Puppy Housetraining Made Easy

Simple ways to housetrain your puppy.


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Q. What's the easiest/best way to housetrain a puppy? Should I use paper then graduate to going outside? About how long should it take until my dog is fully housetrained?

A. The easiest way to housetrain a puppy is to work on prevention, not correction. The common elements to successfully keeping your house clean are routine, consistency, patience, and perseverance. First, take your puppy to the veterinarian to ensure he's healthy and parasite free.

If you have an area that other dogs have not been exposed to nor will be, such as a backyard, you can start housetraining procedures immediately. If you live in the city, papertraining may be needed until your puppy is fully inoculated. Speak with your veterinarian about inoculations and a consistent diet.

Puppies do not develop muscle control until they are at least 4 months old. Expect that your puppy will need to relieve himself after sleeping, eating, exercising, and drinking. Signs that a puppy needs to relieve himself include wandering away from you, restlessness, sniffing the floor, whining, panting and circling. If your puppy makes a mistake, look at what you are not doing that allowed it to happen. Clean all mistakes with an odor neutralizer. Skip corrections; they'll only confuse the puppy.

Crate and Gate Training
Crate and gate training are invaluable tools that help speed the process of housetraining as well as keeping your puppy safe when he cannot be supervised. Feed your puppy in the crate to ensure he will keep the crate clean when taken out consistently.  

Keep a Routine
What goes in must come out. Remember to feed your puppy at the same time every day with a measured amount of food. Leave food down for 15 minutes. Puppies need fresh water available all day or given throughout the day. Some toy breeds have special needs and some will need food throughout the day. Speak with your veterinarian about your toy puppy needs.

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Brenna   Bronson, International

3/21/2015 5:17:16 PM

My dog likes to run away when the door is opened. How should I train her to stay inside and only go outside when I call her?

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GSDmom87   Hollywood, SC

1/27/2015 6:56:38 AM

I am taking in ALL of these housetraining articles! My 2½ month old GSD has a thing about pooping in his crate, and then managing to cover himself in it. On the upside, he's very soft from his baths... This opened my eyes to how long it really takes to potty train a puppy, and that I'm not even close in age to expect him to be able to "do better" with it - I've only ever had already-grown dogs & was worried I was doing something wrong. Thank you for the article!

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Jenni - 289029   

10/13/2013 7:38:37 AM

My family has never had issues with potty training. Plain and simple, when you have a new puppy, take him/her out at least every 2 hours. Even if they don't look like they need to go. Even in the middle of the night. If you give them enough potty breaks at a young age they learn quickly where they are supposed to do their business. Of course, accidents do happen, but given plenty of opportunity and lots of praise when they go in the right spot, accidents will be kept to a minimum and the training will be quick. If puppy won't poop, but then does as soon as he's back in the house, try a little more play time outside before coming in. Play seems to help encourage bowel movements and gives them more time to realize that they need to pee.

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janet   bethlehem, PA

3/11/2011 4:26:08 AM

good article, thanks

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