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I need some help with house breaking Jackson. He was an outside only dog before I got him so he has never been trained. I have been keeping him inside when I am home and outside when we leave the house to go out to eat or run an errand. I have a small fence that is in our backyard and we have it set up where when you open the back door you walk right into the fence so I can just open the door and let Jackson out and back in again.

When he is inside he goes everywhere he can find. I am getting tired of having to clean up pee and poo everyday. I have never tried to house break a dog before so I don't really know too much about it. I know some things like you would take them out when they first wake up, after they eat, and before bed time. I have also read that it is best to go out with them to be able to see if they really go or not and to praise when they do go outside.

I think my main questions are would it be best to confine Jackson to a small tile floored room in the house like the bathroom with a pet gate until he gets the hang of going outside? When he has the whole roam of the house I can't watch him every second and thats when he does it. The times I have caught him in the act I clap my hands and say no and put him outside for maybe 10-15 mins. One night back when it was warmer I let him sleep outside in the fence in his dog house and when I opened the door that morning to let him in he ran over and peed right in front of me after he had been outside all night long. Jackson is 2 years old so how many times a day should I take him outside and how many hours apart? I have also heard that some people crate train their dogs. I don't really know what this means as I have never read into it very much. I was thinking of either buying a pet gate and limiting him to the bathroom or buying a crate and try the crate training method I'm not sure which way would be best and if the crate training method would be better I would need a link or an explanation of how to do it right because I have no clue.

I just need a step by step guide of house breaking your dog for dummies lol!
 

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If you use the search feature you will find tons of threads on house training.

I, myself, prefer to crate train. Get an appropriately sized crate. Big enough so that he can stand up, turn around and lie down but no bigger. Dogs won't want to potty where they have to sleep and lie in it so that's the principle that crate training works off of.

I have my dogs that are house training sleep in their crates and any time I'm not home they are crated. (at least until they are completely trustworthy) If I am home they are attached to me by a light leash so they can't wander off and potty elsewhere in the house. I take them out after sleeping, eating, playing, chewing and any time they seem restless. When outside I stand in one spot and they get the length of the leash to sniff around. If you walk them around constantly or allow them to run around there is always new stuff to sniff and look at and they will forget what they are out there for. They get 5 minutes outside. If they don't potty they go inside and into their crate for 10 minutes or so and then we try again. If they do potty they get tons of praise and 15-20 minutes of free time inside. Free time does not mean free run of the house, he should stay in the same room as you just does not have to be attached to his leash. Then they go back on the leash that is tied to me and we go about our day.

Once they start getting the hang of it they start getting more free time. This can take a few weeks though so don't let one day of good pottying make you think he is house trained and that you can take him off the leash and let him run around. He will probably run off, potty in the house, and then you will be taking a step back in training.

If you see him about to squat or lift his leg, do what you are doing, clap your hands, say "no" and rush him outside. Praise like crazy when he potties out there.

The biggest thing about house training is being absolutely consistent.

One other thing I wanted to mention. Do you feed meals or free feed? Meal feeding will allow you to time his pooping where free feeding does not really. If you free feed I would switch to meals to help with the house training.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much omguthrie! I think I may try the crate training way if I buy a crate and get him to sleep in that at night time what would be a good time to put him in there and get him out in the morning? Would I need to keep water in the crate with him or just him by himself? If we left the house to go out to eat or go to the store could I still put him in his fence outside or would that throw off the training and it would be better to keep him in the crate?

I used to free feed him but several months ago now I started the meal feeding and he has gotten the hang of that well.
 

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For adult dogs I usually let them out last thing at night, around 10 or 11 and then they go out in the morning when I get up, 6 on weekdays and around 8 on weekends. They can hold it just fine for that length of time since they are sleeping and not moving around and stimulating themselves. Since he is just learning I wouldn't put water in with him and I would take away his water at night about an hour or so before you get ready to put him in his crate. If you're worried that he is really thirsty you can offer a lap or two of water or give him an ice cube to lick.

I personally don't ever leave my dogs outside if I'm not home. Too many bad things could happen. If he were mine I would crate him when running to the store or going out and about.

You want to make his crate a nice place to be so I give a blanket in my dogs' crates and to help build up positive associations with the crate it helps to feed all meals in the crate.

When I'm training a dog that's never seen a crate before I feed that day's meals in the crate. Give a treat for going in the crate and when it's time for bed I put them in and get ready to ignore some whining. Never, ever let him out of the crate when he's making noise. He will probably try to cry or bark to get out but if you stand firm and ignore him, he will give up. If you let him out you will have taught him that if he barks or whines enough you will let him out and crate training will become a nightmare.
 

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omguthrie has given you awesome advise let us know how everything goes!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for answering all of my questions and for all of the advice omguthrie!

I am going to try and get the crate soon and start trying to train him by these intructions. I will be sure to reply back to let ya'll know how it goes!
 

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Just wanted to update you guys. I got my crate yesterday evening and Jackson slept in it last night. I only heard him do a very low little cry one time but that was the only time, he did very well!

This morning I took him outside first thing and he went quite a bit. I have him on his leash while inside and made sure to praise and give a treat when he went outside. Once I got him back inside I waited about three hours and was getting ready to take him back out to try and go again. I was at the door trying to get my coat on before opening the door and I looked down and he looked like he was either streching or doing a squating pee position. I bent down and checked and he had peed on the floor. I said a firm no and took him outside. I stayed out there with him for a bit and then brought him back in. When he went on the floor it wasn't a big puddle but it wasn't just a little either so I figured he had finished doing what he had to do. I was taking a quick shower right after this and figured since he had already gone he would be ok in the bathroom with me. I would guess in about five-ten mins time I looked and there was a big puddle of pee on the floor and did the firm no again.

I am wondering if it would be best to try and keep him on a time schedule of going outside. Do you think for his age of 2 years old that taking him out every three hours would be good or should I do it more frequently? Once I got a time schedule going I could take him out at the same time every day. Also, when I do take him out and he does go am I supposed to give him a treat and take him right back inside or stay outside a few more mins? When he messes up and goes inside and I do the firm no and take him outside how long should I stay out there with him for before bringing him back inside?
 

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You are darn close to having this down.

The first problem occurred when you were standing at the door but delaying. He needed to go, was standing at the door, but couldn't get outside. I wouldn't have worried about a coat, if I have a dog that I think needs to go I'll run outside in the snow in a tee shirt if it takes it. So he pottied on the floor. You did right with the "no" and taking him outside. I would have given him his 5 minutes and if he hadn't gone then back inside. Giving him free run around the bathroom when you couldn't watch him was the second mistake. He had peed a little but even after they potty outside and earn some free time they should always be under your watchful eye. Getting in the shower prevents you from watching him and even if you did see him start to squat there is nothing you can do about it. I would have put him in the crate for the time you were in the shower. And as soon as you were done then back outside with him.

I wouldn't do a set schedule of every 3 or 4 or such hours. I would take him out when you feel he needs to go out. If you see him take a big drink of water I would go out in about 30 min. If you are just laying around watching tv you can wait 4 or 5 hours unless he starts getting restless. I don't do a set schedule because at some point something is going to come up preventing you from taking him out on schedule and it's going to be rough on him because he's not going to understand.

Once he potties outside he can have some free, run around time outside, just make sure you praise the pottying. If he messes up but you can interrupt him I would still stay outside for the 5 minutes. If he doesn't finish then back inside in the crate or remaining tied to you for 15 minutes and then back out for 5 more minutes.

You are doing a good job! House training isn't always easy but you'll get there!
 

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Thanks so much again omguthrie! All of your great advice is really helping me out! This is the first dog I have ever tried to house train so I really didn't have much of a clue of how to go about it but you have been such a great help!

I understand where I made the mistakes and won't do those same mistakes again. Last night Jackson slept in the crate again and not so much as one peep out of him so I am glad that he has taken so well to the crate. Today so far he has only had one accident inside while he was on his leash right in front of me and I said the firm no and took him outside for 5 mins and then brought him back in. He has gotten it right three times today already though so I am glad of that too. I can tell he seems to be starting to get the idea but I won't give up and will keep working with him!
 
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