Housebreaking a Puppy

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 40,807
    Dog trainer Carla Nanmack-Wenger demonstrates how to teach how to housebreak your puppy during dog training.

    Carla Nanmack-Wenger

    Carla Nammack-Wenger is the owner of Country Club Kennels & Training located in Fauquier County, Virginia. She is also the founder of The Chance Foundation, an all-breed, non-profit dog rescue organization specializing in taking in abandoned, abused and neglected dogs and providing them w/ medical care, socialization and training in an effort to find them permanent, loving homes. Carla has been training dogs of all breeds and temperaments since 1991. She started Country Club Kennels & Training in 1996 with the goal of offering her clients an attractive alternative to standard boarding kennels. The facility is located on her beautiful, 45-acre property in Catlett, VA. All the dogs are taken out a minimum of 6x/day and social, friendly dogs are turned out in supervised playgroups for their outings. Bedroom accommodations are also available for special needs dogs. Carla has spent years studying dogs and dog behavior. She is well known for her gentle yet effective training techniques and has acquired a reputation for being able to help dogs who have been deemed “beyond help”. Carla’s passion for what she does is demonstrated on a daily basis as she works with the homeless dogs in her care as well as her customer’s dogs. Carla is the trainer of choice of many rescue groups as they send her their “most difficult dogs” in hopes that with her love, patience and understanding, they will become adoptable. She has never met a dog that couldn’t be helped. Carla and her husband Ed are the proud owners of twelve, wonderful rescue dogs all of whom live in peace and harmony together.

    Carla Nammack: Hi there! My name is Carla and I here with you today at Country Club Kennels and Training. We are doing a video today on some basic dog training techniques and leadership skills. In this segment, I am going to cover some ideas on how to properly housebreak your dog and I got sweet little Willy(ph) here with me right now, and puppies are a lot of work to housebreak.

    People need to keep in mind that the main rule of thumb for puppies is that they can only hold it as long as they are months of age. For example, if the dog is two months old, they can usually hold it about two hours and if the puppy is three months old, normal puppies can hold it about three hours, but you can not expect an eight-week old puppy to hold it for eight hour while you are away at work all day.

    You want to really give it some serious thought when you are getting a dog, do you want an puppy, can you handle a puppy, do have the time it takes to housebreak the puppy or should you consider a middle aged or older dogs, which are often time much easier to take care of.

    Remember, you have to get the dog on a routine, the less opportunity he has to have that accident inside the house, the less chance your puppy is going to learn its okay to go to the bathroom inside the house. So, he needs supervision, he needs a routine, he need to be out frequently. Keep in mind when you wake up in the morning, for most people, their first stop is the bathroom. Puppy needs to go too. So if you wake up in the morning, if you see he is awake, get him out immediately, dont wait until you take a shower and expect him to wait for you, he needs to go. Usually puppies about 10 to 20 minutes after they have had a meal or after they have drank, they need to go the bathroom again. So, just make sure you get them out again for another quickie.

    Again, the more often you get them out, the better your efforts are going to go as far as housebreaking the puppy. When they are outside, you can throw in a little trigger for them, get in a routine of saying, go potty, go tinkle whatever you want to say, whatever comes comfortably for you, but be consistent and say the same command, and it kind of becomes a trigger that when a dog hears that, he knows he is supposed to go to the bathroom.

    When he goes, let him go, don't interrupt in midstream, so that after he is finished doing his business, then praise him, howl and make a fuss, give him a treat, whatever you want to do but, make it a fun pleasant experience for him, let him know he made you proud and bring him inside. If you have a puppy, everybody in the family has to be onboard with the structure and the routine for the puppy.

    Try to get him on schedule for outings, remember after meals, after drinking, after playtime, upon wakeup, and last thing before you go to bed at night, get that puppy outside. It will also help you, if you take them generally to the same area to go to the bathroom that will again remind them, hey! I am outside, this is where I go to the bathroom afterwards I get to play, afterwards I get picked up and cuddled.

    So, if you follow these basic tips for housebreaking the puppy, you probably do pretty well, and if the puppy is having accidents, you know sometimes they will have an occasional accident. It slips by you. You are not watching close enough, don't bother scolding the puppy for having that accident. The dog cannot associate going to the bathroom half an hour ago with the scolding that he is getting from you right now.

    So, he might look guilty, he is not guilty because of what he did, he is guilty because he is reading your body language, you are giving him signals that you are upset and so he gets upset. Dogs minds don't work that way. They are not doing it out of spite. If puppy has to go to bathroom, he has to go to the bathroom. So, if he has an accident, it's really your fault, it's not his, and I am sorry to tell you that but its true, and you know the child wears diapers, they can't control, when they have to go to the bathroom, when they go, they go, same with the puppy. So get them on a routine, work hard, be observant, watch for any signals that they are giving you that they might need to go outside, and like as I said you be well on your way to properly housebreaking a puppy.