Paper Training and House Breaking Your Dog2019-05-02T19:56:50-05:00

Paper Training and Housebreaking Your Dog

It’s A Crappy Job, But It Has To be Done

Paper Training and Housebreaking Your Dog

Paper training or housebreaking your dog (teaching your dog where the bathroom is) may not be as important as teaching it to stay out of the street, but it is a vital part of it’s overall training. Dogs that aren’t paper trained or housebroken usually end up living outside, are re-homed or are sent to an animal shelter.

We do not really suggest that you go through the efforts of paper training your dog unless you are not planning on house breaking it eventually.

Paper training your dog is an option. If you are planning to house break your dog eventually, paper training may actually confuse the dog or puppy. In effect it’s like changing the rules. You are telling it that it’s OK to relieve itself on the paper, then telling it NO,  you have to go outside from now on. Most dogs continue to relieve themselves in the area where the paper used to be for some time after you have trained it to go outside. (Especially when you are not at home).

Another good reason to skip “paper training” is because you are actually doubling the amount of time you need to achieve your final goal.

The hardest part of paper training and housebreaking your dog is not so much about training the dog. It’s about training the humans. A dog will tell you when it needs to relieve itself. You just need to know how to read the signs. In the beginning it is best to provide your dog with a lot of opportunities to relieve itself in the correct place.  After it does it’s job, be sure you immediately reward this behavior.

These Paper training or housebreaking opportunities should be given at regular intervals until a pattern becomes visible. With a puppy, these intervals should be right after feeding, drinking, playing or sleeping. With dogs over the age of one year, about every 2-4 hours should be fine. You should also consider walking your dog after feeding or drinking to encourage it to use this time to relieve itself. (Don’t forget to take your pooper-scooper or a plastic bag with you).

Paper Training and Housebreaking Your Dog
Paper Training and House Breaking Your Dog

Any paper training or housebreaking method you choose will require you to be watching your dog for the signs that it needs to relieve itself. Learning good habits right from the start will be a more positive experience for you and the dog. You will also be cleaning up a lot fewer messes.

With puppies, we suggest that you feed at scheduled mealtimes ONLY. Then remove any food the puppy does not eat during that feeding time. Do not allow the puppy to “snack” on the rest of the food between feeding times. This makes your paper or house training job much more difficult. To prevent “accidents” take your puppy out before an accident occurs. Get them used to going out and they will be less likely to “go” inside.

When you take the puppy or dog out to do it’s business, take it to the same spot each time. If your puppy is too young to walk on a leash or if your area is not enclosed, take them to a safe area and remain there until it has relieved itself.  As they start to “go” use the command word to reinforce the behavior. (Example:  “Outside” “Paper”  “Potty” etc…) Immediately reward the behavior when it finishes.

Reading the Signs:

It is a must to learning to read your dog’s signs. This is because it is the only way you will really know when it’s “time to go.” Your dog is not a little kid who can walk around with it’s knees together. It can’t walk around pushing down on it’s crotch area, and look desperate. But if you know what to look for the signs are almost as obvious!

The common signs your dog will use are:

1). Sniffing the Floor or Ground

2). Circling

3). Whining

4). Tail Raised in the Air

5). Hunched or Arched Back to Point the Butt Area Down
    (To the un-trained eye, this also will look like the dog is struggling to try to sit down)

6). Enlarged Anus

In older dogs (dogs who were previously housebroken) you may also notice that they become quickly excited and pace the floor or becoming hyper to go outside.

Take your dog outside (or to the paper) right away if you notice any of the above behaviors while you inside. If you don’t, you’re going to be cleaning up a mess very soon.

Final Step in Paper Training / Housebreaking:

You can teach your dog to go to the door (or paper) once you know the signs that your dog needs to “do it’s business”.

When the dog starts to give you a sign, walk it to the door or paper, (on or off leash), and say the word you want to use as the command. (Example:  “Outside” “Paper”  “Potty” etc…) After a short time (up to a few weeks), your dog will probably go right to the door or paper for you.

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“Only Reward Behavior When it is Done 100% Correctly. There is No Such Thing as “Close Enough” in Dog Training.”