Housebreaking and Potty Training

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The first step to housebreaking and potty training your dog
starts with an action plan

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The Housebreaking / Potty Training the Action Plan

This housebreaking potty training post is inspired from the RenChenZa Dog Days of Summer 7 step program. The first step to housebreaking is to develop a potty training action plan. The action plan is where we lay out the steps we’ll use to get the dog house trained. Our potty training action plan will help us avoid counterproductive behaviors while prompting desirable behavior in the handler.

Adaptive Dog Training specializes in housebreaking and potty training difficult to housebreak dogs

When developing a potty training action plan for housebreaking your dog it’s helpful to start by deciding what style or method of training you’ll use in the potty training process.

  1. There are basically three styles of housebreaking
    Punishment based housebreaking is where the dog is punished when it’s caught going inside the house. Punishment based housebreaking is the least effective method, but it does work sometimes.
  2. The second method is to take the dog out often and put potty on command using praise and natural environmental reinforcers. There are some good reasons for choosing this method. One reason this method is preferred by many trainers is that the potty behavior is brought under the control of naturally occurring contingencies right from the beginning.
  3. The third method is to put the behavior of going potty on command using food rewards then fade the prompts and food. In this method the potty process is first taught in a methodical manner. Once each step of the potty sequence is brought under control natural environmental reinforcers are arranged to gradually control and maintain the potty behavior.

We can also use a combination of training, but it’s helpful if you have some idea of what is going to be your dominant style. It’s important to remain flexible even after you’ve decided how you want to housebreak and potty train your dog. By remaining flexible you can take advantage of moment to moment opportunities and teachable moments.

Next page Housebreaking Tools Crate Training page 2

If you liked this article you may also like this article about housebreaking problems that also includes two important dog behavior and housebreaking tips

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This is the first part in a housebreaking and potty training series
You can comment and keep up to date on this series at our dog behavior blog

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