Ask any dog owner what is the most important thing that their new dog learns and 9 out of 10 will say that they want their dog to be house trained. The problem is that there are more dogs that are not housebroken than are. The reason for that is because many dog owners are not patient enough to train their dogs, so they give up.
Dogs actually do want to please their owners. They are pack animals and because you are the one that provides food and shelter you are the alpha dog; you are the pack leader. But you have to think like a dog and work with them. Housebreaking can be done in four simple steps as follows:
1) Restrict the area that your dog is allowed to freely roam in. This should be no more than the area that you can keep watch over. By limiting the area to what you can supervise you will be able to closely monitor your dog.
2) Be diligent about taking your dog out as you should. Puppies will need to go out more often than older dogs. Always be ready to immediately take the pet outdoors when he wakes up. This is a time that you count on that he will look for a spot to ‘go’. Dogs also ‘go’ after eating, drinking, and exercise. Once again, older dogs can wait much longer than puppies.
3) When you take the dog out be sure to say whatever word or phrase you want him to associate with the deed. Just keep in mind that you may be saying this in public at some point in time so make it something that is not embarrassing. Taking your dog to the same place each time helps him to associate the spot with the deed. Do not play with your dog during these trips outdoors. He needs to understand that the trip has a purpose. When he finishes you should lavish praise on him, let him know he did good.
4) Repeat until your dog gets the idea and begins signaling to you that he needs to go out. If your dog makes a mess indoors it means that you were not monitoring as closely as you should have been. Never punish your dog for accidents. Simply continue with the training and expect that there will be a few accidents along the way. Some dogs continue to have occasional accidents but others will do anything not to ‘go’ indoors.
Many small breed owners find that the use of puppy pads works for their dogs. Rather than taking their little dog out the dog simply messes on the pad and it is disposed of. This also works for dogs that are left alone for long periods of time.