How to House Train a Puppy the Right Way

When a puppy is newly born, her mother takes care of her toileting needs. Beyond that, it is up to you to create strict training procedures so that your puppy will know that inside the home is an inappropriate place to do her business and that outside is best.

Housetraining, often also referred to as housebreaking, is teaching your puppy (or adult dog) the appropriate place to use the bathroom. It can be a fundamental relationship point between you and your pup. Don’t punish your little friend when she makes a mess inside the house. This will not discourage the behavior, but will only make her be sneakier about eliminating.

The most important elements on your part are consistency, sensibility, and alertness. Dogs are naturally clean animals, and they will not want to soil their den. It is your responsibility to teach your puppy that your home is her den. In order to do so, it’s imperative that strict potty training exercises are put in place.

What to Know About Housetraining

labrador-puppy-blackThere are some basic elements that you have to know about housetraining a puppy. Your puppy will not be able to hold it very long, and you will have to take her outside frequently. You have to keep a close eye on your puppy when you first begin housetraining because she won’t know how to give you cues she needs to go outside. While she will learn to give you cues after a while, you have to be aware that there are important times when puppies usually need to use the bathroom and some signs to look out for.

When to Take Your Puppy Outside

  • After waking up
  • Right after she eats or drinks anything
  • After any exciting extended play activity or exercise

What are the Signs Your Puppy Will Need a Bathroom Break?

If your dog puts her nose down to the ground, she is signaling that she is about to go potty. She will sniff the floor, circle, run around with her nose to the ground, start to squat, and go in the direction of his toilet area.

If you can be vigilant in taking your puppy outside when she will most likely need to go the bathroom and keep a close eye for signs she may need to go, then you will prevent a lot of accidents.

If possible, don’t pick your puppydog up to take her outside but instead guide her out, that way the puppy will learn independence.

To Successfully House Train a Puppy Confine Her at First

When you are first training your puppy, you should confine her to a very safe area of your home. This is only until the puppy reaches a point where she can gain more control of herself. Confine her to an area where it would be very easy to mop or clean up, like a kitchen or utility room. This is not a form of isolation. This is merely a safety measure – keeping your puppy in an area where having an accident wouldn’t cause too much trouble. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to be on puppy watch. You do.
Even though it might be easy to clean up the mess in the safe area, letting your puppy potty inside would still sabotage previous house training progress.

To Successfully House Train a Puppy Show Her Where to Potty

When you take or guide your puppy outside, show her some places to go potty. Don’t get bothered if it takes her a long time to make a decision. Some puppies wander around for a while and take their time before they choose a place, while others rush to one certain spot quickly. It’s very important that you immediately praise your little friend after she does go potty. Make sure that you tell your puppy she has done the right thing. The next time you take her out, make sure she goes to the same spot. She will likely smell the same area and remember it. Praise the puppy every time she does it.

How to Train Your Pup to Use a Litter Box or a Pee Pad

If you want to train your puppy to go potty in a specific place indoors, such as on a pee pad or litter box, you have to take or guide your pup to that specific place every time she looks like she is about to use the bathroom. If your little dog is already doing her potty business somewhere else, simply stop her action and guide her to the right place.

How to Teach Your Puppy to Go Potty on Command

This is not obligatory but can save you a lot of time.  Besides, teaching this command to a puppy is surprisingly easy. Choose a short and sharp phrase – something you are comfortable to say in public, for an example, “do it” or “go potty” – and use it every time your dog goes potty. In time your dog will learn to associate the phrase with going potty and the phrase alone can soon encourage her to do it.

Punishment is Pointless While Housetraining a Puppy

If your puppy has an accident in the house, punishment is useless. Your puppy will have already forgotten what she has done as soon as it’s done and will have no idea what the punishment is for. Your puppy will merely associate you with yelling, screaming, and other bad behaviors. That will put a stake between you and your puppy. Simply clean up the accident with an enzymatic cleaner and try to get her outside faster in the future.

How Long Does it Take to Housetrain a Puppy?

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months before your puppy fully realizes her housetraining goals. Puppies need to understand what you need, mentally, and also have to grow older in order to control their bladder. You can often count on a three-month old puppy to have four hour breaks between bathroom calls. At each month, it will increase by about one hour, to about 6 hours maximum. If you work outside the home all day, then you will need a helper to take your dog out while you are gone.

What About Crate Training? Could it Help with Housetraining?

When introduced early in life, a crate becomes a dog’s personal little home. She instinctively feels comfortable in a crate, and will not mess in it. Make sure that you train your puppy to eat, sleep, and do everything else in the crate. Crate training can actually make housetraining more efficient since the dog is either safely in the crate, out of the crate and eliminating where you want her to go, or wandering around your home for a while. If you use a crate, you won’t have to spend all your time on puppy watch. Crate training helps curb many behavioral issues and is great for puppies.

Be Patient with Your Puppy

Remember to be extremely patient with your puppy. Many puppies end up in the pound each year, simply because their bad owners don’t or can’t do enough. Housebreaking can be a stressful and long process and must be approached correctly. Be patient and loving with your puppy and always follow strict potty training exercises.



  1. Humberto Hernández
  2. Aurora Blanket

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