We have had so many contacts regarding house training that it's time to add this information to our
website.Before you begin to read the suggestions, remember that if a puppy cannot be house
trained it is not his fault but the fault of the owner's lack of structured consistency and
Successful house breaking requires constant supervision of a puppy’s play time. I tell my clients to keep the puppy on a leash in the house. Keep the puppy in the same room with you, with the leash on. Why leave the leash on? What happens if a puppy starts to potty without the leash attatched. You go to correct the puppy, you'll be chasing the puppy. So the leash is there to stop and make a gentle correction. Pick up the puppy and take outside to the potty area. Always reward after potty!
If you can't give your pup your full attention, it should be in a crate or other confined area. It takes only
seconds for your baby to relieve himself in your home. Supervision of your puppy during his active
times will keep accidents to a minimum.
A good rule of thumb is that pups usually need to relieve themselves after sleeping*, after eating**,
after physical activity and before bedtime. Puppies are babies and have immature bladders which
are very small. Young pups are not physically able to hold their bladders for extended periods of
time. Think of them much like you would a human baby. As they age they will be able to control for
While your puppy is playing, he may begin to sniff the ground, circling and squatting. If you observe
these signs, take him outside before he eliminates on the floor. If he starts to relieve himself before
you can get to him, use a word such as “go outside”, pick him up and take him out immediately. DO
NOT rub his nose in it. He does not understand that tactic. Also, do not punish if you see he has
gone and you did not witness. He will not know why you are punishing him. This seems to be when
people use the “nose in it” technique. A waste of your time and energy and will be unproductive in
house training. The puppy will not understand your anger nor associate it with his behavior that
occurred minutes before. As his trainer, the lesson to be learned is that you should watch him more
Regularity in taking your pup outside to the place that you want him to use will have more successful
results as you continue house training. It’s important to pick the out side place (not the whole back
yard) that you want your puppy to use. As he uses this area, it will smell familiar to the pup and he
will go to that spot again thereby developing a routine which is what you are trying to establish in
house training. When he uses the place you have designated, praise him with pats and voice
inflection. He wants to please and will repeat rewarded behaviors.
*Pups have a natural tendency to leave the sleeping area to relieve themselves. They will usually
not eliminate in the area they sleep. However, if they are crated for long periods they may have no
choice. As the new owner of a new baby, it is your responsibility to see that the pup has access to
the outside and not forced to utilize his crate for elimination. Do not expect a pup to hold his bladder
or bowels all day while you are at work. Can you?
** Feeding on a schedule is a vital part of successful house training. Get your pup on a feeding
schedule so you will know when he needs to eliminate. Most pups should go outside within a very
few minutes of eating. I do not suggest leaving food out all the time. Schedule mealtimes for your
new puppy and try to stick to it. Also do not EVER take away water or limit water. This will cause your puppy to drink more water and urinate more.
A successfully house trained puppy has experienced supervision, prevention and reward from a
consistently diligent owner.