Tips from Matty Ask Uncle Matty Play Go Fetch! Dog Stories About the Program WOOF!
Tips from Matty

See how to housebreak your dog, as captured on video with Uncle Matty.
Quicktime: 4.4 MB | 9.3 MB
RealVideo: 28.8 | ISDN

You'll need one of the (free) software plugins -- QuickTime or RealPlayer -- to be able to view the video clip above. If you already have the software, choose an appropriate connection speed to view the clip.

Good housebreaking techniques teach your dog to relieve himself when and where you want him to and can be learned in three days to three weeks. Rubbing his nose in it doesn't do the trick. In fact, it frightens your dog and may encourage a number of other disobedience problems.

Dogs instinctively mark their territory. Therefore, the goal is to teach your dog his own exercise territory.

Why Accidents Occur
  • Too much water - Don't give your dog water less than three hours before bedtime.

  • Returning to the scene of a crime - Get rid of odor from the scene of a past mistake using a professional odor neutralizer, or your dog will find that spot again.

  • Late night supper or snacks - It only takes six to eight hours for food to pass through your dog's system. Set a regular feeding schedule that includes an early dinner.

  • Not enough time outside - Walks should last 15 to 20 minutes. Many dogs will relieve themselves two to three times.

Proper Training Technique
Housebreaking can begin when your dog is only eight weeks old and should be taught with understanding and praise.

Dogs will not soil the areas where they eat and sleep. Confine your dog in a cozy crate or in a small room with a see-through puppy gate. Let him out every couple of hours, bringing him to the location where it is okay for him to relieve himself. Pretty soon, he will start letting you know when he's "got to go." Don't let him wander the house, even when he is completely housebroken, until he is two years old.

Only correct a mistake when you catch your dog in the act. He has no way of associating your discipline with his accident after the fact - even if it only happened a few minutes before. If your dog relieves himself in front of you, softly tell a shy dog no, or use a firm tone with a stubborn dog. Then, take him to a spot where he is allowed to relieve himself and offer him immediate praise.


Tips from Matty | Uncle Matty's Q & A | Play Go Fetch!
Dog Stories | About the Program

Home | Feedback | WOOF! Shop | Funders
Your Privacy | WGBH | © 1998 - 2002 WGBH