General Housebreaking Guidelines:
- Don't punish the puppy for housebreaking accidents. It is counterproductive and will teach the puppy some other unwanted behaviours.
- It is important to always clean up any “accidents” with an odour-neutralizing product.
- If the puppy/dog is having difficulty with housebreaking or has coprophagia, the owner should not allow the dog to see her cleaning up feces or urine. This is necessary for both accidents and routine clean-up.
- Take the puppy out or to the designated potty area immediately after the following events: waking up, getting up from resting, drinking water, eating, playing, training, and actively sniffing.
- Once the puppy has been “accident free” on the housebreaking schedule for 14 days, the owner must teach the puppy to hold her bladder a little past the time she may need to go.
- Puppies with housebreaking problems that persist for over a week with no reasonable explanation should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out medical issues.
- The owners day-to-day schedule needs to remain similar each day.
- Take the puppy out the same door to relieve herself in the same area of the backyard. As the puppy is eliminating, introduce an elimination cue and quietly praise the puppy when she is done.
- Owners can extend the number of hours the puppy can hold her bladder at night by:
- withholding food and water a minimum of two to three hours before bedtime.
- Exercising the puppy sufficiently prior to bedtime to increase the likelihood of elimination and to make her tired.
Sample Schedule for a Two-to-Four month old puppy
6:00 am - the owner wakes up and instantly take the puppy out.
6:15 – 6:30 am - the puppy is brought inside. Since the puppy eliminated then she is given 10 to 30 minutes of “free” time. This means that the owner is holding the leash or it is tied to their waist or the puppy is placed in an exercise pen.
6:30 – 6:40 am - the puppy is taken out again. If the puppy did not potty then the owner should get ready to feed her in the crate or watch her very closely.
6:40 – 6:45 am- the puppy is fed.
6:45 – 7:00 am - the puppy is taken outside the instant she finishes eating or takes a break from eating.
7:00 – 7:30 am - the puppy is provided free time. The owner can either have the puppy on-leash attached to him or go for a walk or let the puppy outside in the backyard to play.
7:30 – 7:45 am- the puppy is tethered when free time is over.
7:45 – 8:00 am - the puppy is taken out.
8:00 – 8:30 am - the puppy is given free time if she went potty. If not, then tether.
8:30 – 9:35 am - the puppy is put in her crate with a chew toy.
9:35 – 9:50 am - the puppy is taken outside.
9:50 – 11:00 am - the puppy is left in the backyard to play and investigate.
11:00 – 11:30 am - the puppy is brought in for monitored free time.
11:30 – 11:35 am - The puppy is taken outside.
11:35 – 12:00 pm - the puppy is brought in and fed and watered in her crate.
12:00 – 12:15 pm - the puppy is taken out.
12:15 – 2:15 pm - the puppy is brought in and put in her crate.
2:15 – 2:30 pm - the puppy is taken out.
2:30 – 3:00 pm - the puppy is brought in for “free” time.
3:00 – 3:05 pm - the puppy is taken out.
3:05 – 4:00 pm - the puppy is tethered.
4:00 – 4:05 pm - the puppy is taken out.
4:05 – 4:45 pm - the puppy is put in her crate.
4:45 – 5:00 pm - the puppy is taken out.
5:00 – 5:30 pm - the puppy is given 30 minutes of free time.
5:30 – 5:35 pm - the puppy is taken out.
5:35 – 6:00 pm - the puppy is brought in on-leash and is fed and watered.
6:00 – 6:05 pm - the puppy is taken out.
6:05 – 7:00 pm - the puppy is left outside to play. Before the owner brings her in, the puppy needs to be taken over to the potty area.
7:00 – 7:30 pm - the puppy is given 30 minutes of free time.
7:30 – 7:35 pm - the puppy is taken out. The owner gives the puppy a chance to drink water for the last time for the evening.
7:35 – 8:00 pm - the puppy is watched closely and is on-leash attached to the owner.
8:00 – 8:05 pm - the puppy is taken out.
8:05 – 9:00 pm - the puppy is brought in and tethered in the family room where everyone is watching TV. The owner gives the puppy proper chew toys and praises her for chewing them. The owner should spend at least 20 minutes playing with the puppy and her chew toys.
9:00 – 9:05 pm - the puppy is taken out.
9:05 – 9:30 pm - the puppy is brought in for closely monitored on leash free time. The owner may need to drop the leash if the puppy gets very wild with a sudden burst of energy.
9:30 – 9:45 pm - the puppy is taken outside.
9:45 – 10:00 pm - the puppy is taken for a walk or some sort of exercise before being put to bed for the night.
10:00 pm - the puppy is crated for the evening.