Housebreaking is in the top 3 number one reasons for dogs being surrendered. People generally think that there will not be any work or very little work when it comes to housebreaking.
I am here to tell you, it is one of the many reasons I get phone calls. It's not always easy and mostly is human error.
Here is what you need to know to housebreak successfully.
Yes, you must use a crate. Most dogs do not relieve themselves in a crate. Crate should only be big enough where the dog can turn around and lay on its side. No bedding in crate until dog is housebroken. No free roam until dog is showing success, then its small amounts of free roam earned.
2. Feeding schedule
Whether you are feeding once, twice, three times a day, do not leave food down. Offer food for 10 minutes then pick up. If you know when it's going in, you will know when it's coming out. Dog should have a bowel movement within 10-20 minutes of eating. If your dog did not eat, try again at next meal. Dogs are not meant to eat all of the time and will skip meals sometimes. This is not a big deal. It only becomes a big deal if they go multiple days, beyond 4 or 5 days without eating and they are showing signs of distress or any other problems. Call your vet if you are concerned.
3. Walk dog to same door and walk dog outside to same spot. Yes, walk your dog outside and make sure they go potty. Once they start to potty, repeat "good potty" or whatever you want their potty word to be. If your dog does not go within 5 minutes, you walk them back in the house, into their crate. You wait 15-20 minutes and try again until they go.
4. Dog must be supervised 100% of time when not housebroken. Whether you crate or tether the dog to you, you must watch them.
5. Be consistent in their schedule of food and water. Do not leave water down all day. You offer with meals and three-four more times for 20 minutes at a time. Water should be picked up 2 hours before bedtime.
6. Do not punish your dog for going in house. If no one was watching them, that's your fault. Clean it up with Nature's Miracle.
Now, every now and then there can be medical issues. UTI's are fairly common in dogs. A simple urine culture to your vet should tell you of any problems. That should always be considered but always consult with a certified trainer to help you.
Lisa Quintero C.D.T.