Housetraining Myths

Housetraining Myths: Separate Fact From Fiction When Housetraining Your Dog

Housetraining Myths: Separate Fact From Fiction When Housetraining Your Dog

Can there actually be too much information available today for the average dog owner to have at their fingertips? Just taking a few minutes to Google “Housetraining Dogs” I not only found millions of articles, but unfortunately, I also spotted thousands of myths still being published about the subject.

Check out the following popular claims about housetraining your dog and find out whether they are actually true or not:

1) If Your Dog Rolls Over On Her Back & Squirts Pee Then She Needs Housetraining

This is false. A dog that pees while she’s on her back doesn’t have housetraining issues. Instead, she’s extremely polite and/or a little bit scared. This type of behavior is called submissive urination and it occurs when a dog is showing respect or deference to another dog or person.

If your dog greets you in this manner, adjust your body language to be a little less intimidating: Ignore her for a minute or two when you first come home, don’t look directly at her and crouch down on the floor so that you’re at her level when you touch her.

2) Club Soda Is Great For Cleaning Up Your Dog’s Bathroom Accidents

This is also false. Club soda may get rid of the stain from a little puddle or pile, but it won’t get rid of the odor. Unless you remove the odor with an enzymatic cleaner designed especially for this task, your dog almost certainly will return to the scene of her crime and perform an encore.

Don’t use ammonia either. To your dog it will smell like urine, which is an open invitation for him to come back to the spot he anointed before and do it again.

3) It’s Better To Buy An Adult-Sized Crate For Your Puppy

Not true. A crate that is too big will encourage your puppy to sleep at one end and eliminate in the other. Still, buying a crate for each state of your puppy’s growth can be expensive. To save money and prevent in-crate accidents, choose an adult-sized metal crate that comes with a divider. The divider will keep your puppy from using the entire crate and can be adjusted as she grows.

4) If Your Puppy Has An Accident, Your Best Action Is To Clean It Up & NOT Scold Her

TRUE! Scolding or punishing your puppy won’t help her learn the bathroom basics. That’s because she won’t remember that she’s the cause of the little puddle or pile that’s got you so upset. Clean it up without comment, and promise yourself that you’ll keep a closer eye on your dog.

Housetraining Myths: Separate Fact From Fiction When Housetraining Your Dog

Finding credible housetraining information by sifting through thousands of articles published online today can be a daunting task. To help you ignore the myths of properly teaching your dog or puppy to use the bathroom in the appropriate area, take notes of the following tips:

1) Crates Are Cruel & They Do Not Help With Housetraining

This idea is false. A properly used crate isn’t cruel at all and makes the housetraining process much easier. Crates appeal to dogs’ instinctive desire to have a snug, secure den to call their own. Your dog’s desire to refrain from dirtying that den will help her develop the physical control she needs to become reliably housetrained.

2) You Can Consider Your 6-Month-Old Puppy Housetrained If She Hasn’t Had An Accident In 30 Days Or So

This is true. Housetraining takes some time, but you can consider the process complete if your dog is at least 6 months of age and has been free of an accident for at least a month.

Younger dogs (younger than 6 months) don’t have the physical capacity to hold their poop and pee dependably – and a dog of any age that keeps having accidents really can’t be considered fully housetrained.

3) Your Dog Will Always Let You Know When She Needs To Go Potty Outdoors

False – at least not for a while…

Most dogs take awhile to figure out how to tell their people that they need a bathroom break – and some dogs never learn how to get such a message across. But even if your dog doesn’t come and tell you she needs to “do the doo”, you can watch her for signals that a bathroom event may be imminent. Intense sniffing, pacing and circling all may indicate that a doggie doo is on the way.

4) Dogs Will Pee & Poop Inside Of The House Just To Spite You

While this may seem to be the issue, as it’s hard for some owners to handle housetraining, this claim is also false. Dogs are not vengeful creatures. They eliminate in the house for one of three reasons: They’re sick, they’ve had to wait too long for a bathroom break, or their owners haven’t housetrained them properly.

5) Housetraining Should Wait Until A Puppy Gets Used To Her New Home

False. While many dog training techniques should wait until your pup reaches a certain age, housetraining should start immediately upon the pup arriving at your home. A puppy of any age can start learning proper potty control. Teach her to enjoy her crate; feed her and take her out at regular intervals; and watch her carefully whenever she’s out of her crate. That said, she probably won’t be fully housetrained until she’s 6 months old or so.

Housetraining Schedule: How To Housetrain Your Puppy In 7 Days Or Less

It is quite alright if you are a new puppy owner and feel clueless about how to initiate housetraining for your dog. Many new dog owners make the mistake of scolding and punishing their dogs when they make a mess.

I made this same mistake with my first Chihuahua. Every time she would go potty inside the house I would take her over to the messy area and scold the dog with a loud voice with the occasional tap to her rear.

Soon enough, I noticed something strange happening. My puppy was still refusing to use the bathroom where she was supposed to go, but she started pooping and urinating underneath the bed and in closet areas. I caused my puppy to be afraid of going to the bathroom!

She did not understand why I was angry all of the times before and all her little brain knew was that every time she used the bathroom, I would yell at her. I realized that she started to be fearful of going potty and was basically trying to hide it by going in places that I could not see in plain view.

The Positive Approach Always Works Best

The moral of the story here is that you must take a positive approach to housetraining and totally eliminate any negative scoldings or punishments. The best thing to do is to supply your dog with a schedule each and every day.  This schedule must be adhered to without fail in order to produce the quickest results possible. Here is a sample schedule:

6:30 AM: Immediately upon waking, remove your puppy from his crate, leash him up, and take him to his potty area, wherever that may be. Allow him to focus by staying quiet as he sniffs and circles the area.

When he starts to eliminate his wastes, offer praise and start repetitively giving a potty command such as “Go Pee, Go Pee”. As soon as he is done, offer more praise and a treat if you like. Now take your puppy back to his crate.

7:30 AM: Exactly one hour later, give your dog breakfast and then take him outside to the potty area approximately 20 to 30 minutes later. Immediately return him back to his crate until the next potty break.

10:30 AM: It’s time for another potty break.

12:30 AM (Noon): Take your puppy outside to his potty area and follow the same routine. Afterwards, come inside and feed the dog lunch and then some playtime.

3:30 PM: It’s time for another potty break.

5:30 PM: Take your puppy outside for another potty break and then back inside for some dinner. You do not have place him back in the crate until the next bathroom break.

During this time at night, try to play with your puppy as much as you can. This is a good time to tire him out a bit for his nighttime sleep. But keep a close eye on his behavior in case he starts to sniff and circle an area in the house before using the bathroom. If you cannot keep a close eye on him, simply put him back in his crate.

9:00 PM: If your puppy is sleeping at this time, wake him up for one last bathroom break. Follow the same potty routine and then put him back in his crate until the next morning potty break. Start the entire routine all over again.

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The information shared on this site is for information only. It does not take the place of professional advice from your pet’s healthcare provider.

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