House Breaking Rules.
Ring the bells to go out!
Teaching your puppy not to soil in your house is not an easy task,
but you can make it easier by teaching him or her to ring bells.
Dogs find this fun and it gives you a clear indication what the dog
is asking for.
Housebreaking is simple using this method. The one thing to remember
is you won't get overnight results and it takes many months and
somtimes up to a year to fully teach your dog to 'hold it' until you
are around. After all, puppies are babies and just like human
babies, they take time to learn things and their bodies are growing
and changing all the while as well.
Consistency & patience on your part is a must as well.
The first rule of housebreaking is not to use paper on the floor.
You only teach the dog to pee in the house this way. Also you
confuse the dog because one minute he's getting praise for peeing on
the paper, the next outside. Then he gets scolded for messing off
the paper but you just taught him inside is OK by giving him paper.
Only he can't differentiate between which place inside you allow him
Confused reading that? Well, so is the dog trying to learn by that.
Now, you must confine your dog when you cannot supervise his actions
all the time. Crate training is best, but if you absolutely refuse
crate training, then a baby gate across a room that an occasional
accident can be allowed to occur is best. We confine the dogs to the
kitchen, which by the way has the door to outside with the bells.
Any inside messes whether it be pee or poop gets picked up with
paper towels (sanitized and cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner like
Nature's Miracle) and the dirty towels placed in a specific spot
outside and left there. This is going to be your designated toilet
area for a while until the dog gets the hang of this outside
business. Doing this leaves the dog's scent there indicating in
'doggie lingo' that this is the spot to toilet at. Leave any poop
there for a few days longer than you normally would as well. This
helps to teach the dog. Only pick up the poop if you walk the dog
where the law says you must pick it up or it's in a public area
where it SHOULD be picked up.
Always walk the dog on a leash to teach them to housebreak. This is
done even when using your own back yard.Why? Because this means
business, not play. It keeps the dogs mind on the task at hand.
Playtime is only for when the dog has done what you brought him out
there to do.
Use lots and lots of praise when your dog does toilet outside. Make
a big deal out of it. Don't use food treats as the dog only will
become accustomed to receiving food for doing what he needs to
learn. Praise works best. This goes for any training, whether it be
obedience, or tricks or housebreaking.
Now you need to get a regular schedule installed for out times and
food. Young dogs eat 4 times a day. This makes for alot of poop and
pee! Water needs to be left out at all times but now until your dog
is trained or it is unbearably hot and you've no air conditioning,
you need to start taking the water away in the overnight hours.
Taking the water away gives you a fighting chance.
So now you feed the dog at the same time for each meal (as the dog
gets older and you reduce the meals, you still keep your schedule).
When the dog is finished eating, IMMEDIATELY put his leash on and
take the dog outside. Use the SAME WORDS to indicate the dog is
going outside to toilet. We use, "Want to go out?". This is another
tool that shows the dog what is going to happen next.
So, as you're putting the leash on, say "want to go out?" and take
the dog to the designated toilet area. You must stay there until the
dog does his 'business'. We used to say 'go piddle' or 'go potty'
and all the other words we want the dog to associate with going out
to toilet. Once the dog actually does his 'business' you give lots
and lots of animated and happy praise.
Keep in mind you could be outside for quite a while before the dog
learns what you're there for. Patience, patience, patience! Also,
once the dog goes in the spot you designate more and more, the time
you wait for the dog to 'go' will be shorter. A new spot is always
the longest wait.
Now take the dog inside. Lesson done.
If you planned on a combined pleasure and toilet walk, put the leash
back on the dog and go outside now to 'play'. Keep the two separate
until your dog is totally housebroke or has learned to use the bells
Your dog should understand the words and the routine for this after
a day or two, but not necessarily be good enough to start asking to
go out yet. But the words you use now are going to be recognizable
to him. You should use the same door to teach the dog to toilet
outside every time. This is another indicator to the dog what is
expected of him.
So now the basics are done. You are going to get a pair of sleigh
bells. I used a pair I had from an old Christmas decoration I tore
apart for this lesson. If you don't have any lying around, you can
find sleigh bells in any equine supply shop or Christmas shop.
Search on line if you need to. Craft stores will have bells too. The
bigger the bell, the louder it is, so get big bells. We have bells
around 2 inches across.
Loud bells are very nice when you are sleeping and the dog needs to
go. We are pulled from a dead sleep every night at the exact same
time by our dog because she always has to go and using the bells
allows us to hear her signal. Even if we sleep upstairs we can hear
Ok, attach the bells to a string or ribbon, and tie that to the door
and make the length low enough for your dog to reach them without
having to jump up at them. You will be adjusting the height of the
bells as the dog grows.
Next time you need to take the dog out, like after the next meal,
you are going to shove it's nose into the bells (gently!) and AT THE
SAME TIME you will be saying, "want to go out?" (or whatever your
tag line is). Repeat this a couple times giving the dog a second to
try it on his own. When the dog does this on his own, repeat 'want
to go out' and praise and GO OUT to the designated toilet area.
Keep in mind that the dog may not mimic your bell ringing the first
few time you start teaching this, but usually dogs pick this up
fast. Why? because for some reason, making noise is fun for dogs!
It's also probably one of the few noisy things inside you're going
to allow the dog to do.
Do this until you finally hear the dog do it on his own. Make sure
you ALWAYS ask, ''do you want to go out?'' every time the dog rings
Now you are going to have accidents on occasion. You may slack off
in your 'baby sitting' or may not make it home from work on time
etc, and you'll see the dog's mess by the door you take him out
from. This is GOOD! Soiling BY the door is a good sign that the dog
knows this is the door he goes out to toilet from and although he
messed up there, it shows there was an effort made only you weren't
there to prevent it. The dog should be able to not mess now your'e
Another thing you must remember is to NEVER scold the dog for
messing in the house. Most times you will never catch the dog making
a mistake with your own eyes. You will most likely only find it long
after the accident has been done. So you simply clean it up, put the
paper outside as instructed and take the dog out to toilet.
Never rub your dogs face in the mess either.
Both these methods only teach your dog that 'doing his business' is
bad, not the act of going in the house. He's a dog. He doesn't have
the ability to reason and sort those kinds of thoughts out.
If you do catch the dog in the act, simply pick the dog up
(sometimes this can be messy so be prepared!) and take the dog
outside. When the dog
is finished, praise and bring him inside.
So remember, patience, diligence and the proper sequence of commands
will get results. Hollering and beatings only frighten and prolong
your progress and frankly are just cruel.
Good luck and happy housebreaking.