|GREATER MONROE KENNEL CLUB
STEPS IN HOUSEBREAKING
“Crate” your dog (confine him to a small area, such as a wire or plastic dog crate large
enough for him to stand and turn around in) when you cannot watch him.
When you first get up in the morning, put the leash on the dog, urgently say, “Outside,
outside!” and run him through the house out into the yard to the place you want him to do his
When he does his thing, praise him to the skies. This tells him that he has done a good
thing. Also give a treat immediately. (This may be no more than a piece of dry food from his
If you wish, you may add a command word as he’s doing it: “Hurry Up” for urination and “Big
Business” for defecation are the simplest. (If you wish, you may say “Tee-Tee” and “Go
Poo,” but you may not enjoy saying this later in public.) The dog will learn to associate the
command with the action, this will make life a lot simpler if you travel with him and need to get
it taken care of at a rest area.
Stay out with him (on leash) for another five minutes or until you’re sure he has finished
Take the dog inside the house, remove the leash, and give breakfast.
Immediately after breakfast, take him out again to potty (see above directions).
Your dog may now have the “freedom” of the house for a short period of time (1/2-1 hour),
depending on his age.
At the end of his free (off leash & uncrated) time, put on his leash and take him out again.
If he empties his bladder and/or defecates, give him another short period off-leash in the
If he does nothing during his “potty break,” when you bring him back in, put him into the crate
for an hour. An alternative to the crate is the “umbilical cord.”
WHAT TO DO WHEN “ACCIDENTS” HAPPEN:
And they will happen
If you catch the dog in the act, shout “No! Outside!” and race her to the assigned potty place.
If you do not catch her in the act, simply take her out.
If she does potty some more, praise, reward, etc., and give freedom as per schedule.
If she does nothing more, crate her as though she had done nothing.
Clean up the accident before bringing the dog back into the room— do not allow her to
watch you clean up.
Urine accidents must be treated with vinegar mixture or with a commercial pet urine odor
neutralizer (such as Simple Solution) designed for dog training.
THE UMBILICAL CORD
An “umbilical cord” in dog training is a six-foot leash attached at one end to the dog and at
the other end to the owner. Thread the loop through a belt around your waist and go about
your business. (This is not for walking your dog down the street!) You needn’t talk to or
correct the dog; the umbilical cord is self-correcting. But watch what your dog is doing.
Some uses/advantages: Housebreaking, bonding, leash training, attention on owner, etc.
|Copyright 1996 by Barbara McClatchey
Permission to reprint is given, but copyright must be included
Another good tip is to attach a bell or some type of audible signal to the doorknob for the dog
to signal when it’s time to go potty. By incorporating this into your training every time prior to
going outside (game or not) your dog will be training you as well to recognize a “signal”. At
first it may become a kind of game thing….but stick to it. Even if they don’t need to go potty
they learn very quick if they don’t potty outside it’s back in the crate. After all, they want to be
with you not in the crate; Dogs have a strong desire to please their family...they just need you
to teach them what pleases you.
Return to FAQ