House Training

Setting a Routine

  1. Realize that puppies have to go to the bathroom a lot more. Younger dogs and puppies have a smaller bladder and don’t have the ability to control it as well yet. The more they drink, the more they are going to have to go. Please, expect the unexpected when it comes to your puppy and potty training. Also, remember to have patience!
  2. Regulate the puppy’s feeding time. What goes in must come out at some time. And with puppies, it happens more frequently. Because of this, having a set schedule will help regulate when you dog has to go poop. It is also okay to let your puppy have free reign over their food since they need all the nutrients they can get for their growing bodies. But remember to still have a set time to take them out to the bathroom.
  3. Regulate a bathroom routine. Every 2 hours is a great starting point to get them into a steady routine to call outside “the bathroom.” Make sure you keep them outside until they go at least a little bit. Don’t forget to praise them when they go. This way they know that what they did was a good thing. This will help them learn to not go in the house. You may have to sometimes physically pick up your puppy and place them outside or even on a puppy pad to get them to go. Puppy pads are another thing owners will use to help train their dogs. If you choose to use these, be sure they are out in the open and not hidden anywhere. The pads are a good idea if:
    1. You live in an urban area, like an apartment building, and it’s hard for you to take them out that frequently.
    2. If you’re very busy and unable to take them out, consider crate-training your puppy with a pad.
      Besides taking them out after their feedings, be sure to take them out after they wake from a nap/first thing in the morning or when they whine.
  4. Teach them how to potty when you’re not at home. Some people are lucky enough to spend all day with their new puppies, but others aren't. if you’re one that isn’t, you’re going to have to improvise. Here are some tips on how to do so.
    1. Set up a designated area like a play pen in the bathroom or in a room with laminate flooring. Make the area large enough to wander and play. Be sure to line the entire area with newspaper or some sort of tissue paper. Puppy pads will do fine as well.
    2. In the beginning of this process, they’re going to be so excited that they go everywhere! So to start, when you come home, remove the soiled area and replace with clean tissue.
    3. Gradually, start removing a few pieces of paper at a time. Do this over a course of a few weeks. The idea of doing this is to slowly limit the area in which they are allowed to go.
    4. If they still go where the paper is not, just place more paper down and try the process again but slower.
Teaching Them Wrong from Right
  1. While they are learning what/where the bathroom is, you’re sure to have accidents in the house. Knowing what to do when you catch them in the act is always helpful.
    1. Mid-pee: Come up to them carefully, so you don’t startle them, and pick them up and place them outside or in their designated peeing area to let them finish.
    2. Mid-poop: Since they can’t stop evacuating midway, it’s not worth trying to stop it. Just let them finish their business and try to preempt the poo next time they seem the need to go.
  2. Don’t yell or physically hurt your dog. Instead, use these other forms of reinforcement.
    1. Try using a spray bottle. Have a bottle full of water with a few drops of either lemon juice or vinegar. The smell of either of those irritates the pup. Simply spray once or twice when they’re caught doing wrong, but do not do it multiple times.
    2. Use a penny can. Simply place a few pennies in an empty soup can and shake it when you’re catching them in the wrong. Like the spray bottle, the sound irritates them.
    3. Use loud noises like clapping or a dog whistle. Dog whistles can also be used to train your dog to respond to commands such as “come” and “sit.”
Just don’t ever yell or smear your dog’s face in their mess. You don’t want them to think that going to the bathroom is wrong.