How To Potty Train a Puppy - How to House Train Your Dog
How to House Train Your Dog Quickly
Depending on your dog, your family and your lifestyle, house training a dog can be anywhere from easy to almost impossible. It can work to house train your dog quickly so that you can move past this difficult stage of owning a dog. It takes planning, dedication and patience, but your dog can get house trained in a short amount of time.
Preparing to House Train Your Dog
Get rid of residual odors in your home.Before you start your house training plan, you need to ensure that your home is free from urine stains and residual odors. Once you’ve gotten rid of any odors and stains, your dog will not be attracted to certain areas of the house to use as a potty.
- Purchase a black light and a pet odor remover from your local pet store. When it is dark, turn off all the lights and thoroughly inspect your home, floors and carpets, and furniture. The black light will reveal any old stains so you can effectively clean and remove them. There are many effective pet stain/odor cleaning products available on the market.
Assemble your supplies.Having your supplies on hand will make it easier for you to focus on house training your dog without needing to run to the store. Gather the following supplies:
- Wire crate: Get a good quality wire crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up, lie down and turn around in. Position the crate in a quiet (but not isolated) part of your home.
- Collar and leash
- Chew toys and squeaky toys
Arrange for help if you aren’t home during the day.In order to get your dog house trained in 10 days, you need to follow a strict schedule of potty breaks, meals, play time, and crate confinement. If you can’t come home for certain parts of the day, then arrange a dog walker or pet sitter to visit your house to take care of the midday break.
Following a Consistent Routine
Follow a 24-hour schedule.In order to house train your dog in 10 days, you need to strictly follow a schedule. This will establish a routine for both you and your dog. Your dog needs to go out first thing in the morning, after meals and play times, and before bedtime. Every moment should be accounted for. This is a sample schedule for someone who is home all day:
- 7:00 a.m.: Wake up and take dog outside.
- 7:10-7:30 a.m.: Free time in kitchen
- 7:30 a.m.: Food and water
- 8:00 a.m.: Go out
- 8:15 a.m.: Free time in kitchen
- 8:45 a.m.: Crate confinement
- 12:00 p.m.: Food and water
- 12:30 p.m.: Go out
- 12:45 p.m.: Free time in kitchen
- 1:15 p.m.: Crate confinement
- 5:00 p.m.: Food and water
- 5:30 p.m.: Go out
- 6:15 p.m.: Crate confinement
- 8:00 p.m.: Water
- 8:15 p.m.: Go out
- 8:30 p.m.: Free time in kitchen
- 9:00 p.m.: Crate confinement
- 11:00 p.m.: Go out and crate confinement overnight
Choose a designated spot for toileting.Select a place in your backyard that is suitable for your dog’s toileting. The base of a tree or a green patch of grass is ideal. Use this spot every time you take your dog to the potty.
- At a scheduled potty time, or when you recognize your dog’s cues for needing to relieve himself, take him outside to this spot.
- Use consistent language to refer to this place. For example, when your dog reaches this spot, say, “Go potty,” or use a similar verbal cue. Then your dog will associate this spot with toileting.
- Be sure to follow your city’s ordinances with regards to pet waste removal. If you are in a city and don’t have a good green space for your dog to toilet, make sure you have plastic bags to pick up the waste.
- If you live in a small space, such as a high rise apartment, you might need to use a dog litter tray in your apartment. This will give your dog a place to go inside.
Make the dog’s crate a safe place.Your dog will stay in his crate for a few hours during the day, as well as overnight. Dogs like to have a small “den” to sleep in. A crate is a good place for the dog to feel safe.Make the crate comfortable, with a blanket, chew toys and squeaky toys.
- Don’t use the crate as a punishment. Otherwise, your dog will associate this place with fear or anxiety rather than safety and comfort.
Learn your dog’s signs.Pay close attention to your dog so that you learn when he has to go. This might include the dog walking around stiffly or in circles, sniffing the floor like he’s searching for somewhere to pee, or letting his tail rest in a strange position.
- If your dog looks like he needs to relieve himself, take him out to his designated spot right away. Do this even if you’re not at your scheduled potty break.
Keep track of your dog’s habits.Write down your dog’s eating schedule and bathroom habits. Note when your dog urinates and defecates. Note the exact time your dog eats and any other treats it is given during the day. Your journal will help you determine how long after eating and drinking your dog typically needs to relieve himself. You can use this information to adjust your schedule if necessary.
Keep a close eye on your dog at all times.You need to keep a vigilant eye on your dog whenever he is out of his crate. Even if he’s in the kitchen during his free time, you still need to watch him. This will ensure that you catch him before he has an accident. It’s imperative during this time that your dog associates toileting with going outside.
- You might consider tethering your dog to your waist with a leash when he is out of his crate. This way, you will be sure to keep him very close to you. You can track his movements more closely.
Clean up messes immediately.If your dog has an accident in the house, clean it up as soon as possible. You don’t want your dog associating relieving himself with being inside the house.
- Don’t use an ammonia-based cleaner. Urine has ammonia in it, so your dog might associate the cleaner’s smell with urinating. Instead, use an enzymatic cleaner on soiled areas.
- Don’t punish your dog for having an accident indoors.
Giving Praise to Your Dog
Give lots of praise.When your dog has relieved himself outdoors, give him lots of attention and pats. Say, “Good dog!” and other praise. Have a little celebration with your dog. This lets your dog know that its behavior is remarkable and deserves praise.
Make sure to time your praise appropriately.When your dog has finished relieving himself, give him praise right away. You want to be sure that he associates the praise with the action that he just did. Otherwise, he might get confused about what he’s being praised for.
Keep your voice friendly.Don’t use a harsh tone with your dog while you’re house training him. You don’t want him to feel scared or anxious about going outside or relieving himself.
- Don’t yell at your dog if he has an accident indoors.
Don’t punish your dog for accidents.Your dog is learning how to follow your instructions. Be patient with him. Don’t rub his face in his waste.Don’t yell or shout at your dog. Don’t hit your dog. If you’re not patient and friendly, your dog may associate fear and punishment with toileting.
- If you catch your dog in the middle of an accident, make a loud noise or clap to startle him. Then he will stop urinating or defecating, and you can take him outside to finish up.
QuestionCan I start training my 8-week-old puppy to toilet outside?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerAbsolutely! 8 weeks is the ideal to start training, although he's a little young to get the hang of things so be prepared for 'accidents.' Just be sure to be encouraging when he does toilet outside, so he realizes this is a good thing (rather than telling him off for going indoors).Thanks!
Question7-week-old puppy isn't eliminating on the paper that I want him to use as a toilet. What can I do?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerA 7-week-old puppy is very young, and likely to be going to the toilet as and when the urge takes him. Most puppies only start to understand toilet training from 8 weeks. In the meantime, spread paper over the entirety of the balcony, and praise him when he uses the paper. As he gets older and is regularly visiting the balcony, gradually decrease the area covered with paper. Be sure to praise him when he chooses paper over the floor.Thanks!
QuestionOur 5-month-old pup was trained on puppy pads from a breeder, but not consistently. How can I switch from puppy pads to training outside?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMove the pads outside and gradually take them away as he gets used to peeing out there.Thanks!
QuestionI live in an apartment with my Shih Tzu puppy, but I can't walk him, as poop is not allowed there. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLet him poop outside and pick up after him with a disposable bag; take him on longer walks away from the apartment property if this is an issue. You can also use disposable potty pads for inside the apartment.Thanks!
QuestionI have two 8-week old puppies of the same breed. Should I train them individually or together?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should probably start off training them individually, because they can be sensitive about potting and marking their territory in front of each other. Eventually you can continue training them together.Thanks!
QuestionMy greyhound pups are 8 months old and are still not house trained - we can go two to three days without accidents and then they will pee on carpets despite being taken outside! What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhen they use the bathroom outside, praise them. When they go inside, clean it up really well and take them outside.Thanks!
QuestionCan a puppy be too young to train? And also, what if you live somewhere very cold while you are trying to train it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI don't believe so, but you should start training a puppy when it's 12-16 weeks old. If you live somewhere very cold, I recommend buying a puppy coat to keep him or her warm. If your dog has a thick coat, I don't think it's a problem.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I stop my dog from barking in the house?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost professional trainers have found Dutch is the best language to use to train dogs. Say, "Flikker!" in a strong, firm voice when your dog barks, followed by a yank on the collar.Thanks!
- Ideally, you’d give your dog about 2 weeks to be fully housebroken.
- Keep in mind that your dog may not be totally housebroken when you take him to someone else’s house. He knows the routine in your house, but he may not know where to go elsewhere. Be patient with your dog as he learns about another place.
- If house training is not working for your dog, you may need to identify issues that are preventing him from being housebroken. For instance, certain medical conditions make house training difficult.Check with your vet if you have concerns about your dog.
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