An unhousebroken dog is a huge source of frustration for dog owners everywhere! It's baffling, it's unsanitary, and it's embarrassing! We feel for you - we've been there! We don't want you or your dog to continue to live that way, and we certainly don't want you to give up. At Wagging Tails Training, we're passionate about helping people understand how to housebreak their dogs properly...in most cases it absolutely can be done, no matter what the dog's age! That's why we offer the Tinkle Tamers™ Program.
On this page, we've provided some information for you to think about. If you have a new puppy or young dog, housebreaking should be pretty straightforward and we can teach you the basics in one session. If you've had your dog awhile and you've tried your best, but your dog still isn't housebroken, we can assess what's going wrong and then develop a plan. Every dog is different and every case requires a customized strategy.
Q: Can my dog be "almost housebroken?"
A: No. There's no such thing - dogs are either housebroken or they're not.
Definition: A housebroken dog will not go to the bathroom indoors unless he/she is physically unable to "hold it."
Some dogs are indeed physically unable - they may have a medical issue due to disease, injury or old age. Sometimes medical treatment solves the problem; sometimes medical treatment in conjunction with a new housebreaking program solves the problem, and sometimes the problem remains. If the problem remains and/or a medical condition is the cause, there are strategies that can be put into place so that the situation can be managed effectively.
Some dogs understand that they're supposed to relieve a full bladder outside (and faithfully do), but they have a marking habit, which is a different housetraining issue. Marking is caused by instinctive impulses unrelated to a full bladder, such as making a territorial statement or expressing anxiety, stress or frustration. Sometimes the dog will not mark in front of the owner, which makes it more challenging to address. Many times, neutering the dog solves the problem, but not always. In any case, changing a marking habit requires an informed strategy on the part of the owner.
Q: Is it hard to housebreak a dog?
A: Housebreaking is not a complicated process if you do it right. Even though the steps require a period of intense effort by he owner, housebreaking can usually be accomplished fairly quickly (of course, puppies need to be old enough to hold it). Once the dog "gets it" and is rewarded enough for toileting outside, the job is usually done as long as the dog has regular access to the outside.
Q: Does my dog soil the house because he's mad? It seems like he's either sneaky about it or he does it after I leave the house.
A: No, he doesn't do it because he's mad. Dogs are impulse driven; they don't seek to get back at people. If he's "sneaky," chances are at some point in the past, a human over-reacted when they caught him eliminating inside. So, the dog learned it's unsafe to eliminate in front of humans inside (note he didn't learn it's unsafe to eliminate inside. He probably thinks it's OK to go inside and outside).
How does the Tinkle Tamers Program work?
1. Call us and tell us a little bit about you and your dog.
2. We'll immediately send you a questionnaire to complete; the questions will provide a detailed history for us.
3. When you return the questionnaire, we'll schedule an appointment for an Initial Consultation.
We'll also send you a contract to read over. The Tinkle Tamers contract typically states that we will operate on a session-by-session basis as opposed to contracting for a specific number of sessions. This is because we'll need to assess progress as we go and because success depends largely on the commitment of the owner.
4. At the Initial Consultation, we'll identify a plan of action and sign the contract. Payment for the Initial Consultation will be due that day; subsequent fees will be due at each follow-up session.
5. Touching base by telephone and e-mail between sessions is included.
Initial Consultation (approximately 90 minutes): $95.00
Follow-Up Sessions: $70.00 per hour; pro-rated increments available
Q: Can you guarantee that my dog will be housebroken?
A: Honestly, no. There are a lot of variables and lot depends on you!