Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Potty Training Your Puppy

Housetraining is not only possible; it is also easy because of the natural instinct of dogs to relieve themselves away from their living quarters. The use of a pet crate makes the whole process go more smoothly. A pet crate has the additional advantage of protecting your home from the potential destructive behavior of a curious puppy, as well as minimizing chances of the puppy injuring himself.

Feed your puppy 3-4 meals of high quality commercial pet food daily.

Consistency in feeding times makes the times of elimination more predictable. Make the last feeding no later than 6 p.m. Removing water at 8 p.m. may be helpful for the first month or two.

Confine the puppy in a crate all the time it is not under your direct supervision:

The crate should be large enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around, but not so big as to have extra room in which elimination can occur. If you choose to buy a larger crate, place something in the back part of the crate to make it smaller while the puppy is smaller. A key point: Do not give it an opportunity to have an accident. Do not show the puppy any attention while in the crate. Talking to the puppy, sticking your finger in the crate door, or even yelling at the puppy trains the puppy to whine, bark, etc. to get that attention. Totally avoiding the pup’s actions in the crate will soon lead to the puppy learning to be quiet.

When you take the puppy out of the crate, immediately take it outside:

If it refuses to “do its business” after 5 minutes outside, put it back in the crate for 5 minutes and repeat the procedure. The puppy soon learns that its reward for “doing its business” is to stay out of the crate.

Select one toilet area for your puppy:

Take your puppy to the area at times it is most likely to need to eliminate: right after sleeping, soon after eating, etc. In the beginning, it is advisable to take the puppy out every 2 hours if possible. Always provide the puppy the opportunity to go outside to eliminate just before being put back in the crate. Always take the puppy outside immediately after returning home before the excitement causes an accident. When you get to the area and your puppy begins to sniff around for the right spot, use a phrase such as “hurry up,” or “go potty.” Soon that phrase will result in elimination.

Praise your puppy immediately:

Praise your puppy after he has eliminated in the right area. Even if you are doing everything right, accidents will happen. If you catch your puppy in the act, clap your hands to startle him and say, “NO!” Immediately take him to the area you have designated as a toilet area. If he then eliminates in the toilet area, praise him for doing a good job. If you find an accident, do not raise your voice, spank your puppy, or rub his nose in it. While you will certainly make him afraid, it won’t be because of the accident, but he will be afraid of you.

Use products that neutralize urine odor when cleaning up accidents:

Avoid products with ammonia, as it is a natural component found in urine and the smell may actually attract the puppy to urinate in that location.

Remember, BE PATIENT. Housetraining should be complete by 4-6 months of age. But it is still advisable to keep the pet in the crate for several months when you are away from home to prevent possible destruction behaviors.

Remember: Your puppy needs plenty of play and exercise when out of the crate.

Points to Remember:
- A dog can only understand scolding and praise if it occurs within a half second of the even you are trying to control. Catching a puppy “in the act” is the best time to scold or praise. After the event has occurred, it is too late to scold or praise because the puppy will associate your feedback with whatever he is doing at the time, not ten minutes before. Rubbing his nose in his mistakes is a worthless technique and only confuses the dog.
- Dogs need to relieve themselves after eating, sleeping, and playing
- Feed your puppy at the same time every day. This will help keep the dog’s digestive system regular and it will be easier to predict when he needs to go out.
- Start housetraining on a weekend when everyone will be home and able to help. If mistakes happen, clean it up well and spray an odor neutralizer on the wet spot.


  1. ive come to think my bf's 1 year old brussels griffon and chitzu mix is impossible to potty train. She pees on the floors everywhere in the room they are in most of the day, she prefers to poop on the floor too (she will sometimes pee in teh grass on walks but rarely poop in grass). He has another 1 yr old pup who is a female havanese. Even though there are 3 pee pads in place in their room, the griffon refuses to use them. We've thought in the past this might be because the Havanese is not letting her but we seem to have tried everything. He's getting close to giving her away....

  2. My dog is toilet trained. But won't go out in a storm. She also pools in my frontroom. Help!

  3. My puppy is 11 weeks and she still continues to pee on the floor! She won't go near the newspaper and she has a really annoying habit of peeing in her bed. Each time I wash the bedding she does it's like she won't sleep in it unless she has had a pee in there. Thankfully she is clean at night and won't toilet in my bedroom but it's frustrating that she is still toileting all over the house in the dat. If she can hold it all night why not in daytime? And yes, I watch her like a hawk!!

    1. rate training is very helpful. Your pup is very young and she just can't hold it during the day. I used dog/puppy stay home pads with special smell that encourages them to do their business on them. But accidents will happen until she is older.

  4. We've tried everything with this puppy who is not quite a puppy anymore... she's about 9 months. We've tried crating when we're not around (which we don't keep her in for long periods of time), we take her out every hour and sometimes she will be outside and we will take her to the spot she tends to eliminate at and what for copious amounts of time and she wont do anything and then she will get inside and pee right in front of us... now she has taken to peeing on our bed... Can we get some pointers?? We're very frustrated and obviously don't want to take it out on her...

  5. I have a 1 yr old shih tzu and I've trained him to potty outside but he still does not listen to me after a yr of training. This is the only dog I have ever had that still pees and poops inside after a yr. I get very disappointed and upset and hes my little baby. And I got him neutered thinking that would help but he still is doing the same thing. He loves my cats toys and enjoys them more then his own. He peed on my bed chews on my underwear and sometimes gets very aggressive to my rottweiler....

  6. Hello, we've a 1.5 yr old pug Terrior cross that we rescued this year. He's been with us just over 6 months and since he's moved in we noticed he's 'housetrained' and 'lead trained' which has been great. Due to the cold weather we're now keeping him indoors during the day, with a walk in the morning and straight when I get home but in the past 2 weeks he's started eliminating indoors. Up against towels that are hanging to dry and today on our bed, after being walked (where elimination occurred). Any tips on re-house training an older dog? I think it's down to a change in routine and I'm trying my best to be supportive and not get annoyed but it's hard when I can't help him.

  7. I have a 2 month old poodle mix that pees and poops everywhere. The food schedule isn't working, the crate only makes him anxious and going outside is a mission. And every time I wash my sheets he pees all over them. Should I just leave him in the crate during night time when I'm sleeping?

  8. Ok so after the accident has occurred inside the house, what should I do?

  9. What is a good household item to use for odor elimination? Vinegar?

  10. Pooped on the bed, so no sheets, chases the paper towel as I remove it. I return from disposal and she is peeing on my bed and I stop her mid urinate. Not sure if vinegar worked but I used it to clean up the poop that was left. Cage time. I tried a method I used with my poovanese (amazing dog) which was open cage trained and knows the phrase "Too bed" and instantly does so. But so far at 10 weeks with my Jack Tzu I'm going insane. Its difficult to take her outside all the time because for some reason I cannot train her to go at the back door because my father has blocked all access. So she pees all over the washroom, the middle of the hall, my bed. I'll try the food timing thing as its always at 3-4 am and my sleep is nuts now.

    1. Probably best to sell it on Craig's List

  11. Toilet training your dog is not that hard of a task but it requires loads of commitment and consistency How to toilet train a puppy

  12. Toilet training your dog is not that hard of a task but it requires loads of commitment and consistency Toilet training your dog

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