Puppies of a few weeks of age have little power of retention, physically or
mentally. The younger the pup, the less time between impulse and action. He
needs to eliminate: He does. Scold him and he’s probably forgotten all about
it be the next time he has to relieve himself. Punishing a young puppy has no
more effect than it would on a baby in diapers
But, puppies are innately clean. Watch a litter sleeping in its pen. As soon
as each puppy wake up, he uses the area farthest from their bed to eliminate.
Puppies won’t dirty their sleeping area unless forced to do so. This instinct
is your greatest house training aid We begin by confining the puppy as he has been
in the kennel or the breeder’s home. He knows only this living arrangement.
He accepts his new surroundings if he isn’t first allowed the run of the house.
What happens when the puppy isn’t safely confined? There are puddles and
messes on the floor. You reprimand the puppy that may, or may not, remember the
scolding before he makes another “mistake”.
Keeping the puppy confined is the basic rule of housetraining. Control is
promoted by the pup’s instinctive aversion to soiling his living quarters. You
must help by anticipating the time he needs to eliminate and taking him
to an appropriate place.He learns correct behavior by not having opportunities to
Now is the time to begin to teach our dog a command word and signal to ask to
go out. Hang a bell at your door at a height easy for your dog to nose at. Every
time you take him outside to do his thing give your command (ex: do it, hurry
up, let’s go potty, get busy, etc.) Go outside with him and wait for him.
After he has gone, praise him by voice only. Petting him or praising him at the
time of his actions can easily distract him and hamper your results.
There will be accidents--no puppy ever grew up without them--but they will be
few and far seldom compared to those of the puppy who has learned to “go”
anywhere by being free in the house. That freedom comes later, after he is
Commercial wire or plastic crates or pens are available in various sizes,
styles and types of construction. Dimensions of the pen depend on the puppy’s
size and estimated growth. Housetraining may be accomplished in a few short
weeks, or less, but the pen still may be needed as a precaution during the night
of when you are away for several hours.
Also, check your puppies diet. Housebreaking can take 2-3 times longer if
your dog food is working against you. Check for things such as corn or salt.
Corn is a filler product and can cause your dog to eat more and thus have to
eliminate more. Salt can make your puppy thirsty. Excessive intake can mean more
output than normal. This can be frustrating on your part. You think you are
doing everything you can and in reality your dog food can be working against
you. Large amounts of canned food may give your dog loose and more frequent
Another thing that can work against you is a previous accident. You may
notice that your dog returns to the same or near the same spot. The reason is
that your dog puts out a scent when he eliminates and is attracted back to this
area. Cleaning the area with regular cleaners or shampoos is effective.
Most household cleaning agents are made with ammonia. Your dog is putting out
You should obtain an enzymatic solution designed to eliminate these odors. This will
increase your housebreaking efforts immensely.
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Some products are not as effective and may cost you more time and money than necessary!!!
Now that we understand a little more about how to eliminate problems, let’s begin a schedule.
When he wakes up, after he eats, when he has been playing, after he has had a
drink or just when he looks suspicious. You know, nose to the floor or circle
behavior can signal the need to go out.
During the first stages of housebreaking, take the pup to the same spot each
time. Once he has urinated there, the scent remains and stimulates him to use
the spot again. Remember to immediately praise your puppy when he does his job.
Always go outside with your puppy even if you have a well-fenced yard. Take
him a distance from the house. Select an area away from the house and designate
this for his toilet area. Don’t just push him out the door or he will form the
habit of relieving himself there. Also, you cannot be sure if he has eliminated
unless you go out with him.
The puppy probably will relieve himself soon after he has been taken to the
designated spot. Most puppies go through a ritual sniffing and circling. Be
patient. Don’t let him become too distracted. Keep him to the business at hand
and praise verbally when he finishes his job.
An occasional puppy is slow to learn about eliminating outside. Especially if
he has been accustomed to papers or making mistakes in the house. Training takes
persistence as well as patience in these cases.
Repeat the going-out-praise routine until he gets the idea or gives in and
All this may seem like a lot of trouble, but a couple of weeks of
concentration on house training works wonders!
Take the puppy to different places and on various surfaces, after he learns
that outdoors is the approved location for his chores.