Whether your bulldog is an adult or just a puppy, housebreaking is not the difficult process you might believe it to be. By confining your dog to a crate while you are away and by supervising him when you are at home, housebreaking can actually be accomplished fairly quickly.
Supervise your bulldog closely while you are at home to prevent him from having an accident. If you notice your dog walking in circles, sniffing the ground, it is a sign that he has to go and you should take him outside immediately.
Designate a certain area of your yard as the potty area and be consistent about taking your bulldog to this area when you bring him outside. By training your dog to use only a certain area of the yard to do his business it will make the task of cleaning up after him much easier.
Wait for your dog to do his business then praise him in an excited tone and give him a reward such as a belly rub. By praising your dog immediately after he does his business in the preferred area you will be teaching him that you approve of this behavior and he will be more likely to repeat it in the future.
Set up a crate for your dog inside your home and line it with a soft blanket or dog bed. The crate should be just large enough for your bulldog to turn around and lie down comfortably but there shouldn't be much extra space.
Place your dog's food and water dishes as well as some of his toys near the crate to help establish this part of the house as "his" area. Your dog should have a positive association with the crate -- he should see it as a place where he can go to rest rather than a tool of punishment.
Confine your dog to the crate when you are away from home to prevent him from having an accident in the house. If your bulldog is less than 6 months old, or if you are just beginning the housetraining process, limit the confinement period to three or four hours.
Gradually increase the duration of the confinement periods once your dog is consistently able to handle four hours in the crate. If you are not able to return home to let your dog out after four hours, have a family member or friend stop by to do it for you.
Take your bulldog outside just before putting him in the crate and immediately after releasing him. Always take your dog to the designated potty area when you take him outside and praise him when he does his business.
- Being consistent in rewarding your dog for performing the desired behavior will speed up the house training process. If your dog learns that doing his business outside pleases you, he will be more likely to repeat that behavior in the future.
- Never punish your bulldog for having an accident during house training because he is unlikely to connect the punishment with the undesirable behavior. Punishing your dog may only result in him learning to fear you.
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.