House Breaking a Dog

House breaking a dog that is 1 year old

How do you train an outside dog to be chill and not go to the bathroom in the house??

Gale's Reply:

House training an adult dog that is used to living outside isn't much different than training a puppy. The primary difference is that it may require more patience at first since the dog isn't accustomed to waiting to relieve himself.

The key is to avoid accidents as much as possible from the beginning. Fewer accidents will mean there is less for your dog to unlearn and training will go more quickly.

House breaking a dog is always more demanding on the front end because you need to watch your dog 100% of the time that he is indoors. And he needs to be taken outside at regular intervals in anticipation of when he might need to go BEFORE an accident happens.

When you take him out, wait with him to see if he does do his business. Be sure to reward him whenever he does use the bathroom outside. I recommend food treats because for most dogs it is the fastest way to get the point across that THIS is where you want him to go.

At night or at times during the day when you can't supervise him, he needs to either be crated or confined to an area small enough that he'll be unlikely to relieve himself. (Dogs don't like to urinate or defecate in the same place they eat or sleep.)

Never scold your dog for an accident. Just clean it up without any drama. You either failed to watch him closely enough or you made him wait too long before taking him out. Either way it's not his fault.

Use white vinegar or a commercially prepared product like Nature's Miracle to remove any odor that might attract your dog back to use the same spot again. Even if you can't smell it, he can.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is at first. But, your diligence in the beginning will pay off in a short amount of time.

Good luck. And, feel free to post back with any questions or to let us know how things are going.

For more information on obedience training, visit our Pit Bull Training page.

For help with behavioral problems, check out our Dog Behavior Training page.

Comments for House Breaking a Dog

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Apr 17, 2011
Take Them Out Often!
by: Gremlin

I'm housetraining a 9 month old dog who has previously been an outside dog. Taking the dog out frequently and developing a routine is the key. After 2 days he is already heading to the same spot to "go" when I let him outside. I even say the same thing - "go potty" and he heads to the grass. Of course, our pit bull has been showing him the ropes. He has watched her, which has helped him learn what to do.

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