The Secret to Housebreaking Your Dog in only Four Days

dog shittingThe biggest problem puppy owners face is house training their dogs to urinate and defecate outside the house.  And what many dog owners do not realize is that the longer the dog does his business inside the house, the longer it will take him to learn that he must go to the bathroom outdoors. That’s why the best time to housetrain your dog is the minute he gets home. And in this piece, I will show you how to do it in just four days.

  1. Get a crate. Dogs are den animals. Basically this means that in it’s original state, a wild dog would prefer to sleep between rocks in a closed confined space.  This helps him feel secured (as opposed to in the middle of an open field susceptible to predators). So this plastic cage we call a crate mimics their den. It’s where they sleep. and a dog never urinates or defecates in his den. So the next step is to…
  2. Establish that the crate his den. Do this by only feeding him in his crate and leave a bed and chew toy while you’re at it. Remember, if the crate is too big, he will see it as a small room and walk to the other side of the crate to do his business. So the crate should be cozy and barely big enough for the dog to enter and turn around in. And when you do feed him and hydrate him in the crate, make sure you…
  3. Regulate and schedule his food and water consumption.  The more consistent his eating and drinking schedule, the easier it will be to predict his bathroom habits. Do not give him all day access to food and water. When you give him food in his crate, whatever he doesn’t eat right away, take it away. The same goes for water. Whatever he doesn’t gulp, take away without hesitation. Don’t worry about his appetite. When he’s hungry, he’ll eat. Food should never be seen as a right but rather a privilege controlled by the owner. Regarding water, the problem with unlimited water is that puppies will often overdrink because they like the sound of the slurping.

The following is an example of a daily schedule I created for a client of mine with a two month old puppy who successfully house trained him in four days…

  1. 6:00 AM: Short walk outside
  2. 6:55 AM: Feed and give water
  3. 7:00 AM: Take away food and water and take for 15 minute walk.
  4. 7:15 AM: Put back in crate
  5. 11:55 AM: Give water
  6. 12:00 PM: 15 minute walk
  7. 12:15 PM: Put back in crate
  8. 5:00 PM: 15 minute walk
  9. 5:15 PM:  Back in crate
  10. 8:55 PM: food and water in crate
  11. 9:00 PM 15 minute walk
  12. 9:15 PM back in crate
  13. 1:30 AM: 5 minute walk
  14. 1:35 AM back in crate

Important notes:

  • Puppies have a harder time controlling their bladder than older dogs and need to urinate every 4-5 hours
  • Since the walking schedule is so demanding, it could make sense to take a few days off work.
  • The dog may initially resist the crate, but this drama usually passes in 3-4 days
  • If you want to play with the dog, play with him outside as activity will usually result in peeing
  • The longer the walk, the better chance of the puppy doing his business outside
  • If the puppy urinates inside the house, clean it with a deodorizer that kills the scent. These can be found in just about every pet store. Remember, as long as the smell of his urine remains on your carpet, from the dog’s perspective, it is okay to pee there.
  • If the puppy urinates or poops in his crate, it means he hasn’t established it as his crate yet. Simply clean out the crate and put in a new sheet for his bed. If you follow the instructions in this article, it shouldn’t happen.
  • Puppies under 4 months can be walked off-leash as they are usually too afraid to run away on their own.

This program doesn’t guarantee perfect results, but it is certainly your best chance at housebreaking your dog in only four days. I have personally seen it succeed several times when followed strictly.

Was this post helpful? Feel free to leave your comments below.


David Sidman is a certified professional K-9 trainer with a specialization in training military and Police working dogs. Sidman qualified as an I.D.F explosive detection dog handler and was certified in Police K-9 Training by the Eastern States Working dog Association (ESWDA)

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