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3 Keys for House Training Your Dog

House training dogs isn’t always easy. For the majority of us, we want it all to happen outside. (Some use pee pads.) Dogs don’t necessarily care where they go at first. They’ll find a place that is comfortable and most likely absorbent. Once they start to go there, they’re likely to go back there.

The best way to house train a dog is to get on a schedule, keep them in your sight at all times and reinforce heavily for going in the right spot.

1. Schedule- Keeping a schedule is very helpful because it helps prevent us from forgetting to let our dogs out. It also allows us to help our dogs to be successful for certain chunks of time and then we can start to increase time between let outs.

2. Keeping your dog in sight- This is very important because it allows us to notice any signs that are dogs need to go out. We need to see sudden behavior changes like stopping and sniffing the ground and starting to circle. And we definitely want to “capture” when our dogs are showing signs so they can start to figure out that those behaviors will get them out. 3. Reinforcement- We need to make sure all reinforcement happens outdoors instead of indoors. Peeing and pooping provides relief, so it’s naturally reinforcing. We want to make sure that reinforcement happens in the right spot and then we want to double down and provide high value food rewards. The high value food rewards will be the motivation to go outdoors instead of indoors.

If you’re struggling with house training your dog, you’ll want to makes sure you’re doing these things. And across the board you’ll want to make sure you don’t try to use punishment for this. Any form of punishment will likely lead to “reverse house training” which results in dogs going off and hiding somewhere in the house to get privacy and avoid punishment.

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