Housebreaking your puppy can be frustrating and there are a lot of suggestions out there for how to get through this training stage. However, many of the tactics are controversial and spark an ongoing debate about what’s really best for you and your dog when it comes to housebreaking.
One example is crating. Crating is beneficial in housebreaking because dogs will typically not go to the bathroom in a place they consider their own, like their crate. They will then learn to only go to the bathroom outside. However, too much time in a crate can cause stress and anxiety in dogs, which could negatively affect behavior.
Another is to take the water dish away from your dog a few hours before you go to sleep. The theory behind this is that without water, their bladders wont fill up and they won't have an accident in the house, or wake you up in the middle of the night to go out. But this comes with obvious drawbacks. Scolding as a result of going to the bathroom in the house is another tactic up for debate. Some dog-owners believe that yelling at a dog doesn’t work long-term and will only make the dog more anxious. Other owners use scolding as a way to get their dog’s attention and teach them right and wrong.
Some owners reward their dogs for going to the bathroom outside like they are supposed to do. This method has shown success and is psychologically proven. Every dog is different and while some tactics will result in successful housebreaking with some dogs, other pups will need a different approach. It’s important to remember when housebreaking that your dog is not a little person and doesn’t react to situations or understand words like “bad” the way we do. Housebreaking takes patience and hard work from owners.