Housebreaking – it’s one of the biggest challenges any new dog owner will face. Getting your new furry family member to control his or her bladder requires a lot of patience, but it is well worth the effort!

There are many different strategies which can help get Fido going to the bathroom outside. Here is a list of some of the best housebreaking strategies for dogs:

  1. Routine

Canines are creatures of habit. Establishing and sticking to a routine will ensure that Fido’s bladder will get onto a proper schedule. Within a month of taking her out to the bathroom at the same time each day, she’ll be a potty-trained dog!

  1. Location

Make sure that in the beginning, you are taking Fido to the same spot to go to the bathroom. This will help to reinforce in her mind that “this is the place to go.” Coupled with the routine, this will allow her the security to know what to expect and the ability to go in peace. Just like people, when the dog knows his or her expectations, there’s less stress involved.

  1. Reward

When you take Fido out, make sure that you reward her with things like praise and treats when she successfully goes. Just like building up her vocabulary when teaching commands like “sit,” it will help her to understand what you want her to do.

  1. Language

In keeping with the reward, use the same command every time such as, “Go potty!” Repeat this until Fido goes to the bathroom and then reward her accordingly. Once she has positive memory association with the word, she’ll know that she’s supposed to go to the bathroom. Soon, you’ll have no trouble at all!

  1. Accidents

It’s important to remember that accidents do happen with our furry family just like they happen with people. Never punish Fido after the fact because the dog won’t know why she is being reprimanded and the lesson won’t stick. If you catch her in the act, give a command like, “Outside!” Be careful not to scare her as this could make the problem worse. All in all, praising the positive is far more effective than punishing the negative.

Again, patience is key. Training a dog takes time and love. Keep enforcing the routine and soon enough, Fido will practically go on command! If you would like to know more about housebreaking your pets and live in the Jacksonville area, talk to your Jacksonville vet.