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How To Housebreak a Puppy – Popular Mechanics

Boxer puppy relieving itself on sheets of newspaper

Getty ImagesDorling Kindersley

Housebreaking. Of all the training that needs to be done with a puppy, this is the most daunting. What’s worse than having to clean urine and excrement off the floor (hopefully only the floor) of your own house?

But housebreaking is actually the easiest part of training when you think of all the other things dogs can do that will drive you crazy (see barking, chewing, nipping) and are much harder to stop. Take it from a lifelong dog person.

Here are some quick tips to housebreak a puppy. Every dog is different and there are many techniques, but this is the one that works for me and my pups.

1 Take the dog outside as often as possible. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many first-time dog owners think that means once an hour. Nope. I’m talking every 10 to 15 minutes. Take the dog out before it even knows it has to go. You don’t have to stay out until he goes, but one of those times outside, he’ll do his business (see #3).

2 If you are not home all day (and most people aren’t), use an ex-pen while you’re away. Place wee-wee pads (I’m not the only one who calls them that, okay?) in the pen for him to use if he wants. He will probably miss them most of the time, so I use a cheap outdoor carpet under the pen that I can throw away later. When you get home, pick him up (so he doesn’t have the chance to go on the floor) and take him outside pronto.

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3 Have a party when he does his business outside—chicken, cheese, hot dogs, excessive praise. Use copious amounts of treats you don’t use at any other time and praise that is more effusive than any other time. In the training world, this is called jackpotting, for obvious reasons.

4 Never scold the dog for a mess he’s made when you aren’t around. The dog will not know what the hell you are talking about. No matter how sad the dog may look while you’re yelling at him, he will just think that you are a mean person and will learn to stay away from you altogether. Or he will just find another place in the house to do his business.

5 The prime training opportunity for housebreaking a dog is catching him in the act. If you’re lucky enough to see it happening in real time, just say “Oops!” in a gentle voice and pick the dog up and take him directly outside, even if he is in mid-production. This makes it very clear to the pup what you are trying to tell him. House bad, outside good.

Keep this in mind: The rule of thumb is that a dog can hold it in for one hour for each month it’s been alive. If the dog is four months old, he can usually hold it for four hours. Six months, six hours.

Dog walkers are essential if you are away for more than six hours. Be patient and remember he’s just a puppy (although these rules can be used for an adult dog too). And just when you think you’ve succeeded, he’ll pee in the kitchen.

Don’t worry, just go back to the basics and he’ll get it.

Good thing puppies are so cute, right?

Source: https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/interior-projects/a25353310/how-to-housebreak-a-puppy/

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