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House training a puppy or adult dog may seem daunting, but almost any dog can be trained to wait at the door and relieve himself outside, instead of going in the house. When you first start training your dog to go outside, you're teaching him that when he feels the urge, that means it's time to go outside.
Remember to take your dog outside 20 to 30 minutes after every meal and after he drinks water, since he'll likely have to go to the bathroom.
If you can't stay home all day to supervise your dog, you'll need to have someone else come over to take the dog out several times during the day. The drawback here is that eventually you won't want to keep using a chime or bell every time your dog goes to the bathroom. Be aware that your dog may get used to only relieving himself on newspaper, if that's all that you put down. If you have to leave your puppy for eight hours at a time, the puppy is going to have an accident.
If your dog has an accident on hard-flooring, clean it up with paper towels, then a disinfecting wipe. Quick trips outside for the dog to relieve itself are not substitutes for exercise or walks.
This version of How to House Train Your Dog was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on January 28, 2015.
You might be a little frustrated right now because house training is not progressing as fast as you had hoped. Every puppy presents different challenges, but there are common instincts that will facilitate the house training process.
The section below on "HouseTraining Taxi Service" will tell you WHEN to give your pup immediate access to her toilet area. If your puppy is not sleeping in her crate or pen, and is out in the house, you must follow her around to know what she is doing: chewing a bone, running circles, getting a drink of water, etc.
It's very important to put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule; What goes in on a regular schedule will come out on a regular schedule.
The key to house training is preventing "mistakes" and rewarding the puppy for going in your chosen spot. Taxi your pup for about one month (until the pup is about 3 months old as this should give the pup enough time to develop some bladder and bowel control). If you have a large breed puppy and can't pick them up, slip on a leash quickly and "rush" them to the potty area, do not stop until you are there ! As always, never make a big deal about cleaning up after your puppy when an accident occurs.
Just before you go to bed and turn out the lights, go get your puppy, no matter where she may be, asleep or not, and taxi her to the potty area. Confine your puppy to his, 'puppy-proofed' bathroom or an exercise pen and paper (or wee-wee pad) the entire floor. While your puppy is confined to the bathroom or his pen, he is developing a habit of eliminating on paper because no matter where he goes, it will be on paper.
Once your puppy is reliably going only on the papers you've left, then you can slowly and gradually move his papers to a location of your choice. When you are home but can't attend to your puppy, follow the same procedures described above. When your pup does eliminate in his toilet area, praise and reward him profusely and enthusiastically! Don't allow your puppy freedom outside of his room or pen unless you know absolutely for sure that his bladder and bowels are completely empty.
As your puppy becomes more reliable about using his toilet area and his bowel and bladder control develops, he can begin to spend more time outside his room or pen with you in the rest of your home. The most important thing you can do to make house training happen as quickly as possible is to reward and praise your puppy every time he goes in the right place.


Feed your dog at the same time in the morning and at night, then wait 20 to 30 minutes before taking him outside. Each time your dog successfully goes outside, the idea that bathroom = outside is reinforced. If you have no choice but to let your dog use a public spot as his bathroom, you'll need to bring a bag so you can pick up the waste and dispose of it.
When you first bring your dog or puppy home, plan to spend a lot of time watching your pet to make sure he doesn't go to the bathroom indoors. If you leave your dog or puppy free to roam the house at night, he's sure to end up soiling the floor. If your dog makes a mess in the house (and he definitely will), clean it up right away and use a cleaning solution to get rid of the scent. Dogs learn best through positive reinforcement and they quickly learn the best way to get it.
When you're treating your dog for going to the bathroom in his spot, give him a treat and praise right after he finishes relieving himself. Whenever you're taking your dog to the bathroom or talking about it, keep your voice light and pleasant. The repetition of these words along with the action and environment will reinforce where you want your dog to relieve himself. Contrary to some beliefs, this does not teach a dog not to go to the bathroom in the house.
If you live in a high rise, you won't be able to make it outside every time your dog needs to go to the bathroom.
If you'll also take your dog outside to relieve himself, consider filling the tray with soil. Take your dog to the bathroom mat on a strict schedule, just as you would if you were training your dog to go to a spot outside. The scent of the urine will help your dog remember that the mat is the place to go to the bathroom. Your dog is learning what is expected of him and can only be expected to "hold it" for so long.
Either hire a dog walker or confine the puppy to a place where the mess won't damage your carpets and can be easily cleaned up. This usually prevents the dog from going in "its regular spot" because they can't find it (no smell!). Yelling, hitting, or rubbing your dog's nose in the mess won't teach the dog anything useful. This article will detail a training program with techniques that will house train your puppy as soon as possible and foster a trusting and loving relationship between you and your pup. Your pup needs to develop his natural "den instinct" and learn where to eliminate - and where not to. By paying close attention to your puppy when they are out and about in the house, you may get a heads-up. Then, reward your dog with treats and praise when he relieves himself in the designated outdoor spot. Having a feeding schedule will make it easier to predict when your dog will have to go to the bathroom, making house training easier.
If your dog shows signs that he needs to go to the bathroom, take him outside right away, even if it's before the designated time to go out.[2] Include a verbal cue, such as saying, "outside" before you take him out. This supervisory period is imperative because it enables you to teach the dog to quickly associate the urge to pee or poop with going outside. Never punish your dog by banishing him to the crate, or he'll come to associate it with fear instead of comfort.
Dogs need plenty of exercise and playtime too, so you should never leave them crated for more than a few hours at a time or overnight.


When your dog goes to the bathroom in his spot, you ring a bell or pleasant-sounding chime to as part of his reward.
Never raise your voice or take on a menacing tone, because your dog will start to associate his bodily functions with punishment and fear. Pick a spot in your apartment that isn't right in the middle of your living space, but is also easy for your dog to access at any time. Remove feces right away, but leave a sheet of newspaper or a small bit of padding with urine on the clean mat so your dog will naturally know where to go.
He'll eventually come to associate going to the bathroom on the mat with positive feelings, and he'll start going there without your help before too long. If you haven't caught your dog in the act, he won't have any idea what you're so upset about. Even if your dog does connect your angry behavior to the mess on the floor, it may backfire.
Puppies have not yet developed bowel and bladder control, so they can't 'hold it' as long as adult dogs. Successful house training depends upon your diligent supervision so you can be there to show your pup where to eliminate.
If you cannot watch her continuously, you must put her back into her pen or crate to prevent potty training "mistakes". To potty train our puppy we must condition a desire in the pup to avoid soiling the "den" - your house.
Well, he may not make it all the way to the toilet area, potty or poop in the "wrong" place and you have missed a housetraining opportunity! At the same time you will train a stong preference in your pup to eliminate in your chosen spot. Your puppy is too young to understand and it can set the house training process back drastically. Therefore it's important that you spend as much time as possible with your puppy and give him regular and frequent access to his toilet area. When he makes a mess in the house, just clean it up and stick to the routine, since punishing a dog will simply make him afraid of you.
Dogs don't like to soil their dens, so your dog will try to wait until he can go outside to relieve himself. The dog will come to look forward to the sound of the chime, which should only be used in this specific situation. If your dog makes a mess inside, you can withhold praise, but don't yell at the dog or make him feel ashamed. Your dog might conclude that you don't want to see him eliminate at all and go to greater lengths to hide it from you, making house training even more difficult. Confinement and your due diligence in providing access outside the "den" to potty and poop will develop this instinct and eventual desire.
So, if they potty in the wrong place, you didn't take them to their potty area soon enough - plain and simple.
Eventually your pup will have enough control that he will be able to "hold it" for longer and longer periods of time.
Patience and a good sense of humor are all you really need to help your dog adapt to life as a pet.
You can help your dog feel comfortable and less anxious by picking a good spot for him to use as his "bathroom" each time he goes out. Don't be discouraged if your puppy seems to be making remarkable progress and then suddenly you have to return to papering the entire area.



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