How to Potty Train Your Puppy: Houstraining Tips, Tricks & More

Most puppies are too young to be held responsible for their bladder and bowel habits. A pup will go to the bathroom in the right place sometimes. That may be because she learns fast and is smart, or it may be an accident that was just lucky.

It’s your job to create opportunities for your pup to be successful and to go in the correct place, outside. Should I train my dog to use newspaper in the house?

Some people choose to ‘newspaper train’ their puppy in the house. If you prefer to do that, be aware that it might be difficult for your dog to make the change someday and go outside. It’s usually best to start out with the place you always want your dog to go.

The fewer changes, the better for everyone. Below is one good method for housebreaking, and there’s plenty of other tricks you can teach your dog.

Important Facts

Always take your puppy out FIRST thing in the morning, before you do anything and LAST thing before bedtime at night.

Electric alarm clock Use a timer or a clock, set it at 30 minutes, and take your puppy out each time the bell rings. If she doesn’t relieve herself, just praise her for going outside. As she gets older, you can increase the time. You only need to stay outside with her for a few minutes. Then take her out again every 30 minutes. Learn to read her body language.

When a puppy starts circling or sniffing around, pick her up and take her outside FAST.

NEVER leave your pup unattended in the house or even a room at a young age. A dog should not be left alone in a house until they are at least one year old, sometimes two. Make sure they have been well-behaved and trustworthy with their bathroom habits first.

When you can’t watch her, put your puppy in a pen, a crate, or in the yard with some toys. But don’t forget about her and don’t leave her out there too long!
Your puppy will rest in his pen.

Give your puppy her last meal about 1-2 hours before bedtime, and make sure she goes outside to relieve herself just before she goes to bed. DO NOT let her roam free during the night. She should be confined.

Never yell at your dog or push her nose in her messes. She is very young. Human babies don’t learn to use the toilet until they are two or three years old, right? Just pick her up and take her outside.

Don’t ask too much of your puppy. Give her opportunities to be successful. Arms lifting puppy up in the air.

Be sure to clean up the areas in the house where your dog has already messed. Use something that will take away any odor that is there.

Dogs will mess again if they can smell the areas.

It’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian before beginning any housebreaking schedule.

Does My Dog Need to Go Out?

There are several signs that tell you it’s time let your dog out:

  • Your dog is sniffing the floor
  • She is turning in circles while sniffing
  • She is scratching at the door
  • She is standing by the door
  • She is barking at the door

Watch your dog and get to know her. The more you know, the more you’ll be ready for anything she might need, including when to relieve herself.

What about the snow? Many people wonder where dogs, especially little ones, can go to the bathroom when there is deep snow. One thing you can do is to shovel the snow in an area that is big enough for your dog to do his business.

If it’s impossible for you to do this, put some newspaper down in your house by the door and hopefully your dog will use that until he can get back outside. Once the snow melts your dog should resume his usual bathroom spot.

Crate Training

Crate your puppy to train him. Many people housebreak their dogs using a method called ‘crate training’. They put their dog in a special dog crate (cage) during the night and when they are away from home for short periods of time.

Dogs will usually not mess in small areas because it feels like a cave or home to them. Then, when the people come home or wake up, they let their dog out into the yard.

Crate training is a good way to help your dog become housebroken. Dogs like crates because it gives them a chance to be alone for a little while. Even dogs like privacy!

If you are interested in crate training, don’t try it by yourself. Get an adult to do this and you can help. Visit the links below to learn more about crate training. When you are finished, just close the window and you will still be on this page.

“Better go now” is a phrase that you can use to get your dog or puppy to go to the bathroom when and where you want him to. It’s easy to teach him, but some dogs take longer than others to understand.

Some people like to teach their dog to ring a bell when they need to go outside. It’s more pleasant than barking or scratching on the door.