How to Housebreak a Puppy

How to Housebreak a Puppy

Many people struggle with housebreaking a puppy, not wanting to use any harsh methods. We have some simple suggestions that you can try. Have a look...
DogAppy Staff
Puppies are adorable little bundles of joy and mischief. They can melt hearts with their cuteness. However, this cuteness may seize to amuse you when you spend the entire day cleaning up after them, especially if it is your priced rug that falls victim. The good news is that there is a simple process, involving making the dog realize that the best place to poop or pee is outside the house.

Before you start potty training your puppy, keep in mind the fact that puppies cannot be held responsible for their bladder and bowel movements. They don't know the difference between indoors and outdoors, or the right or wrong place to relieve themselves. It is for you to make your pet understands what the correct place is―it is not something he is going to figure out on his own. Now, we don't recommend you going to the extreme of trying to teach your pooch to go on a stamp size bit of paper, but just that outside is the right place and inside the wrong. Also, it is a process that will require both time and patience, so if you are looking for ways to housebreak your puppy quickly, then I suggest you get a cat instead.
  1. Don't start training your puppy too early, for your efforts will be futile. The best time to start is when the pup is between 8 to 10 weeks old.
  2. Dogs are pack animals, they always want to identify or be the pack leader. The sooner he identifies you as the leader the better, because only then will he follow your instructions.
  3. Take your dog outdoors to a selected spot after every 30 minutes in the beginning. The gaps can be gradually increased as the dog grows older. You may even use a timer in the initial stages. It's your responsibility to provide opportunities to your pup to go at the correct place. Be sure to take it out first thing in the morning and just before bed time at night. Try to take him out by the same door, because as he begins to understand, he will scratch the door to indicate to you when he needs to go.
  4. Look for signs that a puppy generally provides before he wants to relieve himself. He will either start circling around or sniffing or scratching the door or floor. This is your cue to pick him up and take him out. Do not leave him all by himself for too long a period in the initial stages. In fact, avoid leaving your dog all alone till he's more than a year old and has been properly potty trained.
  5. Always take him out 20 to 30 minutes after his meal, and also immediately after he has spent some time playing. Always ensure that your puppy has his last meal at least an hour or two before bed time, and during his last trip out―do not bring him back into the house till he goes.
  6. Accidents will happen. Even after your pup has been trained, in case he has a mishap and poops/pees inside, go easy on him. If you do stuff like shoving his nose into it, you'll just confuse him and undo all the work you've put in so far. Be sure to clean up the area, because if not done properly, the pup may choose the same spot again because of the smell. If the pup has urinated, dab the place with a bit of vinegar after cleaning. The smell of vinegar is similar to that of the urine of another dog. This helps as your dog will avoid a spot that has been used by another dog.
  7. Training with the use of a crate is another useful method. A puppy will avoid messing up its sleeping place. The crate should be big enough for the pup to be comfortable, but not so large that it can use one corner as a john. Place the pup's mat inside the crate and keep him inside for a maximum of two hours. Then take him out of the crate, straight to the designated spot outside. Never use the crate as punishment.
  8. If you do catch your pup in the act of relieving himself at the wrong place, scold him with a stern 'NO', or take him to the designated spot immediately.
Housebreaking is all about setting a routine for your pup. Potty training takes patience and consistency, and can take anything from 6 to 8 weeks. You also provide your puppy with a large (3'x3') sand-filled litter box. To encourage the process, you can also reward your pet with a dog treat every time he gets it right.