House Training Tips For Dogs

At All Creatures Pet Sitting, as your pet sitter, we are often asked how to house break my puppy or dog. As with puppies, adult dogs can be housebroken.

There is more to house training than praising the puppy or dog when it eliminates where it is supposed to and punishing it when it eliminates in the house. It is important that the dog learn the sequence from feeling the urge to eliminate to finding the outdoors to relieve itself. Many people miss this step in the house training process

Punishment has virtually no role in house breaking you puppy or dog. Animals, like humans, make associations between acts and consequences. That’s how we learn! Finding an accident on the floor  and pointing it out to the dog when you come home does not mean that the dog understands that this was wrong. We still have a tendency to grab the dog, drag it to the spot and rub their nose in it. When the dog cringes upon your arrival, you think it looks guilty or sorry. The association that the dog has learned from this routine is that you come home, it gets punished. A few times of this routine and the dog becomes anxious when you come home because you are always angry and the situation worsens. It is slightly better to correct the dog when you catch in the act. But there is a danger that the dog will learn not to eliminate in your presence and now it waits until you are not around. We still haven’t taught it what to do when it  needs to eliminate.

  • It is best to catch them before they eliminate by recognizing the signs that they may need to go. This way, they make the connection right from their urge to eliminate. Learning takes place best at this early stage
  • Praise the puppy or dog IMMEDIATELY during and after squatting to relieve itself. The act of eliminating is self-reinforcing, but the location is not. The location is what you are reinforcing.
  • Do not carry the dog outdoors, it needs to walk there on its own in order to learn the sequences. If you have a pet door, do not allow your dog through any other door to eliminate.
  • Here are the circumstances which can stimulate the  urge to eliminate: When finished chewing on bones or playing with toys, when waking up from a nap, and after any form of playing.
  • Very young puppies need to eliminate every 1 to 2 hours. When in doubt, take him out! Puppies have a high metabolism and undeveloped bladders and kidneys.
  • The intestines are stimulated after eating and a big drink can stimulate the bladder. DO NOT free feed your dog if you are not home during the day.

If you have any questions, feel free to either give All Creatures Pet Sitting a call at 602-404-4185 or feel free to visit our website at