If your dog accidentally eliminate in the night, consider the following:
- Do not let your dog have any food or water at least two hours before bedtime
- Take the dog out for his final walk and elimination as late as you possibly can
- If need be, put him in a crate. Remember the size of the crate should be just enough for him to stand up, turn around, lie down and comfortably stretch out but no bigger than that.
Crate training is effective since most dogs do not like to eliminate where they have to lie. If the crate is large enough, he may eliminate if there is a clean spot for him to lie down.
For an effective housebreaking training, it involves:
- Positively reinforcing the correct behaviour praising him when he eliminates in the proper place
- Managing him by preventing him from eliminating in the wrong place until you take him out to eliminate at the right place.
To do so:
- Confine your dog in a crate
- After a few hours, take him from the crate to the location you want him to eliminate in.
- Remember to take your dog out the same door to the same location every time you want him to eliminate
- Wait for 10 minutes for him to eliminate
- When he does it within 10 minutes, praise and reward him (with his favourite treats)
- Wait for an extra 2 to 3 minutes to make sure he completely empties himself
- Take him back in the house and give him 20 to 30 minutes of supervised free time
- Use a timer to ensure that he is not allowed for more than 20 to 30 minutes of freedom
- When the timer goes off, you can either:
- Take him back out to eliminate again. When he does so, remember to praise him and give him his free time
- Put him back to his crate
Mistakes are made when owners give their dogs too much free time, fail to take the dog out again, fail to confine the dog when the time is up, or fail to wait the extra two or three minutes after he eliminates the first time
Remember if your dog fails to eliminate within 10 minutes, he should be confined again. This is not a punishment. It is simply a way of preventing the dog from going to the wrong place for elimination.
Remember that consistent feeding and watering schedules is important to effectively train your dog in his housebreaking. Free food and water will make it unpredictable when your dog needs to eliminate. Bear in mind the following points in planning your feeding and water schedules:
- Your dog should be fed at fixed times
- He should be given only 10 to 15 minutes to eat.
- After that, remove any unfinished food.
- Free feeding should be avoided
- Water should only be given during his free time and when you take your dog to eliminate; and sparingly when he is confined in his crate
As a thumb of rule, a good guide to estimate the duration your dog (if he is a puppy) needs to eliminate is by adding an hour for every month of his puppy’s life, ie if he is three months old, he can only hold for about 3 hours before eliminating.
If your dog accidentally eliminates in the house, correction after the event is not only a waste of time but can be counter productive as it only confuses the dog.
To correct the situation, identify the possible cause of the accidental elimination in the house and take action to avoid it. For example, has you given too much free time to your dog in the house before you take him out to eliminate?
In situations where you cannot take your dog outside to eliminate, consider using a potty training kit (like Puppy Go Potty). Such kit contains absorbent paper (‘litter’) and a waterproof tray
To train your dog to use the potty:
- Put your dog in an exercise pen , this is a metal collapsible pen
- Place the potty on one side of the pen
- When your dog can no longer control his urge to eliminate, he will most likely go to the tray to do so
During the housebreaking process, avoid any dietary changes. If change is essential, avoid possible stomach upset by:
- Feed your dog with two-thirds of the old food and one-third of the new food for the 1st week
- For the 2nd week, use one-third of the old food and two-thirds of the new food
- Only completely feed him with the new food from the 3rd week onwards
And remember to praise your dog abundantly when he does the right thing!
You Can Do It!
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner