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Has anyone tried this housebreaking method?

918 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  blackrose
I saw this mentioned in passing on another web site and realized that it's basically what I did with a terrier I once had many moons ago. Back then I was working 3rd shift and was working multiple 12 hour shifts in a row. I did not have time during the day to let a dog outside. When you've just worked 3 12's in a row and you've got 8 hours before 12 hour shift #4 you want to spend as much of that 8 hours sleeping as you possibly can. It was 20 degrees outside so I couldn't put the dog outside and leave him as that would be cruel by any definition. I put the dog in his crate, took the crate door off and pushed it up to the dog door which I left unlatched. When the dog had to go, he wouldn't want to go in his crate so he would walk out the dog door and do his business out there. Essentially, he kind of house trained himself as he developed the habit of heading out the dog door when he needed to pee.
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Considering this "training" method the only problem I can see is the dog MIGHT not understand that OUTSIDE is where the pee and poop ought to be when you are home and the dog is not crated.

I would have still followed up with rewards and positive reinforcement every time I was present and the dog pooped and pee'd outside.

I would do this not only to help reinforce the idea that this action is an out of doors only action but also to let the dog know that it is OK to pee and poop when I am around.

The other problem I see with this method would be the lack of generalization to a new place. IOW's if you moved somewhere else, or went to visit someone else, your dog might not generalize his housebreaking without the same set up. Of course, the housebreaking may not generalize no matter WHAT method you use to train the dog until you have reinforece the behavior in a number of locations.
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