Housebreaking tips for puppies and adult dogs

Housebreaking a new puppy or adult dog requires a great deal of commitment on the part of the owner. Your dog will occasionally make mistakes and have accidents in the house, but being consistent and patient will help the housebreaking stage go smoothly. Kathy Santo, a contributor to the American Kennel Club's Family Dog publication, offers tips on effectively housebreaking your dog:

  • Feeding: Santo advises not to feed your dog a food that is very high in fiber. This causes them to go to the bathroom constantly throughout the day. Instead use a great-quality food that is low in fiber and is carefully measured and fed at around the same time every day.
  • Crate and schedule: Never use the dog's crate as a punishment. Instead place it where he feels safe and happy. "Basically, when he's not in the crate, your puppy needs to go outside every 20 to 30 minutes," says Santo. "That way, you're giving him more examples of what's correct (going to the bathroom outside) than examples of what's wrong (going to the bathroom on the floor, in your slippers and so forth)."
  • Cleanup: Dog urine contains ammonia, and as it breaks down, the ammonia concentration increases. Stop using cleaning products containing ammonia to clean up any accidents because it will not effectively get rid of the dog's urine scent. He will continue to go back to that spot because he recognizes his territory. Instead use stain and odor removers that don't contain ammonia.

— Source: American Kennel Club


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