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Potty training your puppy

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

House breaking/ house training.

Here is the 4 step plan on how to do this.

1. Make sure to positively reinforce alternate behaviors.

The alternate behavior is having the dog eliminate in the correct area. You should select the correct or desired potty area for your dog. You might first need to start out with using potty pads in your house like by the backdoor or maybe some spot in your yard. Every time you take the puppy to the potty spot if it’s outside or a potty pad and it eliminates there you need to reward the dog for doing this. The puppy needs to understand that eliminating in the correct area is an always rewarding behavior.

2. You want to manage the problem and set your dog up to succeed.

One example of applying this to not let the puppy run loose in the house without always supervising it. It is your responsibility to be sure that the puppy eliminates in the correct area. So whenever the dog is in the house, it needs to be on a 4-6 foot leash and always in your presence to avoid any accidents. This is the most important point out of the 4 step plan.

3. Have consequences for inappropriate elimination.

It is counterproductive to spank or rub your puppy’s nose in what it eliminated, but this will typically cause the puppy to be hesitant to eliminate in front of you the owners. So then this makes praising the puppy for going to the correct spot to eliminate impossible because now it is afraid to go when you the owners are around. Also many puppies will often learn to sneak off somewhere secretive to eliminate so that it won’t get into trouble.

If an accident does occur, then you should make an loud noise to startle but not scare the puppy. Then immediately take it to their correct potty spot. This noise is intended to interrupt the puppy before it finishes going potty. When the puppy resumes eliminating in the correct area, you should praise and reward it for the proper behavior. If accidents are occurring in the house, then you need to supervise the puppy more closely or it will take a very long time to successfully house-train the puppy.

4. Be consistent in dealing with inappropriate elimination.

Make sure to not punish your dog for housebreaking accidents. It is counterproductive and will frequently teach the dog some other unwanted behaviors. For example if you rub the dogs nose in its urine, yell, swat or berate the dog it will learn to avoid eliminating near you the owner. This will lead to the dog refusing to go when you take the dog out for a walk and instead will sneak off to go somewhere away for your view.

General house breaking guidelines.

1. A dog must not be punished for house breaking accidents. (Talked about above)

2. It is important to always clean up accidents with a odor- neutralizing product, such as Nature’s Miracle, Urine- Off, Fizzion, or Simple Solution. If you use soap or other cleaning products it will not get rid of the smell. Which may increase the chance the dog will relieve itself in the same area again.

3. If the dog is having problems with housebreaking, you should not allow the dog to see you cleaning up its accidents and routine clean up.

4. Whether you are housebreaking a puppy or adult dog this is not house broken make sure to always take it out immediately after waking up, getting up from resting, drinking water, eating, playing, training, and actively sniffing.

5. Once the puppy is accident free on the housebreaking schedule you must teach your dog to hold its bladders little past the time it may need to go. Crate training will also help with this. Make sure to just watch your puppy/ dog closely. Before you start having your dog hold its bladder the dog needs to be accident free for a minimum of 14 days. Every mistake the dog makes sets you back 3 days.

6. Puppies with housebreaking problems that persist for over a week with no reasonable explanation should be examined by a vet to rule out any medical reasons. Adult dogs that are having accidents of one kind or the other should also be examined.

7. No matter what your day to day schedule is you should try to keep the days similar. You can’t have different schedules on the weekends from the weekdays. It all needs to be the same.

8. Also make sure that you take the dog out the same door every time to go to the bathroom in the same area of the yard. You should always calmly praise your dog immediately after it eliminates in the correct area. Praising the dog as it is eliminating should stop as this might cause your dog to stop eliminating.

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