10 Tips On How To House Break Your Puppy

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House breaking your puppy really is a simple recipe.

Keep them on a schedule, confine them when they cannot be watched and give them lots of praise and rewards for doing the right things.

Be sure to bring your new puppy home when you can devote your undivided attention to your pups new house breaking routine.

If you take the time it takes right from the beginning, it will save you a lot of aggravation in the long run.

Remember, your pup is a stranger in your house and it looks like a big football field to them.  They won’t be able to easily find the door to go potty, so everything has to be well planned out.

Be sure you have a crate to keep the pup in when he cannot be watched. house breaking a puppy

During meal times, talking on the phone, using the restroom, performing household duties etc., all are a perfect time for puppies to get into trouble and do their business in a corner.

Don’t let those sad eyes talk you into leaving him loose and unattended when he cannot be watched.

Here are some quick tips that will help things go smoother.

1.  Keep a feeding schedule.

Small dogs need to eat often to keep their blood sugar even, so 4 meals a day will keep them healthy and going potty at predictable times.  

If they are a tiny energetic pup that is 2 lbs or under, I suggest leaving the food available all the time, even in their crate.  It is critical they have enough calories during the day.

As they get older you can decrease the amount of times you feed them per day.  Even as adults I still feed my dogs twice a day if they are not being free fed.

If they are left for longer than 2-3 hrs at a time, be sure to leave food and water in their crate with them to avoid a hypoglycemia attack.

2.  Put their crate in a draft free location in close proximity to the door they will be using to go potty.

This way when you let them out it isn’t far to go.  A puppy cannot hold it for long and may have an accident on the way to the doorhouse breaking a puppyCarry them out if they have been left for a longer period of time, but be sure to allow them to walk back in.

You want them to know where the door is.  Sounds easy, but this is where many people make the biggest mistake.  They are always carrying them in and out.  How do you expect them to go to the door if they don’t know where it is.
When toy breeds are under 12 weeks they need to potty every 10 minutes.  Yes, let them follow you to the door approximately every 10 minutes or so. The older they get the longer they are able to hold it.

If you cannot keep an eye on them and take them out that often, then confine them to a small area or put them in a crate.  This is the reason you need undivided time to spend with your new pup.  The good news is, you only have to do this about every 15 years if you have a small breed do, because that is likely how long they will live.

3.  Watch this video to see how we potty train our pup.

I have found that with an exercise pen that allows them lots of room to potty at one end and live and play in the other, they are less stressed and so are you. Their bladders are so small that they need to pee often.  They will quickly learn to hold their poop but pee is another thing.  As they get older they just wait and learn to go outside.

Just because they have lots of room doe not mean you are training them to potty inside.  I have trained a ton of pups, and this has not been an issue.  When they mature, so does their body and their desire to soil their environment.

4.  Take the dog to a predetermined location to use as a restroom, then say something like “be a good doggie” or “go potty”.

It won’t be long before they will be going on command.  This comes in handy when you go to a park and there is a designated location for dogs to do their business.  It saves embarrassment and expedites the process as well.

potty training a puppy5.  After the pup has been a good doggie I always praise them up, walk to the fridge and give them a tiny piece of cheese as a treat.

6.  Keep closet doors closed and rooms that are out of the way should have their doors closed as well.

potty training a puppyRemember, your house becomes their extended living quarters and they will not want to soil areas they spend a lot of time in.  They will silently sneak off under the table or in another room to do their business as the picture on the right demonstrates.

You can minimize mistakes with an ounce of prevention or you can pick up the unsuspecting deposits later.

7.  DO NOT, I REPEAT “DO NOT”, reprimand your puppy when you find an old deposit he left behind.

ONLY when you catch the pup in action doing the wrong thing is it appropriate to potty training a puppyshow your disapproval.  Often your tone of voice is adequate enough to get the point across, then quickly take them to the area you want them to potty.

The picture on the left is when I found the deposit after the deed had already been done.  While cleaning up, I calmly voiced my opinion about the accident.  As you can see he wasn’t too upset.  It was more for my benefit than his.

8.  Be sure to allow them enough time to do their business.

If you come back into the   house too early, it won’t be long before they need to relieve themselves.  This is another big mistake people make.  Puppies are easily distracted and forget the reason they went outside in the first place.  You might be in a hurry, but they aren’t.

The hurrier you go, the behinder you get, in this case.

9.  Night time noises.ear plugs

Quick fix.  Ear plugs!!!  If the pup is put to bed around 11:00 p.m. it might get up around  3 a.m. or so and need to go potty.

Carry him out, get the business done (do not play with them) and return them to the crate right away.

Put your ear plugs back in because they won’t be happy but they should sleep until 6 or 7 a.m. if you are lucky.

10.  If you want your pup to be quiet at night in the crate, be sure to put them in the crate during the day while you are eating or doing things.

They need to be comfortable in their new home other than at night. Sounds simple, but often over looked.  At night the crate can be placed in your bedroom if they are unsettled.  The trick is this. Do you want to be unsettled too?  If the answer is no, shut your door, put them in another room and insert the ear plugs.

In summary,  keep your pup on a feeding schedule if you are at home (free feeding if not at home during the day),  confine them when they cannot be watched and reward them for doing the right things.

House breaking your puppy really is not that hard, it just takes time and a whole lot of patience.