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House Training


Having a dog house trained means they can be free in the home without causing any damage or peeing or pooping in the house.


To learn about potty training, see the article on potty training.


If your dog is bad for chewing items, see the article on chewing.


Some dogs have separation anxiety and can be quite destructive when their humans leave the home. See the article on separation anxiety if this is an issue for your dog.


Once a dog is potty trained, doesn’t chew items they are not supposed to and does not have separation anxiety it is fairly simple to have them house trained.


It now is like an extended “stay” command. In the article on stay we talked about training the dog to stay for an hour on their mat while you were out of sight.


Using the same guidelines we will practice leaving the house when the dog is tired. Since they have gotten used to staying out of sight of us while we were in the house, being outside isn’t too much of a jump in training. We practice this on a day that we have off. We exercise the dog a lot and then go into the house. The dog will often want to lay down giving us the chance to go outside for a short period of time (maybe a minute) and then come back in to check on the dog. Then we go back out for a couple minutes and come back in. We continue increasing time until the dog looks like they have some energy again. We then exercise the dog some more and bring them back into the house and continue practicing leaving the home for longer periods of time.


Example


A German Shepherd we have was very hyper, loved to chew and test you on everything. Following the guidelines listed above we could fully trust that dog alone in the home by 3.5 months of age. We could only leave her for 4 hours as she would have to go pee fairly soon after that. As her bladder allowed longer control we could leave her at home for longer periods of time if needed.


The Key


The key is having a dog that is understanding the rules of  potty training and chewing. Then ensure they are tired and begin training in small increments by increasing time away from them a bit at a time.


Things to Watch For


If a dog has a view out a window where they can see people and dogs passing by you want to ensure they do not develop the habit of barking out the window. Blocking their access to the window can certainly help prevent that problem. Otherwise treating the window as a distraction can help the dog understand what is expected of them when they see dogs and people passing by the house.