Consistency Is Key with Housetraining
There are very few dogs that can’t be housetrained – just poor pet owners who don’t understand the value of consistency. You’re the most important element in successful housetraining for a puppy or adult dog that’s new in your home.
The dog is looking to you to set boundaries and rules, while also showing that he’s welcome in your world. Housetraining might take a few days – or it might take months – each dog is different.
It takes at least several weeks or a few months to establish housetraining with a puppy. Some owners say that puppies are easier to train, since they have no negative experiences to counteract.
Other owners insist that an older dog is easier to train because they have better developed bladders, can wait longer between breaks and know something about housetraining. It doesn’t matter which is right or wrong, it’s only about dealing with the dog you have in the most positive way so that you’re teaching a good lesson, not instilling fear.
The old method of housebreaking was punishment centered – hitting a puppy with rolled up paper to make him stop having accidents and then punishing him again because he urinated on the floor instead of the newspaper.
Needless to say, it rarely got the desired behavior. Positive reinforcement shows the puppy exactly what you want him to do by rewarding the potty behavior with praise and affection.
These are far more powerful motivators for your dog than punishment. If your dog senses that you’re going to be home soon, he will make every effort to wait for the potty break.
But if you’re home on time one day, late the next and later the following day, then your dog is smart enough to give up and go when he has to. That’s not his choice – particularly if he’s in a crate because he dislikes combining his potty with his personal space.
Losing that consistency will cause him to give up and go against his instinct to potty in separate place. Housetraining takes time, so you need to be prepared to schedule yourself for this task until it’s complete.
That’s going to interrupt your schedule and cause you to watch the clock. If you’ll make this sacrifice for the weeks needed to train your dog, then you’ll be done with the process completely.
This is a small price to pay for a housetrained, well-adjusted dog that will live comfortably in your home for many years. At the end of the training period, you aren’t a screaming wreck and your dog isn’t cowering under furniture at the sound of your voice. Effective training builds a lasting bond with your dog.