House Training a Puppy

House training a puppy takes time, consistency and patience. The proper training methods can make it easier on you and your dog. This is a guide about house training a puppy.

July 17, 2007 Flag
11 found this helpful

Crate training seems to be all the rage these days although it's relatively new. Possibly because more people are spending more time away from home. Both spouses working and so on. It's trendy, I suppose.

But in the not too distant past, people house trained their dogs successfully without a crate. Crates are useful for transporting and to keep your pet safe in certain instances. But in my estimation, not such a good way to house train an animal who will likely be spending his entire life with you.


Yes, this may be just opinion, but I have house trained all my dogs successfully and they have never been in a crate.

It is such a sweet and wonderful time having a new puppy in the house. But please, before you get him, do research, inform yourself on what his needs are. Do some research even to find what kind of dog will fit best in your home and lifestyle; high energy, low energy, loyalty to small children, and so on.

The more time you spend picking out a dog makes it better for all concerned. Of course if he is a rescue and needs you right away, just be sure you are prepared to make a few sacrifices and to be very understanding.

For those of us who rescue dogs it doesn't feel like a sacrifice, but there are families who are not so prepared to deal with soiled carpets, chewed things, including people, inappropriate barking, and all the other things that can come along with a dog whose needs haven't been met. It is between you and your family to honestly decide if you are willing to embrace a new animal and do what is needed to meet his needs and your own.


Make an active effort to have a responsible person around the home for at least a week or two at all times when your puppy first comes to your house. The more time you can spend with him when he is little ensures that he can be a safe, happy and well adjusted adult dog.

Puppies don't have very big bladders and can pee a lot of times in a day. Which is great for training. If you notice him circling and sniffing the floor you can be relatively certain he is thinking about going for a pee.

Gently pick him up and take him outside. He may lose interest in peeing once he gets outside, but be patient. If and when he does let him know how pleased you are, lots of praise and lots of love.

Sometimes he will totally forget about peeing and you can let him back inside, but watch him closely and repeat going outside when he starts to sniff and circle.

If you take him to the same place outside he will quickly learn from the puddles he has already made that this is a good place to pee. That's what he is looking for when he is sniffing the floor.

Accidents do happen though with puppies. If you catch him in the act, gently pick him up, don't say "good dog/bad dog", just suggest that we should go outside. Likely he's done, but give him 5 minutes outside and don't play with him at those times. Play time is for after he pees. Poops.

Right after meal time is poopie time. And you will see him doing the poop squat. Of course take him outside right after eating if you can; give love and praise for a job well done. He might go poopie other times too, just watch him. It's like having a toddler around the house.

If he does have an accident, don't make a big deal about it. I find that SpotBot is great for such things. But any spot cleaner will be useful. Take the dog outside, don't reprimand. And deal with the mess later.

Ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior.

Your puppy is motivated by wanting to please you. And he really is just a little kid--so be understanding. Watch the look on his face and the waggle in his tail when you tell him what a good dog he is. He loves it! And will do almost anything to get it. Teach him what behaviors will get the "good dog" approval.

If you must be away from home when he is new to your house, well I feel sorry for him. He has just lost his mother and his siblings if he had any and now he has to spend the day alone? And to add insult to this still is it fair to stick him in a crate? People often fail to realize what a big deal it is for the puppy.

You could confine him to a puppy safe room and do what you can to paper train him in the same way you would for outside, then move the papers outside as he gets bigger.

A dog will suffer and bear a lot of things because he loves you. But he has needs and as a responsible and loving dog companion, you can make the commitment to give him the love and patience he needs when he is little so that you can be assured that you warrant the abundance of love he gives you.

A lot of dogs end up in shelters with behavior problems because people failed to educate themselves on the needs of these beautiful animals before they got them. Animal shelters are sad places.

And good heavens, dogs are such loyal, responsive, smart, and loving animals. Dogs are not born with behavior problems. And since it is us humans who are bringing dogs into our homes, it is up to us to teach them responsibly and with respect and love for the wonderful creatures that they are.

By Sheraone from Ontario

September 20, 20120 found this helpful

I also disagree about the crate. My dogs have all loved their "sanctuary" crate! I have 2 cocker spaniels and they often go in their crates on their own to relax in their own space. They go right to the crates when they know I am leaving. I turn the radio on for them and give them some treats and they are happy to be there secure while I am gone. When I am home, we play a lot. So either way, crate or not, the best thing is make sure your dog is safe and secure in their environment.

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March 19, 20150 found this helpful

January 11, 2012 Flag
3 found this helpful

The time to start training your new puppy is on the day it joins your family. Don't expect perfection. Puppies have accidents. They forget the rules at times and sometimes, their curiosity causes trouble for them in areas where rules haven't been established.

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September 6, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

We just adopted a 4 month old puppy. She's a Shepherd mix and she's the loveliest dog ever. The only problem is that she peed and pooped on our bed and couch more than once. She also pooped on the beige couch of a friend of mine. I honestly dunno what to do. The vet says that nothing is wrong with her health.

We have returned her to the crate and are monitoring her. But OMG, I need help, we dunno what else to do, we love her so much, but I can't get rid of a new bed set everyday. We do walk her quite often, she does her business outside, then (I dunno how) she has more poop to poo in our bed whenever we are not looking. How can I communicate to her that pooping in this areas is wrong? Help!

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September 9, 20160 found this helpful

First of all, keep her off furniture for now. Dogs in the wild don't have furniture. They don't need it. A blanket or throw on the floor should be fine until you are sure.

The trouble you are having is simple. A four month old puppy is a "toddler" that has JUST been potty trained. They still have "accidents." It happens. She's a puppy and puppies are babies.

All you need to do is continue her training. Wash/clean poop and pee stains thoroughly, removing any smell. If you see any poop or pee but didn't catch her in the act, don't say anything to the dog. It won't help after the fact, and showing anger will cause her to simply hide the places she goes. If you do catch her in the act clap your hands very loud to startle her. Then pick her up and take her straight out. Don't yell, it won't help.

Take her out frequently (at least once every four hours until bedtime) but don't let her get distracted. Take her right to a place where she is used to "going" and hold the leash (NO flexi-leash! Short leash!) until she goes. It will help if you leave some poop there and don't pick it up. Even better if other dogs in the neighborhood go in that spot.

She will eventually catch on and then should be able to graduate back to the furniture.

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January 7, 2016 Flag
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I have a miniature Dachshund named Dude, and Dude has been a breeze for the most part to house/office break. Dude goes everywhere with me including my office for work, which makes training him a bit easier considering I don't let him slip at all throughout the day. The key I have noticed is consistency and keeping him on a schedule. Dude is ~5mo old at the moment and I've had him about 1.5 months and has been the ultimate sidekick.

Several times throughout the day, he will come up to me while I'm at my desk to tell me that he needs to go outside. So, we walk outside. Lately he has been doing this thing where he will not obey commands like 'come' (while I pat my leg and walk that direction). I know he knows what I'm saying because he listens and obeys fine while we're in the office or in my home. I repeat the command numerous times and he sits where he is and acts like he doesn't hear me.

I'll play out a scenario for you: Just a few minutes ago, he signaled for me to take him outside. I walk and let him follow me to the side yard. (I generally like for him to do #1 and #2, and he typically goes along and I reward him.) He continues to find a place to go #2. He finishes and sits. So I tell him to come, so we can walk around the other side of the building and hopefully he goes #1. He acts like I haven't said a word even though he's looking right at me in a way that says "I'm not going". So I continue to walk to that side of the building (he doesn't like when he doesn't have me in his line of sight to know where I'm at) while continuing to repeat the command. He runs to catch up with me and sits where he meets me. So I walk back to where we were originally and he doesn't move. This time he stays after he can't see me, even though I'm still saying 'come on'. I walk back to where he can see and obviously hear me, and repeat the command several times. He continues to be dismissive and ignore me. So I pick him up and walk him over to the area I want him to pee and he sits and will not move. At this point, I've run out of things to do to get him to come and walk around with me, so I say, "Let's go inside", open the door, and he runs in like he's expecting a wooping or some kind of scolding.

So here we are, sitting at the desk. He is laying across my chest with his head on my shoulder and shaking because he knows I'm frustrated. I realize these dogs are stubborn and want to do things their way, but I do not know what I'm doing wrong. We have always had dogs (Boxers) and have never had an issue with listening like this.

Anyone that has had a similar experience with a Dachshund, advise and/or solutions are greatly appreciated.

February 5, 20160 found this helpful

Well, I have a few questions. Why do you want the dog to move after ugoing # 2? I don't understand. Next, dogs do best when the it feeding and potty times are on a routine schedule just like you like your work schedule to be. Imagine if you boss kept changing your lunch hour or your start hour even by just an hour or two a day...wouldn't that really mess with you? Same with the dog! Also what time you feed him dictates when he will need to poop. When you give him water he will need to pee a little while later. You can look up on the web how long it takes your breed of dog to digest it's food and how often/how much you should be feeding him. All these things should make potty time clearer to you and your poor little confused doggie. Remember to keep the same schedule on days off because dogs don't know the difference between a Friday workday or a Saturday off day. They just need a consistent schedule to pee and poop! By the way...dogs don't try to test you limits! They are not humans with human brain capabilities! That's the silliest thing I've heard in a while! They are animals with a natural desire to please. He just wants to do what makes you make the happy noises and pet him! That's it!!! He likes that! Don't over think it! He looks to you to be in charge, treat him kindly, fill his needs and he will be the loyalist friend you've ever had! And absolutely no hitting or striking of any kind please! They don't respond to it except to be extremely afraid of you and that's just abuse!

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February 5, 20160 found this helpful

August 30, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have a 6 month old Blue Heeler puppy and he has a few times peed in my bed while I was asleep. He was also sleeping; he didn't get up or anything just peed. We are working on house training and he almost has it, but last night he went on the pillow we were both sleeping on.

Also he will pee when I get up in the morning if I don't walk right to the door. If I stop for shoes or pants he will go right in front of me. I've even been putting his leash on him and he just pees right there. Any advice?

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September 1, 20160 found this helpful

It isn't a good idea to let a dog sleep in your bed until it is fully housetrained. A six month puppy should be able to "hold it" for six hours. That means you will need to set your alarm and take him out once during the night.

If you already are doing that but it isn't working, try crate training. ... ate-training-housebreaking-easy-hsus

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December 22, 2011 Flag

I have been training another new pup we just recently adopted. He has been having a few accidents on my beds. So I went to a furniture store where they sell mattresses and they gladly gave me the plastic off some of the beds.

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July 5, 2016 Flag
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I have a 6 month old Havanese Bichon Multeshipoo, he is potty trained. He is getting neutered in a few weeks, but all of a sudden he started peeing on the furniture, he just walks up and lifts a leg. He does it at my in law's house too. I try and follow him to say no, but sometimes I don't catch him on time. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old and he was doing so well with potty training. I'm not sure how to make him stop. I usually just say "no bad boy no pee pee" and I carry him outside. He knows I am upset and sits there really cute looking at me confused! What should I do so he understands?

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July 13, 20160 found this helpful

This is territory marking behavior. Your dog has become an adolescent but is still intact, therefore he is engaging in puberty behavior. It is best not to let dogs get to the adolescent stage without being neutered because of this.

Neutering may solve your problem, but it may not because it has already started. Here is a link that might help: ... tml?referrer=


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February 18, 2016 Flag
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I have a 7 week old blue Pit Bull, and it only took me 3 days to paper train him, and then house train him. Is it that they are smarter than most dogs, or do I have a strange dog? He still nips, but I expected that, but when I tell him to stop he does. Also, when is the right age to get him vaccinated for I lost my one Pit who was 8 years old, and I just can't lose Crosby (yeah that's his name). Please someone give me an answer.

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February 19, 20161 found this helpful

That is very smart! You need to check with your Vet for the timing of puppy shots, but it should be done very soon. Parvo is everywhere.

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Anonymous Flag
February 21, 20160 found this helpful

March 11, 2011 Flag

We have had our baby Bichon for three weeks. He is now about twelve weeks old. We simply cannot keep him in his bin because he barks and barks. So, we let him run free which I think has been a terrible mistake. Please give me ideas as to how to potty train him. I do have the pads and he occasionally uses them, but most of the time he does not. Help please. Thanks so much.

By Montana Jewel Therapy from The Last Best Place NW Montana

March 14, 20110 found this helpful

There is a lot of good feedback here from Brenneman and Lorelei. It takes a long time to train a puppy and it requires patience and love, consistency and the same terminology, whatever you decide to say. Crate training is really wonderful because the dog is safe from harm and so is your house and belongings. Good luck!

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March 14, 20110 found this helpful

April 29, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am house training a dog without using a crate. I have a 8 month old rescue Jack Russell, she is a rescue dog. I have had her a month now. I have to work 7 hours a day during which time I leave her in the front room with a stair gate. She goes out for the toilet before I leave. When I return from work I find she has peed and had a number 2 whilst I have been out. It's not really a massive problem as I can't expect her to hold for 7 hours a day! I just want to know will this gradually stop? And is it just because she is still young? Please help.

May 1, 20150 found this helpful

I think you are correct in thinking this will improve as your dog gets older. Have you tried puppy pads? It saves your dog from feeling she has done a bad thing when she really can't help it. You also could have a pet sitter come and let her out or walk her during the day. A local but willing teenager might be able to do the job for less money.

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