House Breaking

House Breaking Tools 101

1. Rule out medical first. Some dogs have urinary tract infections and that is the cause of the constant urination. The medicine that they prescribe for a cure also will cause them to drink more water so you will have to be aware of that factor also.

2. Get a "clicker" or use the word "YES" when your dog is outside and has eliminated click and treat 3 times very quickly. You are trying to capture the timing to teach the dog outside is where to go. Do not let your dog run around or take more than 1 step before you click and treat 3 times with a higher treat than a training treat.

3. Pick up on your puppies signs as to what behavior/ritual they have right before they go potty. There is about 3-5 patterns they give you. You must find what they are. It could be a slight as a look in your direction. It could be that the dog starts to waddle before they eliminate. They could circle a few times. Some try and sneak off. You have to find the signs so if you see them inside you know exactly what to look for. Watch them every time they go to potty for about a week solid and you should have at least 3 of the 5 signs by then.

4. Know what they are consuming by charting the food and water for a week. Make a chart from Monday to Sunday and from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Put a Symbol for pee and a symbol for poop. Chart the food and water intake of your dog for a week. You will start to see what their schedule is. You need to know what the intake to know when they will eliminate.

5. Make a line on the water bowl with a wax pencil or a crayon. Keep the water level the same always so if they drink a little or a lot you will know how many pee pees are expected from each time your dog drinks water.

6. Measure the food out exactly with a small measuring cup so you will know exactly what your dog has consumed. Do not mound the cup level it off every time.

7. There is an umbilical cord [the leash] between you and your dog if they are inside till your dog is house broken. You have to look at your dog as a 6 month old crawling baby with out a diaper on. You would never let a crawling baby out of your sight!!

8. Introduce the word that means go potty. Just one word for both functions. Since you will be watching your dog's rear for a week you will know what the signs are. As you see this behavior or ritual they do right before they eliminate you should start saying the word. I make the word sound exciting but not distracting. As they are eliminating I say with a monotone voice "good potty" then the second they are done I explode in excitement. Remember dogs pair things together. We want them to pair the word with the desired behavior.

9. Only if you catch the dog in the act can you scold them. If they are going to the bathroom I say "NO" in a strong voice. Just loud enough to stop them from finishing. I scoop them up and take them outside and start saying the potty command. Remember Alphas do not hold anger!!

10. Changing the imprinting from a flat surface to a textured surface is difficult but can be done. At this point in house breaking you have to prevent the mistake from happening. You need to set a timer for every 20 minutes if your home and take the dog out. Remember you have to look at your puppy as a 6 month old crawling baby without a diaper on!!! So you would never let a baby out of your sight at that age so you do the same with a puppy.

11. After your dog has eliminated DO NOT bring them immediately back inside. Play with them for at least 5 minutes so they do not associate eliminating as the trigger that takes them away from being outside.