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Housebreaking

Most people who say their dog is housebroken, actually still have occasional situations where there is an "accident". Usually, it's the owner attributes it to spite or anger, or some other human emotion that their dog just doesn't have. Dogs can get frustrated or bored, and the usual outcome is either to chew or eliminate. Knowing that, we have to control their environment until we are sure they accept and feel comfortable with our absence, and have formed only good habits in this area.

Using a crate,  simply affords you with the ability to prevent repetition of unacceptable behavior. In the case of housebreaking, you can use it to teach the dog to eliminate on command, and wait until you take it outside to "go potty". It also can help to teach your dog to go within the first few minutes, before you go on a walk, so if you're in a rush, they will not need to be walked for an hour before they go.

It is not important to adhere to a stringent schedule since dogs, being creatures of habit, would then expect to go out at certain times. It is much better to teach them to relax and wait until you take them out. There will be a lot less anxiety on both of your parts.

Now, the water issue. Do not limit your dogs water intake, control it! This means, until you are sure the dog is housebroken, give water with meals and before you take him out. Water controlled like this will stimulate urinating at the appropriate times, instead of a bit here and a bit there.

Food also stimulates eliminating. It can be used as well, to stimulate your dog to "go" when you want them to. Do not free-feed until you are sure Fido is housebroken. Dogs will usually have to go out 5-20 minutes after eating; this depends on your dogs individual digestive system.

Especially if you have a puppy, the acts of playing and rising from a nap will also stimulate them. To prevent accidents at these times, simply watch the pup carefully, and make sure to take them out before the go on the floor.

It is essential that you provide 100% supervision at all times, so that you can establish a positive pattern of eliminating outside. Remember that dogs are creatures of habit and you want to be the one to form those habits. If you find a little "present" somewhere, all you can do is clean it up. No matter whether you stick their nose in it (this hurts your puppy's trust in you), "spank" them on the behind, say "that is baaadddd!!!!", or any other form of after-the-fact correction, the dog cannot make the association past the actual "dirty deed". [Be sure to use a special enzymatice cleaner to remove all trace odors of the waste, otherwise your pup will be tempted to keep returning to this spot.]

Take your puppy out to the same area each time you want him to "go potty". Use this phrase, or something similar, and praise him when he "goes". He will soon learn to associate the phrase and the action and then can be asked to "go" at any time. Be sure not to play with or distract your puppy until he "goes potty". You mean serious business!

Some breeds are easier to housebreak than others, but to be on the safe side follow these rules of thumb with any dog and you will be successful. Remember that repeated success is the key here! 

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