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.
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.
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.
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.
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.