Some of you may be getting new puppies now that school is out for the summer. This series of posts is for you!
I have a significant amount of knowledge and experience with this topic. Over the years, I’ve housebroken at least 6 dogs of my own, as well as a number of foster dogs from my time volunteering for Field of Dreams Rescue.
My record is two days. The longest actually took several weeks, but then she had some quirks.
Assuming your dog is of average intelligence with no mental issues, is already spayed or neutered (or you have plans to) and doesn’t have any other health problems, you should be able to housebreak him or her in two weeks or less if you consistently follow these steps.
Step 1: Be Consistent!
Dogs love routine. A consistent routine gives them a feeling of security. They know what to expect from you, and that’s how they know when to do what they are supposed to.
The most important thing to do with a new puppy in the house is to get them on a schedule.
Do the same thing, at the same time, in the same place, in the same order, every day. Our dogs go outside to potty in the same order, every day at almost the same time. They are fed in the same order, in the same bowls, in the same place, every day.
In the beginning, puppies have to piddle often! Watch closely for their signs…sometimes they’ll get anxious, or get really wild all of a sudden…until they get old enough to tell you that they have to go. So in the beginning, take them out often. Like, every 30-60 minutes. You’ll soon get to know how often they need to go out. If your dog is a little older, say 10-12 weeks, they can usually hold it a little longer than that. You’ll just have to get to know your dog.
When you take them outside, use the same phrase every time. At our house, it’s “Do you need to go outside and go pee-pee?” Then once you’re outside, use a phrase to encourage them to go (with puppies, it’s to remind them…they are easily distracted!) I always say, “Go pee pee!” Keep repeating it, until they finally actually go. The first time they potty outside, have a PARADE!!!! Lots of love and kisses and hugs.
The next time you go outside, go back to the same spot. EVERY TIME. They’ll quickly get the idea that’s where they are supposed to go. With Ekko, I had to choose my battles. It just so happened the first time she went poopie, she chose my flower bed. SIGH.
What’s more important, housebreaking her, or picking up some pooh from my flower bed? I went with the housebreaking. I’m rewarded for that decision with no accidents in the house, and the occasional opportunity to pick up pooh from the flower bed…still to this day.
While it was about two weeks before I actually felt confident that she was housebroken, Ekko really only had 3 accidents in the house, and that was during the first three days.
But then I’m not counting the time that Ekko educated Jimmy that he should not ignore her and get in the shower when she told him she had to go potty. But that’s another story! 😀