Housebreaking your dog

May 18, 2013

Dog HousebreakingDid you know that the number one reason for toy size dog breeds ending up in shelters is for a lack of housebreaking? Among others, the dog breed being described as hard to train could be a Poodle, a Yorkie or Pomeranian. The breed doesn’t seem to matter much. However, all the breeds reputedly hard to train have one thing in common, they are all small. Are the reasons given for this problem because they develop slower? No. Is it because tiny dogs have smaller kidneys? No. Is it because big dogs can find the door easier? No.

While all these things are obviously not true, the fact remains that people have a lot more trouble with housebreaking issues with toy breeds than any other size dog. Anytime you have a problem shared by so many, it is not likely to be a coincidence. There are sound reasons for the difficult housebreaking process that seems to plague the owners of toy dog breeds. It’s not that they have a physical problem and we know that they are as smart as any big dog.

It will be awhile before it becomes an issue. Puppy urine does not smell. Habits are being formed and they aren’t good ones. The little spots disappear completely on rugs, nowhere to be found. The disparity in big dogs and small dogs housebreaking skills is not much of a mystery. When a 12 week old large or giant dog breed goes on the floor, you do not need a cotton ball or paper towel to clean up the mess. You need a shovel and industrial mop. Now there is all the incentive necessary to housebreak your puppy quickly!

A simple solution to this problem starts by realizing that learning a behavior and teaching a command are two separate tasks. Housebreaking is not that difficult if you take a methodical step by step approach. Unless you have a good reason for paper training, do not use it as an intermediate step in the housebreaking process.

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