Sunday, June 14, 2009

Training Rant - House"breaking"

This has been driving me crazy for a while. Why do people use the term house- "Breaking"?? I always make sure I use the term "Housetraining" and I correct anyone I hear who uses "Housebreaking".

Do you Potty-Break your child? No. You Potty Train them.

It is the same. You House TRAIN your dog. You are not breaking him (at least, I would hope your methods aren't such that you could use the word "break" with it).

HouseTraining is supposed to be fun. Most dogs I have come through pick this up within a week. Some take as much as three weeks. Why do people make it a big angry scary thing?

There was one dog I know who "couldn't be housebroken" (I have many stories like this, but you only get one per rant!!). One of the big time training facilities (PetSmart) told the owners that she couldn't be housebroken and recommended that she be euthanized. She was a shih tzu ... a puppy mill dog. I agreed; she couldn't be housebroken ... but that didn't mean she couldn't be housetrained. This was the dog that took three weeks to housetrain. Yes, she took longer than most I work with, but that doesn't mean she couldn't be trained! All dogs learn at different speeds.

Sometimes I am amazed that the one side of my head isn't flat from banging my head on the desk so often ...

Training your dog is fun. So are you making it into a chore??


Dog_geek said...

Well, "house breaking" is a pretty common use term - I don't think if people use it that it necessarily means they are being harsh or making it a big scary thing. It is just the term that they are used to hearing. I honestly can't say that I make any effort or even notice whether I say "housebroken" or "house trained," but I promise every time I do it is all positive reinforcement and fun.

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

I have been using the term "housebreaking," and it's derivatives, for more years than I care to count. I don't know where it came from, but I can tell you I won't be switching.

I am more concerned when people use the term "down," when they mean "off." Or better yet, when people tell an out of control dog, Ok, ok, good boy, it's ok." When in fact, the dog needs a correction, like "sit!" Then the dog can have the good boys, it's ok.

I am into the word verifications, and seeing some funny ones
word verification - exycha
cha is the Chinese word for search
we are all done searching????

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Yepper house training is fun.. The little girl still has accidents but she doesn't hear. Mom and Dad take us all out quite often. She does really well until we go to the lake. Guess she just drinks to much of that lake. If she wouldn't stick her head underwater she would be ok. Guess her mouth is open when she does that... Silly girl...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Lorenza said...

English is not our language. The first time we read the term "housebreaking" we missunderstood it!
Lorenza was house trained in a week.

OldMorgans said...

Long ago, when I was a child, it was called "housebreaking" and had been called that forever. Probably the same sort of origin as the term "breaking a horse".

GoLightly said...

Yup,you are old, Old Morgans.

I have the same problem with the term in horses, now.

It's all in the connotation, isn't it?
Literal, or figurative?

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I hate the term "retired" racing greyhound. A 3 year old dog is too young to be retired. Get him off the couch and do something with him.

Jen & her Former racing greyhounds

Viatecio said...

I alternate between the two words. They basically mean the same thing, and like everyone else said, it's doesn't automatically imply that I beat my dog or whack her. Again with the horse thing, we'll say that a horse is "broken to saddle and bridle." Doesn't mean we whipped them into a bucking frenzy and yanked on their mouth that first time. They just know now what to expect from us and what's expected from them. I don't like the thought of "breaking" animals like the old days any more than you do, but times have changed, we've learned to do things a bit differently, and the word just kinda stuck around I guess.

(And it is a huge pet peeve of mine too that people say their dog couldn't be housebroken. That just means they weren't doing something right, and if you point this out, then you get the "But we tried everything!" argument. Stupid, stupid people.)

GoLightly said...

Always, they "tried everything" wrong.
Smush their nose in their own waste.

Who THOUGHT up that BullCrap??

Kasha said...

I was always confused when my Dad would refer to our horse as "green" or "broken in". I admit that I confuse training with breaking. We made "house training" Africa fun as well. My baby boy is what I am going to have questions about.
Kasha and Africa

OldMorgans said...

I was checking Animal Planet Monday morning to see if anything good was going to be on (something besides the junk shows they seem to specialize in lately)and came across a "It's Me or the Dog" I had missed or forgotten about.
Victoria calls it House Training.

Yes, GoLightly, I've been around a while. I feel older then I used to but far from old. My first Morgan baby is 26 now!

mytwh said...

It's funny, I think we're on the same wave length. I was thinking this weekend (before I read this-I only have internet at work!), "why do they call it "breaking?". I've always said "housebreaking" but why? Anyway, funny you should post about it!

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