Housebreaking your Lhasa Apso can be a challenging task, especially if you are a first-time pet owner. It requires patience, consistency, and a lot of vigilance. While accidents are bound to happen, the key is to avoid common mistakes that can hinder your progress. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of housebreaking, as well as five mistakes to avoid while potty training your furry friend. By following these tips, you can ensure a stress-free and successful housebreaking experience for both you and your Lhasa Apso.

What is Housebreaking?

Housebreaking is the process of training a dog to eliminate their waste outside, and not inside your home. It is a critical aspect of owning a pet, especially a Lhasa Apso! While it may seem daunting, it’s an important step to teach your furry companion. Here are some key points to keep in mind when housebreaking your Lhasa Apso:

  • Consistency: Establishing a routine is crucial when housebreaking your Lhasa Apso. Stick to a strict schedule for feeding, watering and bathroom breaks. This will help regulate your pet’s bodily functions and make it easier for them to understand when it’s time to go outside. You can explore more on housebreaking Lhasa Apso with consistency.
  • Punishing Accidents: Punishing your Lhasa Apso for accidents inside your home is not effective. Instead, use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. Reward your pet with a treat and praise when they go outside, helping them understand that this is the correct behavior.
  • Vigilance: Watch for signs that your Lhasa Apso needs to go outside, like pacing or sniffing around. Use a crate to keep your pet contained when you’re not able to keep a close eye on them. This will also help them form a positive association with their crate, which can be beneficial in other areas of training. You can check out crate training tips on this topic.
  • Cleaners: Using the wrong cleaners can make housebreaking more difficult. Avoid using products that contain ammonia, which can attract your pet back to the same spot. Instead, use enzymatic cleaners specifically designed for pet urine. You can read more about Lhasa Apso housebreaking needs and recommended cleaning products.
  • Health Issues: Some medical conditions can make housebreaking a challenge for your Lhasa Apso. If you’re finding it particularly difficult, it may be worth consulting with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems. Learn more about specific housebreaking tips for Lhasa Apsos.

Remember, housebreaking takes time and patience! Be consistent, positive, and vigilant, and you’ll soon be on your way to success.

Why is Housebreaking Important for Lhasa Apsos?

Proper housebreaking is crucial for Lhasa Apsos for several reasons:

  • Hygiene: As Lhasa Apsos are indoor pets, uncontrolled urination and defecation can create very unhygienic living conditions for both the pet and the owner.
  • Bonding: A well-trained Lhasa Apso brings immense joy and affection to their owner. Housebreaking is essential to build a strong bond between the pet and the owner.
  • Discipline: Effective housebreaking instills discipline in a Lhasa Apso. It helps them understand that there is a proper time and place for everything – eating, playing, and relieving themselves.
  • Peace of mind: Accidents can quickly turn into bad habits, creating a negative cycle that is difficult to break. Housebreaking ensures that accidents are minimized and that the pet and owner can live together peacefully.

Proper housebreaking techniques will improve the overall quality of life for both the Lhasa Apso and its owner. The key is to be patient and consistent in guiding the pet towards acceptable behavior. More information about Lhasa Apso housebreaking can be found on this page.

Mistake #1: Inconsistency

Mistake #1: Inconsistency
One of the biggest hurdles to successful housebreaking for your Lhasa Apso can be inconsistency. It’s understandable to have occasional lapses in routine, but inconsistency in training can cause confusion for your furry companion, leading to accidents and setbacks. Building a consistent routine and taking a slow and steady approach can make all the difference in helping your Lhasa Apso learn good habits for the long term. Let’s take a closer look at how to avoid this common mistake.

Routine and Consistency

Routine and consistency are key components of successful housebreaking for Lhasa Apsos. Establishing a routine will not only help your Lhasa Apso know when to expect potty breaks, but it will also aid in preventing accidents in the house. Here are some tips for establishing a solid routine:

  • Take your Lhasa Apso outside frequently. Puppies have small bladders and cannot hold their urine for very long. Taking your Lhasa Apso out every 2-3 hours is a good starting point for establishing a routine. As your puppy grows older, you can increase the time between potty breaks.
  • Take your Lhasa Apso out first thing in the morning. When you wake up, take your Lhasa Apso outside immediately. This will help to establish the routine and prevent accidents in the house.
  • Take your Lhasa Apso out after meals. Puppies often need to use the bathroom after eating or drinking. After your Lhasa Apso finishes their meal, take them outside to go potty.
  • Take your Lhasa Apso out before bedtime. Right before bedtime, take your Lhasa Apso outside to use the bathroom. This will help prevent any accidents during the night.
  • Use a consistent command. When you take your Lhasa Apso outside to use the bathroom, use a consistent command such as “go potty”. Over time, your Lhasa Apso will associate this command with going to the bathroom and will be more likely to go when you give the command.

Remember, patience is key when establishing a routine for housebreaking your Lhasa Apso. Stick to a consistent routine and be patient with your puppy as they learn.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

When it comes to housebreaking your Lhasa Apso, it’s important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. Rushing the process or expecting your pup to learn everything quickly can lead to frustration for both you and your furry friend. It’s important to take your time and be patient with your Lhasa Apso, even if it means a few extra accidents along the way.

One way to take it slow is by gradually increasing the amount of freedom your pup has indoors. This means starting with a small, confined space like a bathroom or crate, and gradually giving them more access to the rest of your home as they become more reliable in their housebreaking habits.

It’s also important to establish a routine and stick to it. This means taking your pup outside at the same times each day (such as after they wake up, after meals, and before bedtime), as well as taking them to the same spot outside. This routine will help them learn that outside is the appropriate place to go potty.

Another tip for taking it slow is to use plenty of rewards and positive reinforcement. Praise your pup when they go potty outside, and give them treats to reinforce this behavior. Your pup will soon learn that going potty outside leads to good things, which will encourage them to continue this behavior.

Finally, remember that every pup is different and will learn at their own pace. Be patient and understanding, and don’t get discouraged if there are a few setbacks along the way. With time, patience, and consistency, your Lhasa Apso will become a housebreaking pro!

Tips for Slow and Steady Housebreaking
Gradually increase your pup’s indoor freedom
Establish a routine for going outside
Use plenty of rewards and positive reinforcement
Be patient and understanding

Mistake #2: Punishing Accidents

Mistake #2: Punishing Accidents
Housebreaking your Lhasa Apso can be a tedious process, but it’s essential to ensure a happy and healthy living environment for both you and your furry friend. While accidents may happen, it’s important to avoid making the mistake of punishing your Lhasa Apso for these accidents. It may seem counterintuitive, but punishment can actually make the housebreaking process more difficult and lead to further problems down the line. Let’s explore some more effective strategies for dealing with accidents.

Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to housebreaking your Lhasa Apso, positive reinforcement is the key to success. Instead of punishing your pup for accidents, you should reward them for good behavior. Here are some ways to use positive reinforcement effectively:

  • Verbal praise: Whenever your Lhasa Apso successfully goes potty outside, give them plenty of verbal praise. Use a happy tone of voice and say things like “Good job!” or “What a good dog!”
  • Treats: Treats can also be a powerful reward for good behavior. Whenever your pup goes potty outside, give them a small, healthy treat. Make sure you use treats in moderation and choose ones that are appropriate for your dog’s size.
  • Physical affection: Dogs love physical affection, such as petting, belly rubs, and hugs. Whenever your Lhasa Apso goes outside to potty, give them plenty of love and attention to reinforce the behavior.

By using positive reinforcement, you help your Lhasa Apso learn that going potty outside is a good thing. They will come to associate good feelings and rewards with the behavior, which makes it more likely that they will repeat it in the future.

It’s important to note that positive reinforcement should be used immediately after the good behavior occurs. This helps your dog make the connection between the behavior and the reward. If you wait too long to give praise, your pup may not understand what they are being rewarded for.

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for housebreaking your Lhasa Apso. By using praise, treats, and physical affection, you can help your pup learn good habits and avoid accidents inside the house. Remember to be consistent with your rewards and always reinforce good behavior.

What to Do When You Catch Them in the Act

Catching your Lhasa Apso in the act of having an accident inside can be frustrating, but it’s important not to react in a negative way as this can lead to further problems. Instead, follow these steps:

  • Interrupt the Behavior: Clap your hands loudly or make a quick, sharp noise to interrupt your Lhasa Apso. This will stop them in their tracks and hopefully prevent them from finishing the deed.
  • Take Them Outside: Immediately pick up your Lhasa Apso and take them outside to finish going potty. Praise them once they finish going outside, so they know that’s the correct place to do their business.
  • Do Not Punish: Avoid punishing your Lhasa Apso for the accident. This can cause fear and anxiety, leading to even more accidents in the future. Instead, be patient and consistent in your housebreaking process.
  • Clean Up: Thoroughly clean up the accident using an enzymatic cleaner to eliminate any odor. This will help prevent your Lhasa Apso from using that spot again in the future.

By following these steps, you’re teaching your Lhasa Apso where it’s appropriate to go potty and preventing any negative associations with accidents inside the house. Remember, positive reinforcement and consistency are key when housebreaking your furry friend.

Mistake #3: Not Being Vigilant Enough

Mistake #3: Not Being Vigilant Enough
When it comes to housebreaking your Lhasa Apso, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not being vigilant enough. This mistake often stems from a lack of appreciation for just how much time and effort goes into the process, but it can have serious consequences for the success of your training. In this section, we’ll explore why vigilance is so crucial when housebreaking your Lhasa Apso, as well as the steps you can take to ensure that you’re always on top of things. With a little help and a lot of patience, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your housebreaking goals.

Supervision and Crating

Supervision and crating are two essential tools when it comes to successfully housebreaking your Lhasa Apso. By using a combination of the two techniques, you can help prevent accidents from occurring and encourage your dog to learn where they are supposed to go potty.

Supervision: Keeping a close eye on your Lhasa Apso is critical during the housebreaking process. One way to do this is by using a leash to keep your dog close to you at all times. This allows you to observe their behavior and anticipate when they may need to go outside. Also, limit your dog’s access to areas of the house where they are not supervised.

Another way to supervise your Lhasa Apso is by using baby gates to block off certain areas of the house. This can be especially useful when you cannot keep your dog in your sight but still want them to roam around some of the house.

Crating: Crate training your Lhasa Apso can be an effective way to aid in the housebreaking process. Dogs naturally do not want to eliminate where they sleep, so placing your dog in a crate for short periods of time can help them learn to hold their bladder and bowels.

Make sure the crate you use is the correct size for your dog. It should be big enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If the crate is too big, your dog may be more likely to use one end as a bathroom and the other as a sleeping area. You can also use crate training as a way to keep your dog safe when you are not able to supervise them.

When using a crate, it is essential to ensure that your Lhasa Apso does not associate it with punishment. The crate should be a comfortable and safe space for them to relax and rest.

Using supervision and crating in conjunction can be incredibly helpful for the housebreaking process. By supervising your Lhasa Apso when they are out of their crate and using the crate to prevent accidents when you cannot supervise them, you can give your dog the best chance of success in learning where to go potty.

Close observation to anticipate when they need to go outsidePlace your dog in a crate for short periods of time
Use of leashes or baby gates to limit access to unsupervised areasEnsure the crate is the correct size for your dog
Use the crate to keep your dog safe when you cannot supervise them

Redirecting Bad Behavior

When you’re housebreaking your Lhasa Apso, it’s important to redirect bad behavior rather than just scolding or punishing them. There are several ways to do this, such as:

  • Distraction: If you catch your Lhasa Apso sniffing around or starting to squat, quickly distract them with a toy or treat and take them outside to finish their business. This will help them associate going outside with positive experiences.
  • Positive reinforcement: When your Lhasa Apso does go outside to do their business, be sure to give them plenty of praise and treats. This will encourage them to continue to go outside rather than inside.
  • Time-outs: If your Lhasa Apso continues to have accidents inside despite your best efforts, consider putting them in a time-out in their crate or a designated area. This will teach them that indoor accidents are not acceptable.

Remember, redirecting bad behavior takes patience and consistency. It’s important to be firm but also kind and understanding as your Lhasa Apso learns. By redirecting their behavior in a positive way, you can help them become a well-behaved and housebroken companion.

Mistake #4: Using the Wrong Cleaners

Mistake #4: Using The Wrong Cleaners
When your Lhasa Apso has an accident inside the house, it’s important to clean it up properly to avoid repeat incidents. However, using the wrong cleaning products can actually worsen the problem. It can leave behind a scent that may encourage your pet to eliminate in the same spot again. So, what are the right cleaners to use? Let’s explore some options to ensure you’re not making a mistake that could make the housebreaking process more challenging.

Enzymatic Cleaners

When it comes to cleaning up after your Lhasa Apso has had an accident in the house, not all cleaners are created equal. Enzymatic cleaners are highly recommended for effectively eliminating the scent of urine, which is important to prevent your furry friend from marking the same spot again.

What are enzymatic cleaners?

Enzymatic cleaners contain specific enzymes that break down the proteins in urine and other organic materials, completely eliminating the odor instead of just masking it with a fragrance. These cleaners are widely available and can be found at pet stores and online.

Why are enzymatic cleaners important for housebreaking?

Using a regular cleaner or even water and soap can leave behind traces of urine that your Lhasa Apso can still smell, which may cause them to continue peeing in the same spot. Enzymatic cleaners, on the other hand, get rid of the scent completely, so your dog won’t be attracted to that area.

How to properly use enzymatic cleaners

To effectively use enzymatic cleaners, start by blotting the spot with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove as much urine as possible. Then, apply the enzymatic cleaner according to the directions on the bottle. Let the cleaner sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the enzymes to break down and eliminate the odor. Finish by blotting the area again with a clean cloth to remove any excess cleaner.

Other considerations

It’s important to note that enzymatic cleaners may not work as well on old or set-in stains. In these cases, professional cleaning services may be required. Additionally, be sure to use the appropriate cleaner for the type of surface you’re cleaning (e.g. carpet cleaner for carpets, hardwood floor cleaner for hardwood floors, etc.).

By using enzymatic cleaners properly, you can effectively eliminate odors and help prevent your Lhasa Apso from continuing to mark the same spot in the house.

How to Properly Clean Up Accidents

Cleaning up accidents is an important part of housebreaking your Lhasa Apso. Using the wrong cleaners can actually make the problem worse, as your Lhasa Apso will be able to smell their urine or feces even after you’ve cleaned it up with household cleaners. Here are some steps on how to properly clean up accidents:

  • Act Fast: It’s important to clean up accidents as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the smell.
  • Blot: First, you’ll want to blot up as much of the urine or feces as possible with paper towels. Make sure not to push the mess further into the carpet or floor.
  • Enzymatic Cleaner: Once you’ve blotted up as much as possible, it’s time to use an enzymatic cleaner. This type of cleaner breaks down the enzymes in urine and feces, completely eliminating the odor. Spray the cleaner on the affected area and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
  • Scrub: After the cleaner has sat for a while, use a scrub brush to agitate it into the carpet or floor. This will help break down any remaining enzymes and lift the mess from the fibers.
  • Rinse: Rinse the area thoroughly with water to remove any remaining cleaner. You can use a wet vac to remove excess water from carpets or just use paper towels for hardwood or tile floors.
  • Repeat: If the odor persists after the first cleaning, repeat the process until the smell is gone. Be sure to let the area dry completely before allowing your Lhasa Apso near it again.

By following these steps and using an enzymatic cleaner, you can make sure that any accidents are completely eliminated and your Lhasa Apso won’t be tempted to go in the same spot again. Remember to act fast and be thorough in your cleaning to ensure success in housebreaking your furry friend.

Mistake #5: Not Considering Health Issues

One of the major aspects that pet owners often overlook during housebreaking is the impact of health issues on their furry friend’s progress. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for Lhasa Apsos to face certain medical conditions that can hinder their ability to communicate their natural urges properly. It’s crucial for pet owners to be aware of these health issues and understand their potential impact to avoid over-punishing their pets during the housebreaking process. Let’s explore this topic in more detail.

Medical Issues That Can Affect Housebreaking

It’s important to note that medical issues can play a big role in housebreaking your Lhasa Apso. Some medical conditions can cause your furry friend to have accidents in the house, even if they’re properly housebroken. Here are some medical issues to keep in mind:

Medical IssueSymptomsTreatment
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)Frequent urination, painful urination, blood in urine.A course of antibiotics prescribed by your vet.
Bladder StonesFrequent urination or straining to urinate, blood in urine, urinating in inappropriate places.Surgical removal of the stones.
DiabetesIncreased thirst and urination, weight loss, lethargy, sweet-smelling breath.Treatment includes insulin therapy and dietary changes.
Cushing’s DiseaseIncreased thirst and urination, weight gain, excessive panting, lethargy.Treatment may include medication or surgery.
Kidney DiseaseFrequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, vomiting.Treatment may include medication and a special diet.

If you notice your Lhasa Apso having accidents in the house despite being properly trained, it’s important to bring them to the vet for a check-up. Your vet can perform tests to see if there are any underlying medical issues causing the problem. If there is a medical issue, treating it can help your furry friend become fully housebroken once again.

Consulting Your Vet

It is important to consult with your vet when housebreaking your Lhasa Apso, especially if you are having difficulty with the process. Here are some things to discuss with your vet:

  • Food and Water Intake: Your vet can help you determine the appropriate amount of food and water for your Lhasa Apso based on their size, age, and activity level. Overfeeding or giving too much water can lead to more frequent accidents.
  • Health Issues: Your Lhasa Apso may have an underlying medical issue that is contributing to their difficulty with housebreaking. Discuss any potential health concerns, such as bladder infections, with your vet.
  • Training Techniques: If you are having trouble with a particular training technique or have tried several without success, your vet may be able to offer additional tips or suggest a professional trainer.
  • Behavioral Issues: Certain behavioral issues, such as anxiety or fear, can make it more difficult for your Lhasa Apso to learn and follow through with housebreaking. Your vet can provide guidance on addressing these issues.

Remember, every Lhasa Apso is unique and may require a tailored approach to housebreaking. Don’t hesitate to consult with your vet for individualized advice and support.


After reading this article, you should have a good understanding of the common mistakes to avoid while housebreaking your Lhasa Apso. Remember that training takes time and patience, and it’s important to stay consistent, use positive reinforcement, and be vigilant in your supervision. Avoid punishing your Lhasa Apso for accidents and instead redirect their behavior towards the appropriate spot. Additionally, make sure to use the right cleaners and consult with your vet if you suspect any medical issues affecting their housebreaking. With these tips and tricks, you should be well on your way to successfully housebreaking your furry friend. So go ahead, be patient and persistent, and enjoy the rewarding experience of a well-trained Lhasa Apso!

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my Lhasa Apso is not responding to positive reinforcement?

If your Lhasa Apso is not responding to positive reinforcement, you may need to re-evaluate your training techniques. Consider seeking the help of a professional dog trainer who can provide additional guidance and support.

How long does it take to housebreak a Lhasa Apso?

The time to fully housebreak a Lhasa Apso can vary depending on the individual dog and their behavior. However, with routine, consistency, and patience, most Lhasa Apsos can be fully housebroken within a few weeks to a few months.

Will crate training harm my Lhasa Apso?

No, crate training, when done correctly, will not harm your Lhasa Apso. In fact, many Lhasa Apsos find comfort and security in having their own safe space to retreat to when needed.

What should I do if my Lhasa Apso is having frequent accidents in the house?

If your Lhasa Apso is having frequent accidents in the house, it may be a sign that you need to re-evaluate your training techniques or seek the help of a professional dog trainer.

Can I punish my Lhasa Apso for having an accident in the house?

No, it is not recommended to punish your Lhasa Apso for having an accident in the house. This can create fear and anxiety and make the housebreaking process even more difficult.

What type of cleaners should I use to clean up accidents?

It is recommended to use enzymatic cleaners specifically designed for pet accidents. This will help to fully eliminate any odor and discourage your Lhasa Apso from repeating the behavior in the same spot.

What if my Lhasa Apso is not responding to redirection?

If your Lhasa Apso is not responding to redirection, it may be a sign that you need to re-evaluate your training techniques or seek the help of a professional dog trainer.

Can health issues affect my Lhasa Apso’s ability to be housebroken?

Yes, certain health issues such as urinary tract infections, diabetes, and digestive issues can affect your Lhasa Apso’s ability to control their bladder and bowels. It is important to consult with your vet if you suspect a medical issue may be present.

Do I need to be patient when housebreaking my Lhasa Apso?

Yes, patience is key when housebreaking any dog, including a Lhasa Apso. It may take time and consistency, but with patience and persistence, your Lhasa Apso can be successfully housebroken.

What if my Lhasa Apso is relapsing after being fully housebroken?

If your Lhasa Apso is relapsing after being fully housebroken, it may be a sign of a medical issue, stress or anxiety. It is important to consult with your vet and re-evaluate your training techniques to determine the cause and find a solution.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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