If you have recently adopted a puppy, you are faced with the somewhat daunting challenge of housebreaking your new dog. While older dogs may require a bit more time and patience, a 3- to 6-month-old dog can be successfully housebroken in just seven days. For best results, you must follow the schedule to the letter, meaning you must remain at home all day with your new pup.
How to Housebreak a Dog in 7 Days
In order to housebreak your dog in as little as seven days, you must follow the schedule to the letter. Once the first week is up, try to keep as much of the schedule as possible, taking the dog out and feeding at regular times. Praise and punishment are essential parts of housebreaking a dog; however, because a puppy's memory span lasts a maximum of 90 seconds, praise or punishment should occur as soon as the event passes. When the dog finishes going to the bathroom outside, give heavy verbal praise, using verbal punishment the instant you notice an accident occurring indoors.
How to Housebreak a Dog in Seven Days
Start each day by waking up at 7 a.m. and immediately taking the dog outside to go to the bathroom. Wait as long as necessary for the dog to go and then return to the house for playtime until 8 a.m. During playtime, the puppy can be allowed free time; however, it is best to give as much attention to your new dog as possible.
Give your new dog something to eat and drink at 8 a.m., after a good play session. Watch the dog carefully after he eats, as some dogs will have the urge to go to the bathroom immediately after eating. If your dog shows signs of need, such as sniffing or wandering to hidden areas in the house, pick him up and go directly outside. Whenever possible, wait a full half hour, until 8:30 a.m., to go outside for potty time.
Allow your puppy to play freely in a small, closed room, such as the kitchen. It is best to keep the puppy in your sight during free time so that you can quickly notice signs of bathroom needs. If you are crate training your puppy while housebreaking, place the dog in her crate from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Remember to place toys and chewies in the crate for entertainment; however, no food or water.
Release the puppy from the crate or end free time at 12:30 p.m., giving the dog food and water. Again, wait up to half an hour if possible and then take the dog outside. After returning inside, give the dog at least 30 minutes of free time to play before placing him in the crate if you so choose.
Feed the dog for the third and final time at 6 p.m., taking her outside within half an hour. This is a good time to take the puppy for a walk or play outside so that she can explore the world a bit. After at least 30 minutes of outdoor or play time, you can place her in the crate if you wish.
Offer the puppy water at 8 p.m.; however, after 8:15 p.m. the dog should not drink any more water to help to make it through the night. Take the dog out within 30 minutes after he drinks. Follow up with some play time and time in the crate, if desired. Take the dog out before bed at 11 p.m., keeping him in a crate overnight to prevent accidents.