Housetraining Your Puppy


Housetraining 101
Teaching your puppy to stay clean in the house and to only relieve himself outside is really about training yourself.

Most puppies start out naturally wanting to be clean, but with no concept of delaying the urge to eliminate.

In the early weeks of life, when a puppy has to go to the bathroom, he gets up and toddles away from the sleeping area and goes to the bathroom. He never has to wait. Your job will be to teach your puppy that you only want him to go in certain locations, and that he needs to hold it until he gets to those locations.

Wise use of your puppy’s crate can greatly improve your housetraining success. If you puppy considers his crate his bed, he will be very reluctant to soil it.

Use a crate that is small enough that he cannot go to one end and go to the bathroom and then sleep at the other end. Put washable bedding in his crate. Do not use newspaper, because most puppies were raised on it.

Take your puppy outside to the area you want him to use frequently throughout the day. Take him out after every meal, after every nap and anytime he looks as if he has to go, or whenever you think he should have to go.

Go outside with him. Scoop him up and carry him if you thing he is about to go. You can add a verbal signal like, “Do you have to go out?” as you are going. Stay outside with him. If he eliminates, reward him with praise and treats. If you want to add a verbal signal, say it just as he begins to eliminate.

If your puppy does not go within a few minutes and you think he should have to go, return to the house and crate him. Take him out again after a reasonable time and keep trying until you are successful.


If, in spite of you diligence, your puppy eliminates in front of you, gasp in surprise, scoop him up and rush to his spot. If he is successful, praise him.

If you find an accident that your puppy made while you were not watching, clean it up and remind yourself that it is your responsibility to not leave him unattended!

If you cannot watch your puppy, put him in his crate with a kong. If you are having difficulty keeping track of your puppy, try attaching him to you with a long cord.

Puppies differ greatly in the length of time it takes them to become reliably housetrained. Some puppies seem to arrive almost trained, while others appear confused by the whole concept.

If you have one of the latter, do not despair, but realize you will have to be more patient and diligent until your puppy gets the idea.

If you leave your puppy all day while you work, obviously housetraining will take longer. Puppies as young as seven or eight weeks old can often stay dry through the night, but even much older puppies will not be able to go all day without eliminating.

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