Housetraining Your Dog
a puppy takes time, patience and knowledge.
It may take several weeks to
housetrain a puppy and, with some smaller
breeds, it may take longer.
During that time you should expect
several accidents until the puppy learns
what will be expected of him.
puppy under six months old cannot be
expected to control his bladder for more
than a few hours, so you will need to take
him outdoors every couple of hours.
Between outdoor trips you will need
to supervise him constantly.
You want to be able to see him each
time he looks like he is going to eliminate
indoors so that you can quickly take him to
his bathroom spot outdoors.
So, if you need to be gone from home
any more than about 4 hours during the day,
this may not be a good time for you to get a
In this case, you should consider
getting an older dog who has already been
excellent source of information on how to
housetrain your puppy can be found at the
Denver Dumb Friends League web site (http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/housetraining_puppies.htm).
They also have information on
re-housetraining your adult dog, if needed (http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/re_housetraining.htm).
basics of housetraining include the
Every couple of hours take your puppy
outside to a consistent location, close to the door, which he can use for his
It is crucial to praise your dog
lavishly each time he uses his bathroom
spot. By letting him know how good he is
each time he uses the bathroom spot, he will more quickly learn what you want
him to do.
Put your puppy on a regular feeding
routine – usually 3-4 times per day for a
This will make it more likely that he
will eliminate at regular times, making housetraining easier for you
Keep him close to you at all times.
You want to be able to see him each time he looks like he
might go to the bathroom so that you can quickly move him to his spot
If there are periods of a few hours
when you cannot watch him, he should be confined to a small area which is
just big enough for him to comfortably stand, lie down and turn around.
A portion of a bathroom or laundry
room that has been partitioned off with a baby
gate can serve this purpose.
If this is not possible, you might consider crate
For information on crate training see the Denver Dumb Friends League
If you will be considering crate training, there are two
important things to understand; the puppy
should be trained to see the crate as
positive place to be and training should
take place in a series of small steps as you
gradually introduce him to the crate and gradually let him get used to longer
periods at a time in the crate – up to a maximum of 3-4 hours at a time.
If you see your puppy in the process
of having an accident, you should do something to interrupt him by saying
“no” or making a loud noise (without scaring him) and then immediately
taking him outdoors where he should be praised if he finishes eliminating
Never, never, never punish
your puppy if you find that he has already
finished an accident indoors.
Never, never, never “rub his nose
in” any accident that you find. If
you punish your dog after he already
finished his accident, he will not make the connection between your
punishment and the accident.
Therefore, such after-the-fact
punishment will only confuse him and may cause other behavior problems
such as aggression or fear.
When your puppy does have an accident
indoors, be sure to clean the area completely. Cleaning tips can be found at the Denver Dumb Friends League web site at http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/cleaning.htm.
Paper training a puppy can be done,
but is not recommended.
It can prolong housetraining and may lead to a
life-long habit of eliminating on papers he finds lying around the house.
If you must leave your puppy home alone for
periods longer than a few hours, you may want to consider
getting a friend or relative to come to your
house to take your puppy outdoors.
luck training your puppy.
This can be a great time for your
friend as he learns what he can accomplish
and what he can do to make you happy.
At those times when he does have an
accident, remember that he is not “mad at
you” or “being bad.” Puppies are not born understanding that they cannot use the
By using lavish praise when he does
it right, you will teach him what he needs
to know to get along in this world.
to supervise and praise!