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Housebreaking a Puppy


Aussies are generally very easy to housebreak. House training should begin as soon as you bring your puppy home. Remember that puppies have small bladders and need to relieve themselves often, and the excitement and nervousness of being in a new environment will probable make the pup have to ‘go’ even more. But, with patience and persistence, you will soon have a pup that will know where he can and cannot go.

The key to good house-habits is consistency by the owner! Start by choosing a designated ‘potty’ spot outside, preferably in a fenced area so you will not always have to put on a collar and leash to go out. Take the pup to this same spot before and after play times, right away when he wakes up from a nap, within 15 minutes after finishing a meal, whenever he is let out of his crate, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and approximately every 30-60 minutes in between. At first, it is best to pick the pup up and carry him out the same door to the same ‘potty’ spot every time. When you set the pup down, tell him to ‘go potty’, ‘hurry up’, or whatever you want, but always give the same command so the pup will soon learn that it means to do his business. Stay with the pup until he goes and then reward him lavishly with praise when he is finished. Pick him up and carry him back into the house or over to the ‘play’ area of the yard. Try to instill in him that when you go to his potty area you go to do a job and nothing else.

By being very consistent with this program, the pup will quickly learn why you took him to that spot and will hopefully start going to the door you normally carry him through and whine, bark, or scratch when he needs to go to his spot. Even if you see him wander toward that door and act like he may need to ‘go’, or if you see the pup sniffing and circling in the house, pick him up, take him to his spot, and tell him to ‘go potty’. If he does ‘go’, reward him with tons of praise. If it is a false alarm, pick him up and go back inside with no big fuss. Do not reward him for asking to go out if he does not ‘go’. Initially, you will have some accidents. They are inevitable, so be patient. If you do catch the pup in the act, NEVER punish him by yelling, screaming, hitting him with your hand, or smacking him with a newspaper. Instead, go to him calmly, say NO in a soft but firm voice, put the pups nose in his mess, pick him up, take him out the usual door to his ‘potty spot’, put him down, and tell him to ‘go potty’.

When he finishes, really praise him and tell him what a good puppy he is. Clean up the inside accident with an odor neutralizer so as not to entice the pup to go in the same spot again. If the pup has an accident and you do not catch him in the act, DO NOT punish him. The pup will not remember what he has done, and you getting upset and reprimanding him will only confuse him. Instead, just clean up the mess and keep a little closer eye on him.

As mentioned earlier, crate training and housebreaking can go hand in hand. Basically, a pup does not want to soil his sleeping area, so while he is crated he will do his best to hold it. This will help him develop better bladder control. Any time the pup is left in his crate, whether while taking a short nap or for a couple of hours, remember to carry the pup right out to his ‘potty spot’. By opening the crate door and allowing the pup to walk through the house, you run the risk of him having an accident along the way if he cannot resist temptation or because he is overly excited about seeing you after your absence.



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