You just couldn’t resist that adorable little face. But now you find yourself with the daunting task of housebreaking your new puppy. Not to worry, this is something all new pet owners face when bringing home a new puppy. Follow the suggestions listed here to increase your chances of success, and get your new puppy oriented to his or her new surroundings in no time.
Crates for Sleeping and Potty Training
Many people get the wrong idea about crate training. They dislike the idea of confining their puppy in a crate, but the crate helps the puppy feel more secure, believe it or not. Dogs in the wild search for secluded areas to have their babies. They are den animals and will seek out a place where their babies will be safe from predators. In this instance, the crate is like a den. It’s their safe place to sleep and rest when they’ve had too much stimulation for the day.
The crate becomes a part of their training and they will come to love it. The idea behind using the crate for training is that it is similar to their mother’s den. The mother dog feeds and cleans up the puppies for the first few weeks of life.
When the puppies relieve themselves after feeding, the mother dog cleans up the mess to keep them and their den clean. Dogs are very clean and don’t like to pee or poop where they eat or sleep, and so the crate becomes a valuable tool to potty train your puppy.
Choosing the Right Size Crate
When choosing a crate, it must be the right size. It shouldn’t be too large or too small. It should be just big enough for the puppy to lie down, stand up, and turn around. Limiting the amount of space available ensures that they don’t go to the bathroom in a corner of the crate because it is away from their bedding.
The only time the puppy will be in the crate is at night when they go to sleep to keep down on accidents at night, and when you have to leave them unsupervised for any length of time. A puppy should not have the run of the place until you can trust them not to soil your carpet or tear up the toilet paper. Curious puppies can make a mess when left alone for too long.
Establish a Routine
A big part of house training your puppy is knowing they are likely to need to go potty. You can do this by establishing a clear, consistent routine for feeding, potty training, and sleeping. This helps them learn that there are times to eat, time to play, and time to do their business.
They will also learn that there are times when they may have to hold it for an hour or so when you’re out running errands. By the time your puppy is two months old, he or she can hold their bladder for about two hours. They should not hold it any longer than that, so plan your activities accordingly. If you wait too long to get them outside they are likely to have an accident in the house. If this often happens it will undo all the training you have been doing with them and you’ll be back to square one.
When training a puppy, they should be taken out:
- First thing in the morning
- After playing inside
- After being in the crate
- After waking up from a nap
- After eating
- After drinking
- Before going to sleep
Your puppy should be fed small amounts of food 3 times per day. Their tummies don’t hold much at a time and you don’t want to overfeed them. Puppies will continue eating and drinking as long as the food and water are out.
Putting your puppy’s food dishes away two hours before bedtime reduces the need to go potty during the night. Not always, but it is generally effective at reducing the number of times they need to go out at night. Most puppies can sleep for 5 -6 hours without needing a potty break.
If they wake you at night to be taken out, have as little interaction with them as possible. Keep the lights off and put them right back to bed afterward. Some puppies will wake up in the middle of the night and think it’s time to play. You don’t want them to make that a habit.
Have an Established Spot
It is recommended to pick a spot close to the door to the home so they can be taken out quickly, especially in the beginning. Take them to the same spot every time so they get used to it. Dogs will go where they have gone before, or spots where they smell urine. If they go to the same spot every time, they will come to understand that spot is the place they are supposed to go to the bathroom.
When taking them out, you can say something like, “Let’s go potty.” While they don’t yet understand the words, if you are consistent with their training as they get older, all you’ll have to do is say the words, and they will run right to the door.
Don’t punish your puppy for an accident or do anything to create a negative association with their bodily functions. Puppies should be given lots of praise and positive reinforcement when they do their business outside. If they do happen to have an accident inside, don’t make a big deal about it. Try and catch them, if you can, and rush them outside to finish the job. House training is as hard on the puppy as it is on you, and punishing a puppy for accidents will only make things worse. They’ll become afraid of you if you scold them, or they will hide when they have to go fearing your wrath.
If you keep them on schedule and take them to go potty every two hours, you should have very few accidents. Putting in a little extra work, in the beginning, to get your puppy on a schedule will make things much easier for both of you. You should enjoy the time you spend with your puppy, not stress over potty training accidents. Remember, practice makes perfect.
Reward your puppy every time they go to the bathroom outside. You can praise them or give them small treats. For a reward to be effective, it must be given immediately following the desired action. This is very important because rewarding your dog for going potty outside is the only way to teach them what’s expected of them.
Many new pet owners choose to use puppy pads for potty training. There are two ways to use them. Some people will just put down the pads and let the puppy go on them whenever they want. Another way is to have them potty on the pads and slowly move the pad to the door and outside, eventually removing the pad altogether.
But this may be more difficult when they get too big to use the pads and have to start going outside later. You may be just prolonging the training time, having to do it later anyway. If you want to keep the area around their crate dry at night, you can put one in the crate in case they have an accident during the night. It is up to you whether you use them or not.
Have a Plan for When You’re Not Home
If you have certain times of the day when you are away from home, you should have a plan to make sure your puppy can go potty. You can accomplish this by keeping time short, if possible. Or get a friend or neighbor to come over and take your puppy out while you’re at work. There are apps for dog walkers and dog sitters. You could hire a professional pet sitter, to take them for bathroom breaks once or twice during the day while you’re gone.
As young puppies, they will need to go frequently. But when they get a little older and are more capable of holding their bladders longer, they won’t need as much intervention.
If you hire a pet sitter, it will only be for a short time. The peace of mind you get from knowing that your puppy is receiving attention and is being taken out to go potty on schedule is worth it.
FAQs on House Training a Puppy
What is the fastest way to housebreak a puppy?
The fastest and most effective method, when it comes to how to housebreak a puppy, is spending time with them and making sure they feel loved and cared for. Their crate should be in your room with you so you sleep in the same room and a natural thing is to simply make sure to take them for a short walk around the backyard about 11 pm, or just before you go to bed.
At what age should a puppy be completely housebroken?
It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take longer, depending on the size and breed. Puppies can start house training as early as 12 weeks to 16 weeks old.
How do you housebreak a puppy in 5 days?
To train your puppy in only 5 days is not easy. You will need to keep a very strict schedule of getting up early and taking them out the minute they wake up, after feeding, naps, and before bed. If you spend lots of time with them on this training schedule, they will be settled into the routine and will be more likely to avoid accidents because they have the opportunity to go more often.
How do you get a puppy to stop peeing and pooping in the house?
Again, it all has to do with how often they are taken to go to the bathroom. Puppies will need to go potty about 30 minutes after eating or drinking water. Removing their feeding dishes 2 hours before bed helps as well.
Should I wake my puppy up to pee at night?
For the first few weeks, you should take your puppy out before bed and once during the night until they become used to the routine. Eventually, they will sleep through the night and should be able to hold it until morning.
House training puppies can be challenging at times. You can expect a few accidents along the way, but that is a normal part of growing for a puppy. If you need information or recommendations on what type of crate for your puppy, CozyCrates can help you find the one that best suits your dog.