How to Housebreak a Dog That Is Already Pad Trained

by Jasey Kelly
Puppy pads and paper training rely on similar methods.

Puppy pads and paper training rely on similar methods.

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Chances are, if you've ever muttered the words, "I wish I could communicate better with my pooch," you did so at least once during housebreaking. For some dogs, the process is quick and simple; for others, it's a long, drawn-out exercise in patience and diligence. If your dog's already housebroken on puppy pads, making the transition to outdoor potty time may come with its own set of dilemmas.

Baby Steps

When transitioning your dog from piddling on pads to doing his business outdoors, the general idea is to move the pad close to the door he'll be using to go outside, then move the pad outdoors and, eventually, get rid of the pad altogether. For some dogs, moving the pad straight to the door works; for others, however, you have to slowly move the pad closer to the door over a period of days.

Quick Thinking

Many dogs undertake telltale routines before they relieve themselves. Some get antsy, others sniff around in circles. If you can recognize the signs, you can take yours outside as soon as he starts indicating that he needs to potty. When the pad is by the door and your dog is using it, you can quickly take your pooch outdoors when she begins to eliminate. Start saying a phrase every time she eliminates. Phrases such as "go outside" or "potty" work well.

Make a Routine

Making a feeding routine for your pooch -- and sticking with it -- goes a long way when you're trying to completely housebreak your pooch. What goes in your dog must come out and, as such, feeding him at the same time or times during the day can help you quickly realize when he'll need to relieve himself. Once you have figured out how long it takes him to eliminate after eating, you can take him outside within that time frame to help ensure he eliminates outdoors. Generally, dogs need to relieve themselves within 30 minutes of eating.

Consistency Wins

Accidents happen, but they're your fault, not your pup's. Training is a learning process. Constantly supervising him until he gets it is your job. During the process, you must consistently recognize his signs, taking him out at the right times and offering him praise when he does the right thing.

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