The first behavior you will begin to train when you get your new dog home is housebreaking. Ideally you will have already established a potty location prior to his arrival. It shouldn’t be too far from the home (especially for puppies and small breeds), well defined, and known to all family members. As soon as your puppy or dog comes home, he should be taken to the area immediately to lay the foundation for his housebreaking. To make his housebreaking goes smoothly there are a few guidelines.

To make sure his housebreaking goes smoothly, there are a few guidelines:

  • Stick to a schedule. Keeping a journal can help.
  • Every time puppy wakes up, he needs to go out, now!
  • Take your puppy straight to his potty area and praise quietly as he eliminates.
  • Teach a command such as Potty or Get Busy.
  • Reward with praise and a treat each time for 2 weeks.
  • Don’t allow puppy to have playtime until he is done eliminating otherwise he will forget why he came outside.
  • Don’t rush inside once he finishes or he may begin to “stall” in order to spend more time outside.
  • Do not free feed, it leads to accidents.
  • Remove unfinished food after 10 minutes.
  • Take up water for puppies an hour prior to bed.
  • Create tether stations or tether him to your waist.
  • Always give direct supervision when your puppy is out of his crate untethered. Never leave the room!
  • If puppy has an accident, do not scold. Just pick him up and take him to his potty area to finish.
  • Be sure puppy goes potty before going to his crate for the night.

Remember, any accidents that your puppy has can’t be blamed on him. He doesn’t know any better! Figure out where you went wrong in the housebreaking process and go back to square one. Once you understand how you failed your puppy, you will become better prepared to help him succeed.