As surprising as it may be, many pet owners who bring home a new puppy often have no clue about some of the most basic facts regarding housebreaking for dogs. As a result, their efforts at house training their new puppy often gets bogged down by inconsistency in every area of the process, and by unproductive reactions to the dog's behavior. If you are one of those people who have never successfully housebroken a dog, here are some facts about housebreaking for dogs that should help you to acquaint your information deficit.
The first fact that you need to know about housebreaking for dogs is that the average puppy will need to go outside to use the bathroom between eight and twelve times a day. Included among those bathroom breaks are the three times it will need to go out after meals, as well as those breaks that need to be given after play and sleep. House training a puppy is a lot of work, and you should plan on taking your puppy outside once every one or two hours – especially when he is very young. At about four months, the dog's ability to hold his urine and feces for longer periods of time will reduce his needed bathroom breaks by about a third.
Housebreaking for dogs should also include a regular feeding and watering schedule to help him develop some regularity in his bathroom habits. Good, quality food and clean water are a must for healthy digestion, and will result in your puppy having to use the bathroom about fifteen to twenty minutes after each meal. When you take him outside, be sure to have a designated area of the yard that you have him use for his toilet. Almost any area of the yard will do as long as it is easy to get to and reliably easy to clean.
Part of learning the process of housebreaking for dogs is learning the signs that your dog needs to use the toilet. Be cognizant of those times when your puppy begins to sniff or pace the floor, look at you anxiously, or bark and / or whine blatantly. If you see him circling an area where he has had an accident before, it is probably a good sign that he has to go. Many dogs will go out of their way way to get your attention and let you know that they have to use the toilet, so keep an eye out for those behaviors.
Finally, pay attention to the little things. Be consistent in his schedule both during the week and the weekend, and be sure to take him out once or twice through the night – the average puppy can only hold his bladder and bowels for three or four hours – he will not make it through the night without an accident! Also, use effusive praise when he performs well, and try to avoid scolding him when he makes a mess. A simple "no" is sufficient – anything more severe can do more harm than good. Using these simple ideas about housebreaking for dogs can quickly have you well on your way towards having a housebroken puppy!