A dog relieving himself in the house is probably the most common of all the behavioral issues a new owner may have with his pet. When a dog is brought into a new home, remember that he will almost always want to relieve himself and then repeat the behavior in the same area of the home. This is why the biggest mistake a new pet owner can make is to let his dog roam free in the house the second he brings him home. Think about this from your dog’s perspective. If you let him loose to roam free in your house the minute you bring him home, why would he not relieve himself in the house? He hasn’t been taught any differently.
Another mistake owners make is to react negatively or angrily to their dog when he has urinated or defecated in the house. When a dog has an accident, it’s history, and you have to move on and learn from it. It is actually a learning experience for you.
You have now learned that you cannot give your dog the opportunity to be loose in that area of the home unsupervised. Anything you do negatively physically is an absolute waste of time and will only jeopardize your relationship with your dog.
Here are two great ways to housebreak your dog! The first involves “pads,” and the other involves “crate training.” You can do either one or both.
In recent years, Joel has become a huge fan of the absorbent housebreaking “puppy pads” for dogs. These especially work great if you live in an area that is known for being very cold outside during the winter, and you have a very small dog that does not like the cold.
Rather than taking your dog outside, you might just want to teach your dog to use these pads in a certain area of the house.
Another great thing about using these pads is that once this is trained, you no longer need to worry about rushing home from work and expecting your small dog to “hold it in.”
Teach your dog to use these pads by confining him for a time to a smaller area that is pretty much covered with these pads except for his crate or place to sleep when you are gone. When you first start with the training, do not give the dog the opportunity to relieve himself on anything other than the housebreaking bad.
Over the course of time, as the dog begins to understand, start covering less of the area that the dog or puppy is in. If the animal continues using the pad, make the area a little smaller each day. You might now be covering 25% of the area with the pads. Once that happens, you want to continue to make the area even smaller. You want to get to a point where one pad is covering the area. When your dog is consistent with that, the behavior is trained.
Tip: Before you start training this behavior, make sure the pad is in the same area you are going to want it in when the behavior is trained.