Overlooked Secrets to Successful Housetraining

When it comes to housetraining, most new dog or puppy owners, want this to happen fast!  But any behavior professional and dog owner will tell you that when it comes to any sort of training, nothing ever seems to go as quickly as we want or expect.  In this short article we give you three reminders that will help speed things up and help you, or your clients, have a housetrained dog as fast as possible.

Secret #1: You Aren’t Breaking The Dog of a Bad Habit

That’s why we call is house training and not house breaking!  The right attitude is important to successful housetraining.  The goal is to have the dog develop the habits you want when it comes to where, when, and on what to relieve himself.  That requires procedures that make it easy for him to develop those habits almost automatically.  At the same time you must make it almost impossible to develop the “bad” habit of relieving himself in the house (unless of course you’re an urban dweller who has created a special place inside the house as a toileting area).

The mindset of helping a dog make the right choices is going to result in very different methods than if your priority is punishing the dog or “correcting” him when he makes a mistake. In fact, “corrections” or punishment have NO place, and are absolutely NOT needed for successful housetraining.

Secret #2: Communication is Key

In a good portion of house soiling cases, we find a lack of communication between dog and owner is part of the problem.  Owners complain that their dog doesn’t let them know when he needs to go outside.  In our experience there are two common reasons for this.  One is that the owners have not purposely taught their dog exactly HOW to let them know he needs to go out.  It seems they have just sort of expected the dog to figure that out on his own.  And second, the dog IS demonstrating pre- elimination behaviors but the owners aren’t aware of their significance.  Thus, they miss the opportunity to take the dog to the elimination area proactively.

Establishing what will be the signal to the owner that the dog needs to be let outside is a key component of successful housetraining.  This must be included in your housetraining protocol.

Secret #3: Don’t Believe “Housetrain Your Dog in 5 Days or Less!” Claims

What if you saw that claim about potty training a child?  You’d laugh and maybe even wonder if whatever they were doing was abusive (or at least we would!).   Having this sort of unrealistic expectation only creates frustration puts folks at risk of giving up, turning to more punitive techniques, or concluding something is wrong with their dog (persistent housesoiling can be due to a medical issue so be sure to have your dog seen by your veterinarian).

It’s not realistic to think that a life-long, reliable habit can be established in five days!  We’ve all know that establishing new habits isn’t an easy process for people, as any of us who’ve tried can attest.

Dogs are smart, but they need consistency, predictability, and their natural behaviors provided for in order to develop the habit of relieving themselves in certain places, NOT doing so in others, and how to get the point across to their owners when they need access to the bathroom!

The housetraining protocol you’ll find in our “How To Resolve Housesoiling Problems” webinar course provides all that and MORE! Check it out at PetProWebinars.com.  The course comes with a detailed protocol – from Dr. Hetts’ book “Pet Behavior Protocols” –  to evaluate house soiling problems and a step by step housetraining guide.


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