Housebreaking Rule #1:
Housebreaking Rule #2:
Forget the old myths about housebreaking
True or False: If your new puppy makes a mess in the house while you're not around, bring the dog over to the mess, hold his nose in it, and scold him. This will force him to learn that going in the house isn't acceptable under any circumstances.
The answer? FALSE. Unfortunately, this is one of the most prevalent housebreaking myths among new pet owners. The fact is, puppies that age can't fathom the cause/effect relationship between their natural bodily functions and why, 20 minutes later or more, you're yelling at them. This housebreaking method doesn't work, and really does more emotional harm than good.
Methods of housebreaking
Use simple and consistent verbal cues
Specific verbal communications will also help the two of you understand what is desired. It is an excellent idea to always use a word when it is time to head to the bathroom. We like "Outside?" Remember that whenever you use a verbal command or signal, it is important that everybody in the family always uses the same word in the same way.
Once outside, we try to encourage the pup to get on with the act in question. We use the phrase "Do your numbers." Others use "Do It," "Potty," or "Hurry Up." As soon as your pup eliminates, it is very important to praise them with a "Good Dog" and then come back inside immediately. Again, make this trip that started outside with a specific word "Outside" be for a purpose. If we are taking the pup out to play with a ball or go for a walk we will not use this word even if we know they will eliminate while we are outside.
If Accidents Happen
One of the key issues in housebreaking is to follow Rule Number One: If you do not catch your puppy doing it, then do not punish him for it! We do not care what someone else may tell you or what you read, if you find a mess that was left when you were not there, clean it up and forget it.
Discipline will not help because unless you catch the puppy in the act, he will have no idea what the scolding is for. At this point in his life a puppy's memory is very, very short. Your puppy has urinated and defecated hundreds of times before he met you. Nobody made a fuss before and the pup will not relate the punishment, regardless of its form, together with something he has done without incident numerous times before. Especially if he did it more than 30 seconds ago! Puppies are just like our children. Unless something was really fun (and a repetitious act like going to the bathroom is not), they are not thinking about what they did in the past. They are thinking about what they can do in the future.
The same should be said as to your first reaction when you actually catch them in the act of urinating or defecating. Do not get mad. Quickly, but calmly, pick them up and without raising your voice sternly say "No." Carry them outside or to their papers. They are going to be excited, but stay there with them a while and if they finish the job, reward them with simple praise like "Good Dog."
Remember, though the housebreaking process may get frustrating at times - especially the times cleaning up the occasional accident - be patient and stay calm. If you want housebreaking to go quickly, regardless of the method you use, follow these simple tips and try to spend as much time as possible with your puppy.