House Breaking Your Dog/Puppy


To begin house breaking your dog you will need the following items:

$          Crate (should be only large enough for your dog to stand up and

             turn around in)


$          Leash

$          Puppy Pin

$          Cleaning supplies (Natures Miracle I found to work best)

$          Plastic bag

$          Paper towels

The goal is to teach your dog to go to the bathroom on command.   If you are having a lot of problems training your dog, you may want to consider having a leash on the dog/puppy (dragging it on the floor) whenever he/she is in the house so that you can correct them as quickly as possible.  Also, this helps establishing leadership and makes it easier to teach them to walk on a leash.


A puppy is not physically able to control the muscle that allows them to "hold it" for long period of time until they are about 10-12 weeks old.  Before this time, good housebreaking routines should be practiced to reduce the number of accidents your puppy will have in your home.  Puppies urinate and defecate in the same place that they have gone before.  If you allow your puppy to go to the bathroom all over your house this will make housebreaking more difficult.  Watch for signs that they have to go to the bathroom, such as turning in circles and sniffing for the right spot.  Using a crate to confine your puppy at night and for short period of time along with a puppy pin is ideal.  Puppy pins are folding fencing sold at most pet stores.  Using a puppy pin with a piece of linoleum will make it easy to clean and help ensure that your puppy doesn't urinate all over your house.  It will make it much harder to housebreak your puppy if they smell urine throughout the house.


10-12 Weeks of age:

Dogs are creatures of habit and will learn the only place to relieve themselves is outdoors.  Dogs have a natural instinct and are comfortable in a crate, this is there den.  Remember that dogs thrive on being on schedules and love being praised.  The trick is making it clear to your puppy what it is you want from them.  If your puppy relieves themself on your floor and you do not catch them in the act and you reprimand them, the puppy will not associate that relieving themself on the floor is what you disapprove of.  The key is to catch them in the act and make it clear that your disapprove what they are doing. 

I feed my puppies twice a day, this makes it easier to monitor when they have to go to the bathroom.  Unless it is a hot day, I take water away at 7 p.m. at the latest.


Every morning, after taking your dog out of their crate, immediately put a leash on him/her and take them outside to use the bathroom.  As you get to the front door, say "OUTSIDE".  Repeat this EVERY time you go outside (this is very important).  Puppies have to go to the bathroom after holding it all night.  Take him/her on a leash to the same spot every time to go to the bathroom (keep on leash).  Repeat every 30 seconds, "Go Potty" or any command you choose.  While he/she is going to the bathroom continue to repeat "Go Potty" and really praise them afterwards (praise is very important).  If you choose to take them off leash, place your puppy in a puppy pin until they go to the bathroom. 

Feed your dog as early as possible every morning at the same time.  Your dog will become familiar with being on a schedule.  If your dog hasn't eaten all of its food in 10-15 minutes, take it away.

Do not put your puppy back in the crate after he/she has gone to the bathroom.  They will quickly learn that once they go to the bathroom you are going to put them back in the crate they will hold off on going to the bathroom to utilize the free time out of the crate.  Instead, take them for a brisk walk, play or let them run free in the house or yard.  Before leaving for work, take the dog out one last time to go to the bathroom.  When you go to work, put him/her back in the crate with sufficient water if it is hot and a toy, but no food.  Ideal, you should come home at lunch time and take him/her out to go to the bathroom and a walk would be great. In this case, I would not leave any water with the puppy unless it will be a hot day.

Evening - Return from work:

Put a leash on him/her and take out of the crate and walk towards the door.  Remember to say “OUTSIDE” when you get to the door.    Repeat step 3.   The first day or two your dog may have gone to the bathroom in the crate while you were at work.    

Feed your dog no later than 6 p.m.  Make sure you feed your dog

everyday at the same time.  No food after 6 p.m. and no water after 7

p.m.  It normally takes about an hour or so for your dog to go to the

bathroom after eating.  Never free feed by leaving food out all day or



For successful housebreaking, it is very important that during training your dog is always supervised when loose in the house.  If you go to another area in the house, take him/her with you or place in a crate if you can not supervise them.  Every time you take your dog out of the crate take him/her outside to go to the bathroom.

 If you catch your dog going to the bathroom in the house.  Grab him/her behind the neck the same way the mother dog would and give a firm NO!  And then say OUTSIDE.  The tone of your voice is enough to make your dog unhappy.  Put him/her on leash and walk outside (do not stop).  If your puppy does not walk on a leash, skip the leash and take him/her outside.  Remember when you get to the door say OUTSIDE.  Although he/she has gone to the bathroom in the house, repeat step 3 anyway.  You can usually tell when your dog has to go to the bathroom and have a few seconds to tell your dog  “OUTSIDE”.   Again, letting a leash drag on the floor while your puppy walks around the house will help with teaching him/her to walk on a leash.

Use cleaning supplies to clean the soiled area (recommend Natures

Miracle or any other odor eliminator for pets- sold at pet stores).  It is

important to clean the area because dogs eliminate in areas where

there are familiar smells.  If they smell a soiled area in the house this

will stimulate the urge to go to the bathroom in the same area again.


Additional Information:

·        You crate should be large enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around and lay down, but not any larger.

·        Remember that puppies may have to go to the bathroom2 or 3 times in one outing.

·        Until your puppy is about 5 months old you will need to take him/her out frequently and keep an eye on them.

·        Keep your dog in the crate when you can=t supervise him/her.

·        Take your dog outdoors every 1 hour rather or not he/she has any food or not.

·        Don’t punish your dog by putting him/her in the crate.


·        Remember to praise your dog repeatedly after he/she has gone to the bathroom in the correct area. 

·        Use verbal and petting praise to reward your dog for doing a good thing, this is very important.

·        After your dog has woke up from a nap take him/her out to go to the bathroom.


·        Clean dog crate thoroughly if soiled.

·        Most dogs see the crate as their den and will often go in it as place of shelter. 

·        Only scold your dog if you catch him/her in the act of going to the bathroom.

·        Be consistent and diligent with your training.

·        Place safe chew toys in the crate for the puppy to play with while you are away.

·        Before you go to bed, take the puppy out to go to the bathroom one last time.    


·        Do not scold the puppy for using the bathroom in the crate.   

·        Take the puppy to a different area so that he doesn’t see you cleaning up a mess.


·        A black light can be used to find urine accidents on the carpet.

















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