Housebreaking Tips for Training Your Dog

Housebreaking your puppy or adult dog can be a stressful task. The key to successful housebreaking is consistency. Dogs are creatures of habit, and they will learn to respond to the same consistent training that you provide.

 

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Most of the housebreaking questions we receive at Bellybands.net consist of two basic problems:

  1. Dog Marking: Controlling and stopping marking in the house
  2. Puppy Housebreaking: Teaching puppies to become reliably housebroken

Dog Marking and Housebreaking

Adult dog marking is a housebreaking problem that can be controlled. The key to stopping this bad behavior is to prevent your dog from placing his urine scent in the house. Dogs that mark in the house desire to leave their scent on carpets and furniture to “mark” these items as their territory and, being creatures of habit, are attracted to repeat their marking in these same spots by the urine odor.The first step to control this bad marking behavior is to clean any areas where your dog has urinated with a product made specifically to clean and deodorize dog urine. You can find hidden soiled areas easily with the use of a blacklight. Urine-stained areas will glow when a blacklight is shined on them. You will be surprised at all of the hidden areas you will discover. Once you find the areas that need to be cleaned, use a product that will remove the urine stain and odor. Products such as baking soda or club soda won’t break down the urine and thoroughly remove it from your carpet and furniture. Unless the urine is completely removed, your dog will recognize even the smallest scent that you can’t notice, and he will be drawn to re-mark the area.The second step in controlling bad marking behavior is to stop your dog from wetting in the house by preventing his opportunities. Your dog should be loose in the house without a belly band only when you can watch him at all times. This means that if you are busy and unable to watch your dog, he should not be allowed to go into any room where you cannot watch him carefully, even for a few seconds, without his bellybands.net belly band. Many dogs are sneaky markers, and a few unsupervised “seconds” can lead to urine marking that you might not immediately notice. Each time your dog successfully marks in the house, it reinforces this behavior and his desire to do so.Many owners who can’t watch their dogs every minute use belly bands as a housebreaking aid to help control urine marking and train their dogs not to wet in the house. Bellybands.net belly bands comfortably wrap around your dog’s belly and an inexpensive sanitary maxi pad or poise pad is placed in the bottom of the band. When the dog tries to mark in the house, urine is absorbed by the pad and carpet and furniture remain clean. Dogs cannot leave their scent or mark their territory, thus eliminating soiled areas that would attract them to re-wet in the future. Dogs dislike wetting in the band, and it serves as a constant reminder to your dog not to wet in the house. Many dogs are reliably housebroken with the use of bellybands.net belly bands. For those persistent markers, belly bands help to keep homes smelling fresh, clean and urine-free.If you are away from home for a long time during the day, your dog should not be allowed to have unsupervised run of the house. If your dog is unsupervised and allowed to wet on carpet and furniture while you are away, it will be virtually impossible to reliably housebreak him. Ideally, when you are not home, you should keep your dog in one room that has an easy-to-clean flooring such as tile. Child gates or puppy gates can be used to block off the entrance to the rest of the house and keep your dog confined to the one room. If you have a doggy door, keep your dog confined to a small area around the doggy door. This will prevent your dog from developing bad housebreaking habits while you are away.

Puppy Housebreaking

Puppy potty training takes patience and consistency. Don’t give up! Keep in mind that puppies are unable to completely control their bowels until they are about four to six months old. You will have some success during the early months; however, you should expect accidents. To avoid difficult clean-ups, keep puppies supervised at all times, use a belly band, or keep them on an easy-to-clean surface such as tile when they are unsupervised, until you are certain that your pup is housebroken. Once you allow your pup to urinate in the house, he is likely to return to the same spot the next time he has to relieve himself.Housebreaking a puppy requires that you let him outside often to potty. We recommend that, at first, you let your pup outside every hour, if possible. If you are using bellybands.net belly bands with your dog, remove the band before letting him outside. Your puppy should always be encouraged to potty just before you retire for the night. Likewise, as soon as he wakes up in the morning, the first thing your pup will need to do is relieve himself. You should waste no time in taking him outside as soon as he awakes. When your pup hears you get up in the morning, it will be his signal to wake, so attend to him before going about your morning routine. Some pups may cry that they need to potty at the first sign of light, and if you want a dry floor or crate, it is usually necessary to immediately respond to their needs.Your pup will also have to relieve himself shortly after a meal, and will need to urinate more often during the summer when his water intake is higher. As soon as your pup finishes dinner, take him to his outdoor place to potty for several minutes until he relieves himself. At other times, you may notice your pup sniffing the floor for a suitable place to go. He may whimper or start to squat. Scoop him up immediately and place him outside. As with adult dog marking, the key to training your puppy not to wet in the house is to prevent him from leaving his urine scent in the house. Dogs, being creatures of habit, are enticed to mark in these same spots by the urine odor.If your puppy does wet in the house, clean any areas where your dog has urinated with a product made specifically to clean and deodorize dog urine. You can find hidden soiled areas easily with the use of a blacklight. Urine-stained areas will glow when a blacklight is shined on them. You will be surprised at all of the hidden areas you will discover. Once you find the areas that need to be cleaned, use a product that will remove the urine stain and odor. Products such as baking soda or club soda won’t break down the urine and thoroughly remove it from your carpet and furniture. Unless the urine is completely removed, your dog will recognize even the smallest scent that you can’t notice, and he will be drawn to re-wet the area.Another important part of puppy housetraining is to be proactive and prevent your dog’s opportunities to wet in the house. This will take time, effort, and patience on your part, but it will make the puppy housebreaking process move along much quicker and will pay in the long run.When housebreaking your puppy, the most important thing to remember is that your dog should be loose in the house only when you can watch him at all times. This means that if you are busy, your puppy should not be allowed to go into any room where you cannot watch him carefully, even for a few seconds. Puppies can wet quickly and without notice, and a few unsupervised “seconds” can lead to urine spots that you might not immediately notice. Each time your dog successfully marks in the house, it reinforces this behavior and his desire to do so.

If your puppy does have an accident in the house, scold him only if you catch him in the act. If you scold him even a minute or two after he has made a mess it will confuse him because he will not know why he is being scolded. If, however, you catch him in the act of relieving himself in the house, pick him up and say “No” in a firm voice. Do not yell. Immediately take him to the outside area where you want him to relieve himself or to his indoor potty or pee pad . Never rub his nose in the mess or hit him; this will cause him to fear you and will make future obedience training more difficult. Be sure to clean the soiled area with a product intended for housebreaking accidents.

Many puppy owners who can’t watch their dogs every minute use belly bands as a housebreaking aid to help control urine messes and train their dogs not to wet in the house. Belly bands from bellybands.net comfortably wrap around your dog’s belly and a sanitary maxi pad is placed in the bottom of the band. When the dog tries to wet in the house, urine is absorbed by the maxi pad and carpet and furniture remain clean. Dogs cannot leave their urine and scent, thus eliminating soiled areas that would attract them to re-wet in the future. The bands also serve as a constant reminder to your dog not to wet in the house. Belly bands do not take the place of normal puppy housebreaking. You should still work at housebreaking your pup. Many dogs are reliably housebroken with the extra help of belly bands , keeping homes fresh, clean and urine-free.

If you are away from home during the day, your puppy should not be allowed to have unsupervised run of the house. If your pup is unsupervised and allowed to wet on carpet and furniture while you are away, it will be virtually impossible to reliably housebreak him. Ideally, when you are not home, you should keep your puppy in a suitable kennel or in one room that has an easy-to-clean flooring such as tile. Child gates or puppy gates can be used to block off the entrance to the rest of the house and keep your pup confined to the one room. If you have a doggy door, keep your puppy confined to a small area around the doggy door. You can also place a pee pad or housebreaking pad on the floor if your pup does not have access to the outdoors when you are away from home.

Puppy Housebreaking can be quickened if your pup sleeps in his crate. Dogs dislike sleeping in a soiled area, and your puppy will soon learn to wait until you let him out of his crate to do his business. Of course, it may take a few months before your puppy is able to hold his bowels all night. As he gets older, he will have fewer and fewer accidents. Expect this, and never scold him for accidentally soiling his area at night.

With your help, effort, patience and consistency, your puppy will eventually become housebroken. Belly bands from bellybands.net can remind him not to wet and prevent him from developing a habit of wetting in the same places.

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