This is the most common and most effective method of housebreaking. Whenever you're not interacting directly with your dog, he is safe in his crate.
You can also tie his leash to your belt so he accompanies you around the house. But keep your EYE on him, so he doesn't pee on the floor right at your feet!
On a regular basis throughout the day, you take him outside to a specific potty area to go to the bathroom.
WORD #48: "HURRY UP!" or "BE QUICK!"
1. Establish a regular feeding schedule so your dog's digestive cycle is predictable. Every dog is different in how quickly he digests food and therefore how soon he needs to "go" after a meal.
For example, feed him first thing in the morning and then note when he needs to have a bowel movement. Feed again around 5 p.m. and see if that gives him enough time to digest his food so that he has to "go" again during his last bathroom stop before bedtime. Adjust his dinner time until his natural need to "go" matches your bedtime schedule.
2. Make sure there is no water bowl in his crate, especially at night. Of course, you also have to make sure you provide him with SOME chances to drink during the day!
Establish a regular in-and-out schedule. In the beginning, try to take him out about every two hours.
Start with first thing in the morning. Then whenever he wakes from a nap. Immediately after he eats or drinks copiously. Immediately after play periods. Whenever he suddenly sniffs the floor or begins walking in circles. And finally, last thing at night.
4. Ask him, "Do you need to go out?" Your questioning tone suggests that something interesting is about to happen.
5. Put his leash on. Tell him, "Go outside!" and head briskly for the door. Use the same door every time.
6. Choose a potty area. It should be the same spot every time, though you may have to experiment to find out where your dog "goes" best.
o Some dogs prefer grass.
o Some dogs hate grass, especially in wet weather, or when the grass is too deep, or when it's too short and prickly.
o Some dogs get so occupied with sniffing all the scents on grass that they can't focus on "their business."
o Some dogs prefer dirt or gravel.
o Some dogs need privacy -- they want to "go" behind a bush.
o Some dogs need no distractions -- they can't concentrate if there is any activity nearby.
o Some dogs are too intimidated to "go" if they see another dog or hear another dog barking.
o Male dogs who lift their leg need a vertical object to pee against.
7. Take your dog directly to his potty area, on leash. In a cheerful voice, tell him, "Hurry up!" or "Be quick!" or even "Go potty." Speak pleasantly -- don't be stern or commanding. You want your dog relaxed!
8. Now stand still. IGNORE YOUR DOG ENTIRELY -- except to watch him out of the corner of your eye. If you look directly at him, he will pay attention to you instead of concentrating on doing his business. Similarly, don't say anything, other than to occasionally encourage him to "Hurry up!" Talking will only distract him.
9. If he just stands there or sits or lies down, take a few steps in one direction or another. This will get him moving again. But for the most part, you want to stand still. Your dog can circle around you, so there are plenty of spots he can "go" within the length of the leash. If you walk around, he will come to look at these outings as "walks" rather than as dedicated bathroom breaks.
10. Keep an eye on your watch. Allow your dog about 5 minutes. If he hasn't gone by then, bring him back inside, put him in his crate, and close the door. Go about your business elsewhere in the house. In ten or fifteen minutes, take him back outside. From your persistence he will learn that he must go to the bathroom -- even a token drop or two -- before he is allowed to run and play.
11. When he finally does go, make a big deal out of it! "Yay! Good boy!' treat.
Romp and play with him for awhile before you bring him back in. Or, if the weather is bad and he's anxious to get back inside, bring him inside and play with him indoors.
12. Then, unless you're going to groom him, or sit with him on the couch, or teach him a new word, or take him for a walk, he goes back in his crate.
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