Housetraining is a simple, step-by-step process. All you need
to do is to ensure that your dog (or puppy) is in one of three
situations at all times during housetraining. He should be
either outside with you, inside with your constant supervision, or
confined to a small, puppy-proofed space such as a crate, small room
or gated area. The bad news is that "simple" doesn't always
mean "easy". It takes some energy and planning to pull this
off. Most dogs prefer to have specific potty areas and like to
avoid soiling their eating sleeping places, so they will respond to
a well organized housetraining plan.
Outside With You
you're outside with your dog, you are witness to is activities, so
you know if he has or hasn't pottied before you bring him back
inside. Equally important you will be there to reinforce him
for going potty outside so that he learns that it's the right thing
treats in your pocket and take him to the place in your yard
designated as his toilet area. He'll seek out that area in the
future on his own if you always take him to the same spot.
Once you are in the right place, stand still and quietly wait until
he begins to go.
starts to eliminate, wait quietly until he's done, then immediately
praise him and hand him a treat.
Inside with Your Constant
"Constant supervision" means you are watching your dog very closely
at all times. Anyone who has ever had responsibility for a
toddler knows the drill. It only takes a moment for your
little one to disappear from view, and it only takes a moment for
your puppy to squat and urinate, so stay attentive.
your responsibility to take you r dog outside when he needs to
go. Your puppy doesn't know yet that anyone cares where he
goes, so don't expect him to tell you that he needs to go outside.
Crated or Gated
you can't watch your puppy, he needs to be in a small puppy-proofed
space. There are two advantages to this. First, dogs
will try their best not to soil their sleeping area, so your puppy
is likely to soil in a little, den-like place than any other area of
your house. Second, his crate or puppy room prevents the bad
habit of going potty anywhere else in the house and housetraining is
all about developing good habits and preventing bad ones.
people have great luck with crates, because many dogs feel
comfortable sleeping in small, enclosed den-like places. We
like to put the crate in the bedroom, where they are calmed by your
presence at night.
dogs accept their sleeping areas from day one, but others like to
whine or bark for a bit. There's a fine line to walk here,
because you don't want to teach your pup that you'll let him out if
he makes noise, but you don't want to ignore him if he is trying to
tell you he needs to potty either. Usually you're safe to
ignore any whines and whimpers when he is first put into his crate -
most pups settle down after a few minutes and go to sleep.
dogs learn to love their crates - they seem to think of them with
the same fondness that many of us have for the tranquility of our
are none! At least not until your dog is farther along in the
process. Preventing mistakes is key to making housetraining
fast and efficient, so it's worth the effort.
Knowing When to Head Outside
It is your job to take
your puppy outside when she might need to go. The faster you
become an expert at reading her signals, the faster she'll be
Take your dog outside
just wakes up
just greeted her and released her from the confinement area.
just ate or drank.
has been chewing on something for a while and gets up to find
something else to do.
is excited, agitated, or much more active than usual.
is wandering away from an area where she was playing in,
sniffing the floor.
is trotting over to an area she has soiled before, especially if
she starts sniffing in that area.
anytime she is sniffing the floor!
is looking a bit confused or distracted.
is looking in the direction of the door she usually goes out,
pacing or wandering into that area.
is pacing or whining.
was playing hard, especially with a human or other toy.
Sometimes puppies can get so busy playing that they don't take
time out to go find a spot. instead, they just squat in
is refusing a treat or favorite toy.
begins to squat (okay, so this is pretty obvious, but we
couldn't leave it out!)
expect a tap on the shoulder. Some dogs give obvious signs
that they need to go out, but many dogs give only subtle signals and
sometimes they give none at all.
your pup out even more than you think is necessary and you will be
well on your way to having a housetrained dog.
Words to the Wise
As a general rule, dogs tend to be more metabolically active first
ting in the morning and again in late afternoon and early evening.
these are the times you will want to be especially vigilant.
Puppies need to go out
right after eating or drinking. By "right after" we mean
within a minute or two of finishing their meal or having a long
Feed your dog on a
regular basis so that they can defecate on a regular basis as well.
The scent of urine is a
neon sign that says "restroom" to dogs. That's why it's so
important to clean up accidents completely and correctly.
Accidents and Clean-Ups.
matter how diligent you are, the occasional mistake is inevitable.
You got distracted, you turned your back for a moment, and all of a
sudden you carpet has been decorated with something smelly. If
you didn't actually catch the dog in the process of making the mess,
resist the urge to correct them. Don't rub her nose in it,
don't hit her, don't yell at her and don't punish her. She
won't understand that you are upset about something that happened in
the past, even if it was just two minutes ago. If you punish
your dog after the fact, she is likely to think she's in trouble for
whatever she was doing at the moment you got upset. That could
have been sitting quietly, chewing on a bone, or coming to your
call. There's no way to make her understand that the mistake
was eliminating in the house.
your dog "in the act" is a different matter. If you do see you
dog begin to squat in the house, make an abrupt noise to
startle her. them immediately rush her outside, cheerfully,
and give her a treat and tons of praise if she dogs potty.
Give the treat just as she finished going so she will know what it
is for. After you've whooped it up with treats and praise,
come back inside and clean up the accident.