Housetraining Your Dog

Filed Under: Dogs, Behavioral & Training

Housetraining is the number one concern new dog owners have when they bring home their new family member--aside from taming the occasional wild curtain-destroyer or couch-mauler. Luckily it's as easy to master as it is to get to know and love your new canine friend.

In fact, getting to know your dog is the key element to successful housetraining. Knowing his habits and paying attention to the signals your dog is giving you is the easiest way to understand your dog’s cycle--and to avoid accidents.

A puppy can generally hold its bladder one hour for every month he's lived. Pay attention to how much and when your puppy eats and drinks, then time his trips outside. Usually dogs will want to relieve themselves twenty minutes after eating and drinking.

What signs does your dog give that he might want to take a potty break? There are usually just a couple of things he will do that will tip you off--whining, sniffing at doors or windows, being very restless, or sniffing the floor as though he's looking for the right spot. Keep an eye out for your dog’s particular signal and you'll bypass accidents you may have previously thought couldn’t be avoided.

Doggies should always be congratulated, in happy voices, when they've gone outside. With enough praise, your dog will understand that going outside is the right thing to do. You should never shame or scold a dog for an accident indoors. Not only is it pointlessly mean, but it may actually cause your dog to be afraid to tell you when he has to eliminate, which will only cause more accidents.

As with all training, you'll have to be patient to achieve the desired results, and of course all dogs are different. As long as you're very observant and attentive, the level of understanding between you and your dog will increase dramatically, and you'll quickly be able to tell when he’s ready to go outside. Good luck!

Topics: housetraining

Symptoms: peeing, pooping

Similar entries

  • A nationwide study of animal control facilities performed in 2000 reported that 40% of dogs and 28% of cats were surrendered due to one or more behavior problems. Today, that number is thought to be much higher. The most common behavioral problem cited was inappropriate elimination. Owners are often reluctant to admit when there is a behavioral problem that results in the relinquishment of the pet because they believe acknowledging the problem will decrease the chance of the pet being adopted and increase the possibility of euthanasia.

  • The Labrador retriever is again the top breed in the United States, having maintained that coveted spot for most of the last two decades. The German shepherd has, however, replaced the Yorkshire terrier for the number two spot, moving the Yorkie to number three.

    Rounding out the top ten are golden retrievers in the number 4 spot, followed by beagles, boxers, bulldogs, dachshunds, poodles, and the Shih Tzu.

  • Rabbits—social, playful and active—can be wonderful pets, as long as you know what to expect from them, and how to take care of them.

  • Box turtles are one of the most popular amphibian pets, particularly for children. This is partly due to their reputation as an easy pet to care for. When treated well and housed properly, box turtles are very easy to care for, and easy to love. But as easy-going as they seem to be, box turtles do need proper and attentive care.

    Box turtles get their moniker from their unique hinged shell, which allows them to completely withdraw their head and limbs, closing their shell like a box.

  • In a natural environment the dog is a pack animal. When we bring a puppy into a human family the puppy naturally becomes part of a new pack—his adoptive human family. Unfortunately, the modern family is always on the go, and the new puppy is often left alone for long periods of time. It's unnatural for a dog to be isolated from his pack. The stress associated with isolation from the nuclear family can lead to a syndrome described as "Separation Anxiety."