House Training a Puppy -
Tips on Housebreaking a Puppy or Dog

If you are looking for tips and solutions for house training a puppy or an adult dog, your head may be spinning from the amount of information that's available on websites, magazines and books.

As much as housebreaking a puppy or an adult dog may appear to be a tedious and complicated process, truth is, if you abide to a few basic rules, you will be on your way to success.

In addition to following the rules, you'll also need plenty of patience and commitment. Another important ingredient without which you will not succeed is consistency.

Knowledge is ultimately power when it comes identifying the best method for house training a puppy.

Rules on House Training a Puppy or Adult Dog

Understanding how puppies and dogs think, managing their environment, reading their body language, cleaning up messes correctly and rewarding successful outings play an important role in the successful house training a puppy process.

Following are some important tips for making the house training process easy while helping set your puppy or adult dog for success.

House Training a Puppy

A Trip into a Dog's Mind

A little bit of knowledge on canine psychology goes a long way when it comes to the house training a puppy process.

Because canines are den animals by nature, they have an innate tendency to avoid soiling the areas where they eat, drink, sleep and play. This tendency can be used to your advantage by investing in a good quality crate or by arranging your dog's environment in such a way that he can choose to soil in one designated corner, while eating, drinking, playing and sleeping in the opposite end.

Managing Your Dog's Environment

When puppies are very young, they have little bladder and bowel control; indeed, the moment they are thinking about eliminating, their bladders and bowels are already taking care of business!

As a responsible dog owner, it is up to you to set your dog up for success by monitoring him and providing him plenty of opportunities for going potty outdoors. This entails managing your puppy's environment which requires lots of supervision and proper confinement. Giving a puppy or dog that is not fully house trained the whole run of the house is asking for trouble.

If you have time to take your young puppy outdoors on an regular basis, crate training may be the best method of house training a puppy for you. Make sure you purchase a crate of the right size and take your time to introduce it properly so your puppy feels comfortable and safe in it. Never use a crate for time-outs or as a place to park your puppy when you are away for a long time.

Reading Your Dog's Body Language

By closely observing your puppy or dog, you can recognize some signals indicating that it is time to take your puppy out. Any time your puppy appears distracted or starts sniffing, circling or whining, these may be signs that your puppy needs to be taken outdoors.

It is important to have realistic expectations when house training a puppy that is very young. Because very young puppies have little bladder and bowel control, they may not give evident signs yet and may eliminate without even being aware of it.

If you own a puppy or adult dog that has been doing well in house training but is now suddenly regressing, consider that frequent urination may at times stem from medical problems. Consider this possibility if your dog can no longer keep it in the house or gives you signs he needs to go out but doesn't make it in time.

Keep in mind that dogs may urinate in the home when left alone if they are suffering from separation anxiety. Also, puppies tend to urinate submissively when scolded or excited. Both of these are not considered house training issues.

Cleaning up Messes Properly

Did your puppy or dog have an accident and ended up soiling your carpet? Not many dog owners realize the importance of cleaning up messes properly when it comes to housetraining puppies.

Dogs have a superior sense of smell and not all products used for cleaning up messes will remove all traces of urine. Some products may actually encourage your puppy to further eliminate on the same areas over and over. Investing in the right dog urine cleaner will help eliminate stains, and most importantly, lingering odors.

Rewarding Successful Outings

To help set your puppy up for success, it is imperative to reward the puppy every time he eliminates outside. To be effective, praise him immediately after he eliminates. If you wait until you return home, he will not be able to associate the praise with what he did outdoors.

Don't be shy; throwing a party when the puppy eliminates outdoors will elicit the puppy to go outdoors to eliminate on a more frequent basis.

When is a Good Time to Start Housetraining your Puppy?

Start immediately after you bring him home, but not before your puppy is at least eight weeks old.

To speed up the house training process, establish a routine. Just like people, puppies learn quicker with repetition, and that's what a schedule establishes.

For best results, take your puppy outside every two hours. At a bare minimum, try to build the schedule around your puppy's feeding times. Here is a sample schedule that offers a compromise between the two:

  06:15 AM Wake up and take your puppy out for a walk
  06:45 AM Feeding time. Put food and water inside the crate
  07:15 AM Another walk
  11:15 AM Take your puppy for a walk
  11:45 AM Feed your puppy. Again, do it inside the crate
  12:15 AM Take your puppy outside
  04:30 PM Take your puppy outside to do his "business"
  05:00 PM Feed your puppy in a crate
  05.30 PM Another walk
  08:00 PM Don't rush. Let him eliminate before bedtime
  09:00 PM Put him in a crate for the night

Adjust the above schedule to fit your lifestyle but be consistent.


As your puppy grows into an adult dog, it's still a good idea to maintain a schedule…

To speed up the house training a puppy process even more, in addition to a walking schedule, set up a feeding schedule. Regular feeding times increase the odds that your puppy will also eliminate on a regular schedule.

House Training Puppy Tips for Busy Dog Owners

If you are a busy pet parent and are wondering how housebreaking a puppy while working full time is possible, there are some alternate options.

If you lead a busy lifestyle and are away for most of the day, using a dog crate may be out of the question. In such a case, you may be interested in learning how puppy training pads can save your floor from messes while allowing your puppy the opportunity to relieve itself.

Not too enthusiastic about potty training a puppy using paper training method? Learn how dog litter box training may be the ultimate solution for you. There are many types of litter boxes for dogs on the market. A great option is the Wizdog indoor dog potty which makes cleanup easy and prevents annoying wet paw tracks all over the floor. Alternatively, you can try to invest in a nice dog play pen equipped with an indoor potty area to effectively house train a puppy.

Here is a brief video that provides additional potty training tips...

Final Thoughts...

Whether you are house training an older dog or house training a puppy, following some basic guidelines is essential for upping the chances for success.

Regardless if you are a stay at home puppy owner using a crate or a busy puppy owner investing in dog litter box training, the good news is that, sooner rather than later, your puppy will eventually become fully potty trained.

Successful house training a puppy ultimately requires time, patience and consistency, and of course, it does not happen overnight.

Related Articles

You may also wish to explore the following articles:

Want to learn more?

Puppy Training

If you are new to crate or house training, I highly recommend this guide to housetraining. It offers lots of practical advice and comes with e-mail consultation, should you need one.


Find this article interesting? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and as always, your +1's, Shares, Facebook likes and retweets are appreciated.



Search this site or click here to search the Web


House Training a Puppy » Puppy Training Home

Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Professionals Member#: 73641
Puppy Rescue Adoption in your Area
Puppy Rescue Adoption in your Area

Featured Article

Puppy Training

Your Guide to Puppy Potty Training

"Puppy potty training can be frustrating, especially for a new dog owner. At the same time, it's the most important kind of training your puppy will ever need. It will be your job to..."
...continue reading