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How to Housebreak Your Puppy

Eric Bittman dog training house break your dog puppy training

So you gave yourself the gift of a new puppy or someone else gave it to you.  Unfortunately, this little bundle of joy doesnít understand the specific places designated for going to the bathroom.  So what do you do?  How do you housebreak your new pet?
Housebreaking really isnít all that difficult.  As with all, dog training it will take consistency and patience but the hardest part will actually be training you and the rest of your family. 
Before you start any training, you always want to be certain your pet is healthy.  There is nothing worse then continually disciplining your puppy for going in the house and then finding out they have a kidney or bladder dysfunction.  
The key to housebreaking your puppy is close supervision.  You need to catch your pet right before or in the act of making a mistake so you can immediately say ìah ahî and take them outside or on to their paper.  Using a crate can really speed up the whole process because it makes it easier for you and the rest of the family know when your puppy will need to go to the bathroom.  General, but this will very with each puppy, about thirty minutes after eating your puppy will need to go.  I recommend feeding your puppy at specific times then put them inside their crate for the thirty minutes and then take them directly outside.  Walk around for a bit, if they havenít gone after a few minutes take them back inside and put them in their crate, repeat until they go to the bathroom.  Having treats and lots of praise ready for when then do go will also speed up the process of you puppy learning.  Some other times your puppy will most likely need to go is right after waking up and after excited play.     
Another thing to keep in mind is how long puppies can actually hold their bladder and bowels for:
2 months old - 3 hours
3 months old - 4 hours
5 months old - 6 hours
6 months old - 7 hours
So, if you work a 9-5 job and your planning on leaving your puppy at home by itís self all day it may not be realistic to expect your puppy to be housebroken until at least 6 months old.  
When your pet starts to go to the bathroom outside you want to have a word that you will say.  This way your dog with start associating your command with the act of going to the bathroom.  Eventually your dog will be able to go on command, this can come in really handy in the winter when itís really cold and you want your pet to hurry up.  ìHurry upî is the command I have chosen to use with my dogs.   I think is sounds better then ìGo pottyî or ìtoiletî, but itís your command so you chose what ever word you will feel most comfortable with.         
Housebreaking your pet should not take very long, if your finding that your pet is continually having accidences and itís driving you insane ask yourself two questions.  One, could my puppy have a health problem? If not, have I really been consistent in watching my puppy and catching him before or during the mistake.  If you havenít been consistent you canít really expect the dog to understand.  Itís time consuming at first because you really need to pay attention to what your dog is doing and what he looks like when heís about to go to the bathroom. But remember if your consistent everything goes much smoother and your puppy will be housebroken in no time.


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