Housebreaking a Dog


Housebreaking an adult dog has a few differences to housebreaking a puppy. The need to housebreak an adult dog can arise:

  • When you missed to undertake reliable puppy housebreaking
  • Or when you adopt a rescue dog and neither the prior owner(s) nor shelter staff could spend time on dog housebreaking

I know of six years old dogs that still pee and poop inside the house or on the terrace or balkony or in the flower garden, because the owner got used to cleaning up after the dog. Not something I would want to get used to! You? :roll:

If you've got an adult dog, and the dog still relieves in the house or on your property, you've finally arrived at the right place. What can you do to housebreak a dog that is older? Does the puppy housebreaking equally apply?

Yes, our housebreaking steps work equally well for an adult dog, nonetheless you have it much easier. Really? When the dog already got used to relieving inhouse?

Yes, with an adult dog you have it easier because the dog can hold on to urine and stool (for a reasonable amount of time), while a young puppy cannot. You just need to change the adult dog's routine of relieving indoors. How you do that?

Go through the numbered steps in housebreaking a puppy, starting at step 3 and ending at step 8 as well. If only you follow these few points and you initially take out your adult dog immediately when you see the first pee signal or poop signal, then the dog will quickly learn to change his/her routine and relieve outside in the place you designate!

But do follow through those steps precisely. If you slacken, no surprise your dog may slacken.

Treats in housebreaking?

I would strongly advise against the use of treats in successful situations of housebreaking, and against the use of punishment when the dog relieves in the house (whether shouting or whatever). Because neither is helpful. Contrary to popular copy-and-paste texts that we all can find elsewhere, even rewarding a dog with a food treat

This is what a Top dog expert says:
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does not speed up housebreaking, but slows it down when compared with the above steps. I suspect this is because treat training undermines the status of accepted Pack leader. Dogs differentiate well between food source and accepted Pack leader.

So if you use treats in training, while you are around the dog can expect to get a treat, and so (s)he will nicely relieve outside (after some time). But whenever you are not around, the dog knows that (s)he cannot expect to get any reward for relieving where you want. And this is why then you sometimes find yourself confronted with indoor business (pee or poop). That's not reliable housebreaking, is it?

So do not use treats in housebreaking. This applies to all dog training: Do not use treats in training. Do not do treat training.

Miguel at 28w Can you give back a bit today?





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    Hello there I would like some help, I have a 2 yr old German Shepherd (female) I gotten her when she was about 6 months old and I'm having trouble with keeping her from jumping around every time I get her out of her kennel to go outside. Even when she's been outside for a good while she sometimes is still hyper. Anything you can tell me that can help with that? And also I have her in her kennel in the garage, wife won't let her in the house until she is well trained and the fact she tends to leave hair behind, but it's starting to get cold now and I have an heater out their and a blanket covering over her kennel but is there a better way? I work a lot so I don't get to walk her as much and nor do I have the patience sometimes to train her ( I will be honest about that ) if u can give me some pointers I would greatly appreciate that. I love my dog and I know she is a smart breed I just want her to be well trained so she can come in the house and also be able to walk her without a leash. Thank you.


      Help? Eyes left, on this very page. Also helpful. And this.

      I find it very disturbing that you have a GSD but that the poor dog is locked in a kennel! Seemingly even all day while you are at work. If it was me, I would have a serious conversation with your wife, and both, she and I would immediately learn to HOUSE-TRAIN the dog properly!

      Think: How would you, and your wife, feel being locked up in a kennel? "Only do onto others what you would do to yourself", right?


    I jist got a German Shepherd puppy. He is 10 weeks old and AKC registered. Around noon yesterday he started having diarrhea. I have not changed his diet. Should i take him to the vet? It is now 730 am.

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