Busy Dog Owner's Guide to
Housebreaking a Puppy

Housebreaking a puppy requires time, dedication and know-how. But if you are like majority of dog owners, time is something you probably don't have a lot of...

If a busy lifestyle is affecting the process of successfully housebreaking your puppy, rest assured, you are not alone.

There are countless busy dog owners across the globe dealing with your same situation.

Fortunately, there are many solutions to the problem and many puppy owners have succeeded despite working full time jobs.

The issue of housebreaking a puppy while working around the clock can be overcome if you abide by some simple rules and avoid some common mistakes.

Important Housetraining Plans for Busy Puppy Owners

While potty training a puppy when working a full time job can pose many challenges, the good news is that there are many solutions for this common problem.

If you are in the process of acquiring your new puppy, it would not be a bad idea to take a few days off from work for the very first days. Your puppy will need some time to get accustomed to his new surroundings and may feel lonely the first night because he misses his litter mates and mom. Your days off from work may also offer the perfect opportunity to begin housebreaking a puppy.

Try your best to stick to a routine. Schedule feeding and potty times at specific times and try to follow the schedule carefully. How often your puppy needs to be taken out varies depending on your puppy's age. At a minimum, most puppies need to be taken out right after eating and drinking, after waking up from a nap, after a play session and any time the puppy gives signs of needing to go.

Once your puppy settles down and learns to call your place home, you can start making arrangements for when you must return to work. This will entail hiring a dog walker, a pet sitter or asking assistance from family or friends. The objective of this is to offer the puppy ample of opportunities to continue following the routine until he attains better bladder and bowel control.

Walking your puppy at the same time you would prior to going to work and after work while you are still on vacation will help your puppy get acquainted with your work schedule.

Housebreaking a Puppy

Creating Short Term and Long Term Potty Areas

It may be a good idea to set up two different areas for your puppy for when you are home and for when you are away. The short term confinement area would be a place where you can easily observe your puppy when you are home so to take him outside promptly as needed. You may keep your puppy with you in a small room or inside a crate placed next to you.

When you are away, a crate will not work because your puppy will need to go potty and will be forced to hold it because puppies have an innate instinct to not want to soil the areas where they sleep. Because your puppy can hold it only for so much, he will eventually soil in his crate causing him to sleep in his mess.

To avoid this, your best bet is to create one area divided into two distinct sections: a section where your puppy can soil and a section where he can comfortably sleep, play, eat and drink. An indoor dog play pen or a small area barricaded by baby gates is a good solution. Since carpets and hardwood floors can be challenging to clean, make sure to confine the puppy in an area with vinyl floors for easy clean up.

Busy Puppy Owner Tips for Housebreaking a Puppy

While successful puppy housebreaking for busy puppy owners will generally be more challenging and will take longer, the good news is that most puppies will eventually learn. However, there are a few tips and guidelines that may help expedite the process and help set your puppy for success.

  1. It is crucial when housebreaking a puppy to clean up accidents with a good dog urine remover.
  2. The days you work, make sure you take your dog outside to potty right before leaving, upon coming home and before going to bed. Always praise and reward when your dog eliminates outside.
  3. Work on puppy paper training so your puppy learns where to eliminate while you are at work. Or teach your puppy to eliminate in a litter box. It's a much better and cleaner alternative to paper training. Visit litter box training for dogs for additional information.
  4. Separate the feeding, playing and eating areas from the areas meant to be soiled. Use dog training pads, an indoor potty area such as Wizdog or a litter box designed specifically for dogs to give the puppy a distinct area where to potty.
  5. Make sure the area your puppy is confined to is "puppy proofed". Always remove your puppy's collar when leaving him home alone or unsupervised for any period of time.
  6. Provide your puppy with a safe chew toy such as a stuffed Kong prior to leaving. Your puppy will associate your departure with something good and he will learn to settle.
  7. While weekends are a great time to enjoy your puppy, make sure you also dedicate some time for quiet moments so when Monday comes, your puppy will not feel the change too much.
  8. Make sure you cut some time each day for allowing your puppy to meet the sights and sounds of the real world. A puppy left at home all day will lack proper socialization. Take advantage of these outings to train your puppy to potty outdoors on walks.
  9. The biggest challenge with housebreaking a puppy kept indoors for most of the day is that the puppy learns that it is acceptable to potty indoors. To help the puppy, it may be a good idea to invest in an indoor potty area made of artificial grass. This way, the puppy learns to associate the look and feel of grass with going potty.
  10. Tired of cleaning in messes upon coming home from a long day at work? Consider doggy day care as an alternative for house breaking puppies at home. Your puppy will be supervised and will get to spend time with other puppies while you can come home to a spotless house.
  11. If the process of housebreaking a puppy seems too much for your busy lifestyle, consider adopting an older dog. An older dog will have more bladder and bowel control, making the housebreaking process much easier.

Here is a brief video with additional housebreaking tips...

Final Thoughts...

As seen, the process of housebreaking a puppy is still feasible for busy dog owners. If you arm yourself with patience and allow your puppy to follow a routine, you will eventually start seeing results as your puppy attains better bowel and bladder control.

By consistently rewarding your puppy for eliminating outside and preventing him from soiling in unacceptable places, your puppy will be set up for success. As much as a busy lifestyle may put a dent in the process, consider that housebreaking a puppy is something that eventually occurs sooner than later.

Related Articles

You may also wish to explore the following articles:

Want to learn more?

Puppy Training

You may also want to explore this Ultimate Housetraining Guide. It's full of practical advice and covers all aspects of housebreaking a puppy. But what I like about it the most is that it offers several training methods and lets you choose the one that works best for you and your puppy.


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


Housebreaking a Puppy » House Training a Puppy

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

Crate Training Dogs to Fix Behavior Problems

"Crate training dogs that are destructive or prone to chewing and eating everything in sight can ultimately..."
...continue reading