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Best-kept Secrets of Housebreaking a Dog! Life, Love, and Laughter with Dogs

Submitted by on Wednesday, 31 March 2010One Comment

mick068One of the Life, Love, and Laughter with Dogs blog series by Annie Bailey.

I am currently immersed in puppy training with our new Queensland pup Mick. He is learning to differentiate between putting his teeth on his Nylabone chew toy (okay) and my arm (not okay!). He is becoming comfortable with people and dogs of all shapes and sizes. And finally, he has learned that all of his pees and poos must be put outside and not on my nice area rugs!! Of all the lessons we teach puppies, I find that housebreaking is the one that people struggle with the most.

By implementing a few quick and easy techniques you can be on your way to “accident-free” in no time.

#1 Don’t wait for accidents to happen!
Don’t give your puppy an opportunity to have an accident. Make sure he is either in an exercise pen, on a leash tether, in his crate, or in your arms and take him out every 1-2 hours. When he does go to the bathroom outside praise him and give him a yummy treat. Only allow inside play time when your pup has gone potty within the last half hour. Outside play time should happen as frequently as possible! If you are diligent for 1-2 weeks you will have a housetrained puppy in no time.

#2 – Put the water bowl outside!
For those of you who endure sub-freezing weather for a good part of the year, I have three words for you – “heated water bowl.” By having the water bowl outside you are giving your puppy a reason to go out and guess what else! After your puppy gets a drink he or she will also go to the bathroom before rushing back to the door to come in. It’s like magic!
Heated water bowl resources:

Here are some thermal bowl resources: product one, and
another version.


#3 – Use the right cleaning agent!
If your puppy does slip up and have an accident, your household cleaners won’t cut it. You must use a cleaning agent that removes the pheromone from the area to prevent your puppy from re-marking. My personal favorite is a product called “Get Serious!” It is non-toxic and biodegradeable.

There are many more tricks to successful potty training but here are a few to get you started. Are you having a hard time with housebreaking your dog or puppy? Write in with your story!

Here are a couple pictures from our weekend at Stinson Beach (Mick’s first time!). The dogs had a blast and Mick was a hit with all the little kids.

-by Annie Bailey, co-owner of FabDogz, professional dog trainer and behaviorist, member of the APDT and lover of all dogs! All questions and comments are greatly appreciated!! annie [at] fabdogz [dot] com



By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).


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