GREATEST HOUSE BREAKING MYTHS
MYTH #1: THE LONGER YOUR DOG IS OUTSIDE, the less likely he is to mess in the house. Dogs enjoy playing, observing, and investigating when left alone outdoors but often forget about going potty. Therefore:
- Always watch and chant the “potty command” and teach your dog to GO POTTY fast
- Have your dog earn play time by pottying first and playing afterwards
MYTH #2: IF YOUR DOG GOES POTTY OUTSIDE, it must be safe to give him freedom. Sometimes puppies and mature dogs will, for no apparent reason, relieve themselves several times in a short period. Even if your dog doesn’t soil the house, supervision may be crucial. Tie-out stations prevent an untrained dog from discovering how to raid the garbage; steal laundry; jump on counters; or chew furnishings AND teach him to be relaxed.
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MYTH #3: ONCE HOUSEBROKEN, always house broken. Certain conditions can cause very reliable dogs to backslide.
- Changes in diet disrupt normal elimination patterns.
- Weather variations (heat, cold, wet grass, rain and/or thunder) may make outings undesirable.
- New environments such as a new home, a friend’s house, or vacation home may not automatically be accepted as living quarters. No matter how beautiful, your dog’s natural reaction will likely be to treat these places like the great outdoors.
- Steroids and other medications, as well as pregnancy and the beginning of a heat cycle, will trigger unusually frequent elimination.
MYTH #4: DOGS WHO CAN HOLD IT in their cage, all night, or for extended periods are well on their way to being housebroken. Metabolism slows down with inactivity, therefore, even a totally untrained dog may not soil for six to twelve hours when caged. Dogs aren’t trained until they understand, “When I’m outdoors it’s okay to move about, explore and go potty but INSIDE I must ‘hold it’ when sniffing and playing.”
MYTH #5: ALWAYS SCOLD when you see him going indoors. Some dogs leak (urinate submissively due to an emotional reflex) when they get excited or frightened. Some dogs get frantic when they are left alone and soil. To stop the inappropriate elimination:
- Teach the submissive wetter to concentrate on something other than his emotions by giving commands in an unemotional way or teaching platform training.
- Address the separation anxiety by teaching the dog to go in an out of enclosures on command, obeying a sit stay when you are out of sight and treating all arrivals and departures as non-events.
MYTH #6: DOGS SHOULD INDICATE when they need to go out. Dogs often indicate when they want to go outdoors and play, instead of when they need to potty. Also, many dogs will indicate frequently and always eliminate. If your dog is conditioned to going out every time he asks and either you’re not available or quick enough to respond, he may have to go because he hasn’t developed the capacity and control to hold it. Don’t encourage indication.
INSTEAD, TRAIN PUPPIES to control their elimination with supervision and tie-out stations, proper diet and by following “potty break” schedule. After he’s trained, you can easily encourage him to let you know. But why would you need to?
LEARN HOW TO HOUSE BREAK:
- The Everything Puppy Book by Carlo DeVito and Amy Ammen
- Enroll with Amiable Dog Training
- View more tie-out station videos on Youtube
- Take the Puppy Behavior Quiz