Introduction: Puppy Housetraining

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House training tips for a new puppy

It’s an exciting time for everyone when your new puppy arrives. Spending a little bit of time in preparation will lead to a smoother homecoming.

First time owners often find house training a major challenge. Some basic knowledge and a positive attitude will take most of the hassle out of teaching your pup not to 'go' in the house.

Step 1: First Thing

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Take your pup outside immediately you bring it home. An exciting car journey, unfamiliar faces, new sights, and strange surroundings will have it needing to go – now if you make the first toilet break outside, instead of inside, then you will have made an important impression. The more a puppy 'goes' inside, the more likely it is to happen again.

Homecoming is an ideal opportunity for you to set the rules for toilet behavior!

1. Take her outside and put her down on the grass, where you want her to 'go'

2. Your pup will sniff around but don't play with her or pet her. You want this area to be associated with toilet breaks not fun and games.

3. Have a short, recognisable phrase ready – something like “Go Pee” or “Potty Time”. Using the same inflection each time will help your pup learn the meaning of the phrase. When she begins to relieve herself, say your phrase that you want her to associate with toilet breaks.

4. Be lavish with praise and affection, when she’s done. Make a big fuss and give her a little treat.

The house training regime you’ve decided upon should start the minute you take her in the house.

Step 2: What Is Crate Training?

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Generally accepted to be the most effective, quick and efficient method of house breaking a puppy in a short space of time, Crate-training is basically confining your puppy in a small indoor kennel (the crate) when you’re not actively supervising her.

How does it work?

Crate training takes advantage of the inherent dislike dogs have of soiling where they sleep. By restricting your puppy to her sleeping area, she’ll instinctively “hold it in” while she's in the crate (within reason !)

How do I choose a crate?

It’s more economical to use a crate that she can grow into and use as an adult. A crate big enough for the adult dog to stand , turn around, and stretch out is ideal. Any bigger and she may choose one part as her bed, and one part as her toilet!

Puppies being much smaller than an adult dog a barrier may be needed to reduce the internal size of the crate. A wire grille or board will do just fine. It doesn't need to be permanent

Using a sturdy cardboard box will work until your pup gets big enough to fit in her permanent kennel.

Using the crate for house training.

Crate training works like this: any time your pup is alone she is in the crate. If she's not sleeping, eating, outside with you going to the toilet, or playing with other family members, she should be in the crate.

Don't let your pup wander around the house unless you’re focusing 100% on her.

Allowing free access to the house before she’s house trained, while only encourage her to relieve herself inside. Unfortunately every time she does, it weakens her need to go outside to do it.

Step 3: Sample Schedule

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Sample schedule of a morning's crate training

7:00: First toilet break outside with you as soon as she's awake.

7.25: Breakfast.

7.45: Second toilet break (with you, of course.)

7.50 – 8.45: Play-time! Puppy and you (or the kids) playing, cuddling.

8.45: Third toilet break.

8.50 – 11: Back in the crate for a nap

11:00: Fourth toilet break.

11.05 – 12.30: Puppy is out of the crate being played with and petted.

12:30: Lunch.

12.45: Fifth toilet break.

1 – 3.30: Another nap in the crate.

… and so on throughout the day.

Generally one to two months of crate training will do the trick. Of course, this depends on the breed and how much time you have to spend on the training.) As the puppy grows older, you can reduce the amount of crate time – but beware of doing this too soon!

Step 4: Other Rules of Crate Training

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- Many pups aren't very happy to go in the crate the first couple of times. Naturally, playing with you and being the centre attention, or hanging out with you outside is more fun. But in a surprisingly short time, she’ll accept the crate as her own personal space where she can go to be alone and get a couple hours’ uninterrupted sleep. While it’s important not to respond to any whining or crying, you also need to encourage her to have her own private space.

- The centre of the household: the kitchen usually,but anywhere people tend to gather, is the best place for the crate. She can still a part of the household; it’s important for her not to feel isolated or excluded.

The crate should be a comfortable, inviting place for her. A couple of thick blankets on the floor, her favorite toys and a chew or two inside is all she needs. The door should be always be invitingly open(unless she’s in there, of course, when it should be securely shut.) Many adult dogs will take themselves off to have some down time in their crate, especially it there are a lot of kids in the family. Make sure the kids know not to disturb your pup when she retreats to her den.

Step 5: Puppy Toilet Facts

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Some handy toilet facts about puppies

- With small weak bladders and bowels puppies have only a very small window of opportunity between knowing they need to go, and having to go. Because of this, it’s vital you take her outside the minute she wakes up and within ten minutes of eating. Soon enough she’ll learn to alert you she needs to go out by pawing the door and whining.

- Sniffing the ground and circling usually means she needs to go outside. She won’t do this for very long – so as soon as she starts, get her out straight away.

- Using the following formula will give you a maximum time to crate you pup at any one.

Her age in months, plus one. So, for a three-month old puppy a maximum of four hours at a time. This is pretty hard on her emotionally and psychologically, It’s tough being cramped up with nothing to do, so you should really try to let out at least once every two hours during the day. If she’s sleeping, of course, just let her sleep until she wakes up naturally.

For a more information about your pup as well as a great deal of useful information on the most effective training techniques, check out


mm13968 (author)2016-09-17

He is so cute what kind of dog is he and what is his name

supersan (author)2016-02-26

thanks for sharing this. It is very helpful.

seamster (author)2015-08-03

Excellent tips. Thank you very much for sharing this!

Wanarnold (author)seamster2015-08-03

Thanks, Seamster, if only it was that easy with kids!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, my name's Wanda I run, a website all about caring for and training your dog. I'm making a few 'Instructables ... More »
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