How to Housebreak a Dog When You Work

How to Housebreak a Dog When You Work

Bringing home a new furry friend is an exciting time, but the task of housebreaking can seem daunting, especially if you work outside the home. However, with a little planning and consistency, it is possible to successfully housebreak your dog even when you have a busy schedule. In this article, we will explore some effective strategies to housebreak a dog when you work.

1. Create a designated potty area: Set up a specific spot in your yard where your dog can go potty. This will help them understand where they should eliminate and reduce accidents inside the house.

2. Establish a routine: Dogs thrive on routine, so try to establish a consistent schedule for potty breaks. Take them out first thing in the morning, after meals, before and after work, and before bed.

3. Use crate training: Crate training can be an effective tool for housebreaking. Dogs naturally avoid soiling their sleeping area, so keeping your dog in a crate when you’re not home can help prevent accidents.

4. Gradually increase freedom: Start by confining your dog to a small area while you’re away, such as a bathroom or kitchen. As they become more reliable with potty training, gradually increase their freedom by giving them access to larger areas of the house.

5. Hire a dog walker: If you’re unable to come home during the day, consider hiring a dog walker or asking a trusted neighbor to let your dog out for a potty break.

6. Use pee pads or artificial grass: If your dog is unable to hold their bladder for long periods, consider using pee pads or artificial grass indoors. Place them in a designated area and gradually move them closer to the door to encourage outdoor elimination.

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7. Reward and reinforce: When your dog eliminates in the designated potty area, praise them and offer a treat. Positive reinforcement will help reinforce the desired behavior.

8. Avoid punishment: Never scold or punish your dog for accidents. This can create fear and anxiety, hindering the housebreaking process.

9. Consider doggie daycare: If your work schedule is demanding, enrolling your dog in a doggie daycare a few days a week can provide them with exercise, socialization, and regular potty breaks.

10. Use scent deterrents: If your dog continues to have accidents in certain areas of the house, use scent deterrents to discourage them from eliminating there. Clean the area thoroughly and use products designed to remove the scent of urine.

11. Be patient and consistent: Housebreaking takes time and consistency. Stick to the routine and be patient with your dog as they learn.

12. Seek professional help if needed: If you’re struggling with housebreaking despite your best efforts, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.


1. How long does it take to housebreak a dog?

Housebreaking duration varies depending on the dog’s age, breed, and consistency of training. On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

2. Can I use puppy pads indefinitely?

Puppy pads can be used temporarily, but it’s best to transition your dog to eliminate outside as soon as possible.

3. Should I punish my dog for accidents?

No, punishment can hinder the housebreaking process. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement for desired behavior.

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4. Is crate training cruel?

When done properly, crate training is not cruel. Dogs see crates as their den and feel safe and secure in them.

5. Can I housebreak an older dog?

Yes, older dogs can be housebroken, although it may take more time and patience.

6. Can I housebreak a dog if I work full-time?

Yes, with proper planning and consistency, it is possible to housebreak a dog even when you work full-time.

7. Should I restrict water intake to prevent accidents?

It’s important to provide your dog with enough water to stay hydrated. Instead, focus on establishing a consistent potty routine.

8. Should I use puppy pads at night?

Using puppy pads at night can be helpful, especially for young puppies who may not be able to hold their bladder all night.

9. Can I hire someone to housebreak my dog for me?

Housebreaking is a process that involves building trust and a bond with your dog. It’s best to be actively involved in the training process yourself.

10. Should I use a specific word or command for potty breaks?

Using a specific word or command consistently when taking your dog out can help them associate it with going potty.

11. Can I use a doggy door for housebreaking?

A doggy door can be a convenient option if you have a secure backyard, but it still requires training and supervision.

12. What if my dog continues to have accidents despite training?

If your dog is consistently having accidents despite your efforts, it’s essential to rule out any underlying medical conditions and consult a professional for guidance.

Remember, housebreaking requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. With these strategies and a little time, you can successfully housebreak your dog even when you work.

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