and defecating.  Do this consistently so the dog builds a habit of going to that spot with your command when you see there is a need to eliminate. Make sure that this spot is outdoors.

Dog urine has a scent that they can track. The fourth step is to eliminate this by using odor neutralizers to prevent them from going back to the carpet or that favorite spot on your furniture. One can get these at a store or try homemade remedies by mixing one part vinegar to four parts water. Eliminating urine and fecal residue will prevent dogs from establishing their comfortable spot anywhere inside the house.

The last step to housebreaking your dog is to strictly follow a feeding and watering schedule. This practice will give you an idea on when your dog has to eliminate. Dogs are said to eliminate immediately after eating or drinking, some might take a while. You can try to monitor these so that you get an idea when your dog is about to eliminate. If you do this the right way, you will notice that the dog will urinate and defecate at the same times of the day. It is not advisable to give free access to water, not until your dog is totally housebroken.

If you dedicate yourself to following these steps, housebreaking a new dog over 12 weeks of age may take 10 to 14 days. Depending on other factors such as a dog’s age, breed and temperament, housebreaking a dog may take longer or faster but with consistency and proper motivation, it can all be accomplished.

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