Housebreaking a Puppy

The day you bring your new puppy home is a day full of excitement and smiles. That is until your brand new puppy decides to use your expensive oriental rug as their own personal toilet. Accidents happen, but the sooner you get your puppy housetrained the less damage your house will undergo. However, most new dog owners have no idea how to begin housetraining a dog. Is it similar to potty-training a toddler? How long does it take? What approach works best? These are just a few of the questions that most new dog owners have as they stare at a puppy’s urine puddle in dismay.

Below are tips on how to begin housetraining your puppy to ensure success in as little time as possible.

  • Some people believe that a dog can’t be trained until they reach a certain age. This is a myth, especially in regards to housetraining. You may want to hold off on taking your puppy to an obedience training school with other dogs until they’ve had their shots, but when it comes to housetraining the sooner you start the better.
  • Puppies respond unusually well to pads that are treated with chemicals to attract dogs into using them as a toilet. Puppy pads are a great way to keep your floors clean while still keeping your dog indoors. As your puppy gets used to using the pads you can begin moving them closer to the door until the pad is outside.
  • Dogs also respond well to crate training. During crate training a dog is taken out of their crate every few hours to go to the bathroom outside. Most dogs will not use their crate as a bathroom since this is where they sleep. Crate training is essentially teaching your dog bladder control. When using crate training you should take your dog outside often to ensure that they don’t have an accident.
  • You can also choose to just follow your dog around throughout the day and take them outside as soon as you see that they are ready to go to the bathroom. You will easily recognize the signs as most dogs will begin to sniff or circle around looking for a place to do their business. Take them outside immediately and praise them when they are done. This will teach them that they are expected to go potty outside not inside. In addition to taking your dog outside when you see that they want to use the bathroom you should also take them outside during regularly scheduled walks throughout the day.

It’s important to remember that your dog may have an accident here and there, especially during the early days of housetraining. Don’t yell at your dog or scare them as this can cause them to continue going inside the home from confusion and fear. Instead praise them when they go outside and firmly let them know your displeasure if you catch them going inside. Before long your puppy will be housebroken and you’ll never have to come across another accident again.