Before you head out to the pet store, find out which breed of dog is the easiest to housebreak. Choosing a smart and eager-to-please pet can make owning a pet more enjoyable. Even if you choose a breed that is stubborn, there are effective ways to housebreak your new family member.
Easiest Breeds to Train
If you want a dog that is easy to housebreak, Dr. Jon Rappaport of PetPlace.com suggests you look at these smart breeds: the Standard Poodle, the Bichon Frise, the Maltese and the Schnauzer. Other breeds that are easy to train include Australian Shepherd, Brittany, Doberman Pinscher and Shih Tzu. These breeds are all smart and eager to please.
Dog breeds that are notoriously hard to housebreak are the Beagle, Bassett Hound, Chow Chow, Dachshund, Dalmation, Siberian Husky and Pug. Most of these make great pets but can be frustrating when trying to potty train. Males who have not been neutered are notorious for marking their territory, which usually means the whole house.
Housebreaking can begin at about 12 weeks of age. Your puppy doesn't have complete control over his bladder until then. Complete housebreaking can take up to 5 months or more.
The most common method of housebreaking a puppy is crate training. Crate training involves keeping the dog in a crate, a portable doghouse with a latched door, most of the time, periodically taking him out to urinate in an acceptable location. Hopefully, this will train him to return to that location when he needs to relieve himself because most dogs won't potty where they sleep. When using the crate technique be careful not to leave your dog locked up for long periods of time. This could cause the dog to become neurotic, even when you let him out. Another method for small, indoor breeds is paper training. After meals, place the puppy on a stack of newspaper nearby but away from her food dish. If she uses it, give lots of praise. Once she gets used to using the paper, she will return there of her own will. Belly bands are gaining popularity among owners of male dogs. The band is placed around the belly of the dog, covering the penis, while he is in the house and removed when the dog goes outside.
Dogs want to please their owners, but they have short memories. When housebreaking a puppy, it is important to praise her when she uses the proper place. If you catch her in the middle of the act in an inappropriate place, say "No" firmly and immediately move her to an appropriate place. When she continues in the appropriate place, praise her. Never hit the dog. The tone of your voice will be enough to reprimand her.
The most important part of housebreaking is early training. It is difficult to teach a dog who has lifted his leg on everything in the house to use the potty outside. Start early, be patient, and you'll hopefully have many wonderful years together.