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Housebreaking 101: Tips For Potty Training Your Pooch

Housebreaking 101: Tips For Potty Training Your Pooch

Every dog can be housebroken with consistency and dedication.

Indianapolis, Indiana, July 14, 2015 — Getting a new dog is exciting, but training your pet to “go potty” outside is quite the opposite. Learn how to teach your dog acceptable versus unacceptable behavior with these tips from Off-Leash K9 Dog Indianapolis Training:

1. Routine is everything. Dogs prefer to have a structure in place because it makes them feel safe and secure. They will also learn faster with a routine.

a. Create a food and water schedule for your puppy to establish an elimination pattern. Off-Leash K9 advises feeding once in the morning and once in the evening, with a few drinking periods in between. Free feeding and watering will encourage unpredictable elimination patterns.
b. Take your dog out regularly. We recommend after waking up, eating or drinking and playing.
c. Use the same elimination spot in the beginning to get your dog accustomed to using a certain spot.
d. Choose a phrase, such as “go potty”, to use while your pet is eliminating. This will help him link the phrase to the action of going to the bathroom, and later he should be able to eliminate on command.
e. Always praise your pet when he is done.

2. Supervision promotes consistency. As your pet is learning, never let him roam unsupervised so that you can watch for accidents.

a. Look for your dog’s elimination signs, such as sniffing, spinning or squatting.
b. If you catch him in the act, startle him, take him outside immediately and tell him to “go potty”.
c. Put him in his crate if you cannot watch him closely. Most dogs will not eliminate in their crates, provided they are not too large.
d. If you find an accident, you were not watching your dog closely enough. Do not rub his nose in the mess or scold him, because he will not connect the act of elimination with the actual mess. Always thoroughly clean the area with an enzymatic cleaning solution.

3. Troubleshoot your mistakes. Most accidents are the fault of the owner and not the dog, so be patient and realize that your pet will learn eventually. By correcting your mistakes, your dog should correct his as well. Here are some common mistakes and how to correct them:

a. Your dog eliminates in his crate. Make sure that the crate is not too large for your pet. It should be large enough so that he can turn around, but not so large that he has roaming space. Most dogs will not go potty where they sleep and live.
b. When catching the dog “in the act”, you take him outside and he will not eliminate. Put your puppy back in his crate for a few minutes, then take him outside again and give him the command “go potty.” You may need to do this several times until he eliminates. Do NOT let your puppy play before eliminating; use play time as a reward for proper elimination.
c. You find a mess on the carpet and your dog looks guilty. At this point it is too late to show him where he should eliminate, so clean up the mess with a proper enzymatic solution. Do not scold him because he knows that the elimination itself is wrong, but does not know that the ACT of the elimination is the source of your disproval. Start over and keep an eye on your dog for future signs.
d. Teaching your dog to go within a boundary. If you want your dog to use a certain spot in your yard, you must keep him on a leash and take him to the area where you want him to eliminate. Give him the command “go potty” and wait until he obeys. If he does not, put him in his crate for a few minutes and try again. Be consistent and wait until he complies every time before removing the leash.

Off-Leash K9 Dog Training was founded in 2009 and proudly serves the Indianapolis area. The company offers private in-home training lessons, group lessons, board and train programs, and trained dogs for sale. All professional dog trainers are certified through Fred Hassen’s Sit Means Sit Dog Training. To learn more about how Off-Leash K9 can serve you, visit the company’s Web site at

Marc Adams
Off-Leash K9 Dog Training
Indianapolis, Indiana

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