I get a fair number of calls a year for house training advice. I give out a lot of tips for free, due to the fact that while many want the trainer to take on the time and patience to house train their dog, few really want to pay the trainer for their time to do this. Many think that they should not need to pay for such "easy" work. It is i n fact easy work, but time consuming and requires organization, diligence, consistency, and patience. This takes an enormous amount of time out of a trainer's schedule that could be used for something else. I charge 700.00 per week for this with no apologies or deals. I am putting my house and household's well being on the line. Two hours and boarding are a fraction of the time that I will give to the project. Frequently it means I am giving up quite an amount of sleeping time to be sure the dog goes out when they feel they need to go, and making up a schedule and plan for the owners. This does not come cheap, nor is it my favorite type of work by any means. However, if someone is willing to pay for my work for it and needs some serious help, I am more than happy to oblige them.
Here are a list of tips that I give to owners that are seeking to housebreak their dog:
- Puppies NEED to go out more often than adults. Some can sleep through the night, and others can't. Some will need to go out about every two hours at first.
- When first bringing home a puppy, crate training and tethering when your attention can not be on them are great solutions. Let puppy or dog inside for loose play only after they have done number one and two as expected when first entering your home (and in their outside area obviously).
- Write down the times of any "accidents" and add those times to your schedule of when you let your dog or puppy out, until a reliable pattern develops.
- After an accident, immediately bring your puppy or dog outside.
- Keep separate bathroom times when your puppy or dog goes out vs play times. If the dog or puppy does not pee or poop within a reasonable time frame (usually 5 minutes), return them to their crate for about 20 minutes, and bring them out again. Repeat until they have done their business outside.
- The reason for keeping play and bathroom time separate is that dogs will naturally want to play and extend the time. If you make it clear there is a certain time for bathroom and it needs to be done soon, then you will be able to get your dog in and out and then go about your day.
- Be aware that feeding times help you determine about when your dog will need to go. Most dogs need to go out before they eat. Some find that the eating moves things along after too. Notate the times in your journal that your dog pees or poops after they eat.
- Dogs and puppies need frequent access to water, but at night you can pick times (like 7 PM or so) that you put the water away that when your dog out later (at 9 pm for example) they won't feel the need to go out again (in general, every dog's system is different).
- Especially for puppies, after training, exercise and play puppies normally need to go to the bathroom. I usually break puppies in class after a half hour for a potty break. Dogs may need this too, it depends on the dogs system. After a play or training session, it's always a good thing to check if your dog or puppy needs to go out.
- Train your dog or puppy to alert when they need to go by use of a bell or something else to make noise. Also be aware of what your dog or puppy's signals may already be.
- BE SURE THAT YOU LET YOUR DOG OUT DURING SCHEDULED TIMES DURING THE DAY, ONCE YOU KNOW THEIR SCHEDULE. ALSO SHOULD YOU HEAR THE ALERT, LET THEM OUT!!!!
- I do not recommend pad training a dog, unless you are a city dweller and really need this.
- If you work and can not get home during the day, have a pet sitter let your dog out.