Whether you are adopting an older pet or bringing home a new puppy, training and housebreaking can be fun and easy for both you and your dog. We are all creatures of habit, and when we get used to doing things a certain way, it becomes completely natural. Your dog is very smart and often wants nothing more than to make you happy.
With housebreaking, it is important to decide whether you will use indoor pads or other means, or stick strictly to outdoor trips and walks. This may have a great deal to do with where you live and your access to the great outdoors. Whichever you choose, it is important to stick with it and not confuse the dog by using both.
It is not necessary to limit or schedule food and water if you schedule the bathroom trips. You will find this to be true with pads as well after your dog is trained. Every dog, both males and females, make a particular stance when they need to urinate, and you will quickly learn to recognize it.
When you notice your dog making a stance that represents his or her bathroom sign, it will be time for you to move quickly – especially with a puppy. Take your dog immediately to the pad, or outside, depending on which method you are using to train them. It is crucial to stay on top of this and not let your dog make a mistake so that he or she can feel successful.
Each time your dog has success, shower them with praise and reward them with a favorite treat. They will learn very quickly that this kind of behavior makes you happy. With outdoor training and walks, the smell of the grass helps encourage the dog to go. Pads also have a scent to encourage their use.
When you get your dog, consider crate-training them by having them sleep in their crate at night. This gives your pet a place of their own that is private and safe, and if you are not comfortable letting them loose immediately while training, they will be comfortable there until you get home.
Be sure that the crate has plenty of room and a soft bed for them to curl up on. A favorite toy can be placed inside when you have to be gone, and your pet is still a puppy, you may want to leave them with a shirt that you have worn. In time, they will start to use the crate on their own and it will not be necessary to close the door at bedtime.
Always be sure to give your dog the latest possible chance before bed in the evening to use the bathroom. They do not like to soil their beds, and they will make themselves miserable to avoid it. Never punish your dog or scold them for having an accident – this does not serve to reinforce good behavior.
If at some point your dog is ill and taking steroids as a medication prescribed by the veterinarian, you will have to have patience with him or her. These steroids can cause pets to lose bladder control, and it will be no fault of theirs. Take them to the pad or out more frequently and hope for the best.