By Mark Bensen
One of the most confusing and anxiety-ridden areas of dog
training is house training. Yet, it is one of the most
important, especially for the humans involved.
The best way to understand and find success with house
is to use the dogís own nature to help you.
Dogs are, by instinct, very clean animals. They would rather
not soil any areas where they normally sleep or eat. Dogs are
also creatures of habit --- they like to know where theyíre
supposed to go urinate and defecate. If the dog is taught to
eliminate on gravel or concrete, they will tend to look for
either of those surfaces to do so. If theyíre taught to
eliminate on grass or dirt, thatís where they will choose. Use
these habits to your advantage.
Setting up the training area
This is the first step. Make sure the area you choose is small
and confined. A bathroom works for this, or a place in a
kitchen or garage also work well. Remember that crate training
works well for puppies or small dogs, but for the larger
animals, the crate is too confining.
You need to spend some time with this aspect of the training.
You need to play with your dog in this area, and this is also
where the dog will be taught to sleep and eat. Put together a
special bed. This can be something you make up with items
around the house, or you can go to the store and purchase a
bed. Donít worry of your dog eliminates in this area at first.
Once they figure out that this is where the sleep and eat,
theyíll stop eliminating there.
Once your dog realizes that the bed is for sleeping, you can
begin to move it around the house. But, only when youíre
When youíre not, put the bed back in the training area.
Setting up the toilet area
Now you need to determine where the toilet area is going to be
located. Presumably, this will be outside the house. Wherever
it is, it has to a place that the dog can go to whenever it
needs to go. You need to go there with your dog so you can
the appropriate rewards for good behavior.
Establish a set feeding schedule for your dog. If the dog is
the habit of being fed at certain times, the natural process
elimination will also begin to occur at certain times. Once
learn when those times relate to the eating times, it will
become much easier for you to guide the dog to the established
Donít forget to make sure your dog has ready access to the
toilet area. That way mistakes arenít as likely to occur.
Continuing the house training process
Once your dog is in the habit of eliminating in the toilet
and not in the sleeping/eating area, you can begin to extend
training area to the rest of the house. Do this slowly. Start
expanding to one additional room, and then gradually expand
other areas. Donít expand into new areas until youíre sure
dog has control of its bladder and bowels. At first, do this
only when youíre around. If youíre away, then put your dog
in the original training area.
Speeding up the process
If you have to move this process along more quickly, you can
so. Remember to proceed with caution, though. Itís better to
slowly than to have to try to retrain a dog later. If youíre
going to try to speed things up, you will have to be there in
order to reward your dog for successful eliminations. It is
also important not to punish for mistakes. That will only
confuse the dog and slow the process even further.
About The Author: Mark Bensen shares more of his dog knowledge
at his informative site, www.wecould2.com/doggonit/