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Housebreaking

When To Start

For best results, you should start Housebreaking your dog as early as possible, perhaps as soon as 8 weeks of age. The purpose of initiating housebreaking at this young age is to condition or train your puppy to recognize the ‘approved’ or appropriate elimination area while it develops bladder and bowel control. This helps distinguish the texture of its den (crate, blankets, dog bed, etc.) from that of the elimination area (grass).

Housebreaking: Puppy Development Timeline
  • A puppy cannot eliminate without stimulation from its mother for the first 3 weeks
  • Although such stimulation in not required after that time, a puppy has no physical control of the muscles that regulate urination and defecation until it is about 4 months old
  • The puppy then gradually develops this physical control beyond 4 months of age

Note – Paper materials may be used in “accident-catching” cases but should not become a habitual part of housebreaking. Encouraging elimination on paper products may teach the dog that, under certain circumstances, it can eliminate in the house – and this type of ‘encouragement’ should be ‘discouraged’ during the housebreaking process!

Housebreaking: Set And Maintain A Schedule

Housebreaking PuppiesIt is important to establish and maintain an elimination schedule for your dog. This will allow the dog to develop a sense of consistency, along with regulating the actual times and the number of times per day that they will need to eliminate. Although dogs cannot tell time, their need for a comfortable schedule helps them feel secure and anxiety-free.

It is imperative to maintain the same times every day until the dog fully understands the concepts that are being taught and implemented with respect to elimination. The more consistent/persistent you are with its training times and schedule, the sooner the dog will develop a rhythm and an internal “time-clock” for maintaining its own schedule.

At the same time, you will be learning to read your dog, so that you will both know when the next bathroom break should occur. You can schedule this into your daily routine and therefore avoid any messy ‘accidents’.

Housebreaking: Alpha Paws Training Program

In our Housebreaking training, your dog will learn a daily elimination routine and schedule in conjunction with consistency in mealtimes and let-out times. The overall training process is as follows:

Phase 1 – 10 Days Of Training, Held At The Alpha Paws Facilities, That Focuses On:
  • Housebreaking skills/disciplines
  • Obedience commands given verbally and non-verbally
  • Appropriate responses to these commands
  • Demonstrating proper and acceptable household manners/behaviours
  • On-leash training
Phase 2 – Continuation Of The Housebreaking Training At Home By The Dog Owner
  • Begins with five individual sessions with a trainer for both the dog and its owner
  • The sessions focus on application of the housebreaking skills/disciplines at home
  • Also includes any requisite equipment

Successful housebreaking of a puppy is achieved through repetition and reinforcement, as well as recognition, of appropriate behaviours by the puppy during the training phase and beyond. The onus or responsibility for a successful outcome lies directly with the owner of the puppy, and is predicated on the discipline to work with the puppy daily in an appropriate environment/setting.

To obtain further details on our Puppy Housebreaking program, call Alpha Paws today at 905-830-9500 or toll free at 1-877-868-PAWS or contact us to arrange a no-obligation consultation.

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