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Housebreaking Your Pup: Cleaning Up Accidents

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Suppose your pup goes to the bathroom in his crate, in his pen, or on the floor of your house.

Cleaning with soap and water does not get rid of the microscopic odor particles  that will attract your pup back to the soiled area.

White vinegar mixed with water does a decent job, but I recommend an enzymatic cleaner  that uses enzymes to break down and "eat" the odor particles.

WestieMy favorite enzymatic cleaner used to be Nature's Miracle  because it worked well and was fragrance-free.  I would use paper towels to blot up the urine or pick up the stool, then I would spray Nature's Miracle on the floor. After 30 minutes, I would pat the spot dry with another paper towel. And voila! Clean.

Unfortunately the company has recently added a chemical fragrance – bah humbug! I'm still looking for a replacement, as I can't tolerate these chemicals and I won't subject my dogs to them either.

By the way, don't use a household cleaner with ammonia in it. Urine itself contains ammonia, so your dog is attracted   to ammonia products. That's the opposite of what you want!

If you actually SEE your pup eliminating in the wrong place, clap your hands (loudly) and exclaim, "AH-ah! No!" He might be startled enough to actually stop peeing or pooping (though that doesn't happen often). But if he does stop, quickly scoop him up and carry him to the proper potty area.

If your clap and verbal correction didn't stop him, oh well!

  • If you're just starting housebreaking with him, there's nothing you can do now but put him in his crate/pen, then clean up the mess and review your housebreaking schedule to see what went wrong. Was he loose in the house? If so, that fault is yours.
  • If your pup is at least 4 months old, and if you've been working on housebreaking for several weeks, and if you're sure your pup understands what No  means, you can very quickly  scoot him around to see the misdeed while you say, "No." As long as the pup really does understand what No  means, a mild reprimand can be effective.
  • But don't yell. Don't hit. And don't rub his nose in it!

Always remember that prevention  of housebreaking accidents is far more effective than trying to correct after the fact. Every accident in the house is a step backward in housebreaking. Follow my housebreaking program carefully and don't let a non-housebroken pup walk around loose indoors.

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

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