6 Tips for Housetraining Your Dog or Puppy
24 June, 2013

If you bring a new puppy or dog home, one of the most important tasks is to get your new pup housetrained.  And the sooner, the better! Some dogs and/or puppies are easy to housetrain while others take a little more effort.   As always, practice, discipline and a positive approach can get your pup housetrained in no time.  Below are six quick tips to help housetrain your pup.

1.  When to housetrain

A dog can be toilet trained at any age, but the best age to begin housetraining is between eight and twelve weeks old. If you set up a housebreaking routine as soon as you bring your puppy home, your pup will learn quickly the correct place to go to the bathroom.  If your routine is get up, feed your pup, and then take him outside, then keep it consistent.  Routine will help you and your puppy to housetrain.

2. Have a schedule

Feeding and walking your dog on a regular schedule will make housebreaking that much easier. Puppies are like children and they thrive on routine. Try and take your dog out around the same time every day so he or she will be able to adjust his bodily functions accordingly. The first thing you should do in the morning is take your puppy outside and place him where you want him to go to the bathroom, give the cue, and praise upon successful completion.


Try to take your puppy out at least every two hours, after eating or drinking and especially after play.  It’s important to use the same door each time you take out your puppy so that when he has to go, he will scratch on the door to be let out.  Patterns, routines work well with puppies.

3. The advantages of using a crate

Many dog owners view a crate as a jail cell or to use as punishment, but your dog will love having his own space where he can escape from the hustle of the household for some quiet time. Make sure that your dog’s crate is a happy “den” for your pup and don’t use it for punishment.  Utilizing a crate for housetraining is advantageous because most puppies will not want to eliminate in their own ‘den’.  Make sure that the crate is big enough for your pup to turn around.

4. Keep your eyes peeled

Keeping a close eye on your puppy is a key factor in getting your pup properly housetrained. Whenever you see that he is sniffing, circling or beginning to squat, immediately take him outside to the place where you want him to go and see if he eliminates. If he does, praise him lavishly.  You might want to have a verbal cue such as “you can go now” so that your puppy knows what you want him to do. When he is going to the bathroom, repeat the cue and then give your dog lots of praise for a job well done.

5. Don’t let the puppy roam

Letting your puppy roam around the house is a sure fire way to have accidents. If you have decided you don’t want to use a crate, confining the dog to certain areas of the house can make housetraining easier for everyone. It is difficult to keep track of a puppy when he has the run of the house, but if you gate him in the kitchen, he will still be able to be part of the action and can be better supervised in case of an accident.  Once he is housetrained, of course, you can give him access to your entire home.

6. Don’t get discouraged

There will be times when you first begin housetraining that you feel your pup is just not getting the hang of it.  Your dog will have accidents in the house, but try not to get discouraged. If you stick to your routine, keep an eye on your dog and make frequent outings to his outdoor bathroom, your puppy will be housebroken in no time.  

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