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House Training a Dog

Puppies and dogs need patience and guidance when learning their manners. This guide is about house training a dog.


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By 3 found this helpful
October 12, 2012

Has anyone considered taking the dog outside in the backyard or on a lead every two or three hours in the street/park? Also make 4 pm their last meal of the day. Remember to take them out just before you go to bed with access to only a very small amount of water during the night.

By NEWFIEGIRL from Australia

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August 18, 20091 found this helpful

If you have a pet that still has accidents in the house, limit it's water by putting ice cubes in their water bowl after 6:00pm, so they don't feel they have to go to the bathroom every second. It works with my dog.

Source: TV show, The Dog or Me

By Meghan O. from Pittsburgh, PA

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May 31, 20170 found this helpful

If you have a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, you will need to get it house broken as soon as possible. This is a guide about house training a Yorkshire Terrier.

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July 7, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about training a dog to not poop inside. Some dogs are more difficult to house train than others, but with consistency you should be able to teach your dog to not poop inside.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 30, 2014

Put a leash on the dog and it goes everywhere you do in the house. Be sure to feed it once daily only and monitor when it drinks. Be sure to get it outside before an hour has passed. Because the dog is constantly with you it may or may not try to use the carpet, but a sharp yank on the leash will give the dog a clear message that it's not supposed to do that.


When you take the dog outside allow it to run and play with it. The movement will stimulate it to relieve itself outside.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
January 31, 2008

We just got a one year old cocker spaniel that is very well trained. It seems that he has been trained to go to the bathroom on grass. Unfortunately we do not have any grass in our backyard because of the pool, BBQ bar, and patio area. We are trying to get him to go on our side yard which is cement.

We take him over there often but he just looks at us and won't go. He will hold it until we take him on a walk to the park. We have tried a spray called Wee Wee which is supposed to have a scent that will encourage him to go. He just sniffs and won't go. Any suggestions on how to get him to go in his new environment? We don't want him to get sick from holding it to long, and we can't take him on a walk every time he needs to go.


January 31, 20080 found this helpful

We bought some very inexpensive mats (like welcome mats, but much thinner and cheaper) and our dog (who also likes to feel the grass between her toes) uses them. Rinse with a diluted bleach solution (and dry thoroughly) every other day.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 29, 2006

I have an 8 month old cockapoo and she is driving me nuts. I think she might have bladder problems or something. I take her outside to go pee and poop but she does not go and I wait out there for 10 minutes. Then we go inside and about 15 minutes she goes pee on the rug or poop. I scold her only if I see her do it or she just finishes. I always know when she did it because she always goes running into her crate as soon as she does.


She knows it is bad but I just don't get it.

I might have some ideas of why she might be having these problems. I have a male in my house, too. She might have bladder problems. She was just spayed 2 months ago and her stitches are gone. Do all female cockapoos just have problems?

Melissa from Huntingtown, MD


July 2, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Melissa, I sure do envy you having a cockapoo. We use to have one but someone stole her. We had trouble potty traing her too. One day when she was 4 months old she did it on the carpet and my husband threw her out the door. She was on a chain. We left her out all day. I bet when we brought her in she never did it again in the house. We had her for 10 years. We still miss her and that was 14 years ago that someone stole her. It may seem kind of cruel, but it did work. Good luck and enjoy her! JoJo

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By Jennifer (Guest Post)
July 18, 20060 found this helpful

I have a cockapoo as well. She is the sweetest thing ever but I am ready to lose my mind with this peeing thing. There is not one day that goes by that I do not have to clean up pee!! I come home from work and she will have pee in her crate - even being in it for only 4 hours!


She is almost a year old and just recently went pee on my bed! Not to mention my couch as well. I love her but can't stand this. I had a vet check her to make sure everything is ok. Everything came back fine. The vet said it could be a behavioral problem.

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By Pam (Guest Post)
December 3, 20060 found this helpful

I too have a Cockapoo. And we had trouble housbreaking him as well. I agree with your vet Melissa. We tried EVERYTHING! We had a trainer come to the house to work with training "US" on how to train the dog, because the dog had also started getting a little snippy ... the bathroom habits also stopped. It's a control thing on the dog's part. They need to learn to respect their people. Just simple commands such as sit, stay, come, down ... leash training, heal, etc. ... these work WONDERS ... and MUST be enforced regularly.

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By (Guest Post)
February 8, 20070 found this helpful

OH GOOD I'M NOT ALONE!!! man i thought i was a bad owner cuz no matter what i'm doing, my 8-month old cockapoo maltese is resisting every step of the way. we've put down puppy pads, but that's just because Ralph (our cockapoo maltese) has trained US in letting US know he only goes in a certain spot. he's trained US to put the pads where HE chooses to go.


preferably, obviously, i want him to go outside, but living in a complex with an open yard plan and tons of kids running around everywhere, his attention sadly is not where it should be the second we open the door to try and take him out. no fenced in yard, he's forced to be an indoor dog (until we move). i'm pulling my hair out going nuts.

We plan to move within the year to a place with a fenced-in yard, so he'll become an outdoor dog, but in the meantime..... aaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!

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By 0 found this helpful
September 8, 2007

I had a Min Pin that I had house trained, and he was outside and somebody ran over him a couple days ago (I am 23 and cried like a baby). My 2 year old was super attached to the little guy so I got another one and the people that I got him from had done nothing to try to house train him. He is 1 year old, any tips or ideas on how to get him at least started house training? I wasn't sure if crate training would work with him already being a year old. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Teresa from Ohio


September 9, 20070 found this helpful

So sorry about you Min Pin getting hit. I am on my second one, first one got hit also. I find that they are so smart, that it takes very little training. Put them on the leash in the A.M. take them out and give them the opportunity to do their business.Same thing at noon and twice in the evening.
Mine learn very fast, that the leash equals a pee stop.
Good luck. IMA3

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September 9, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, you can house train a 1 year old dog. Do not take your dog out on a leash to do it's business all over the neighborhood. First, your neighbors will hate you(even if you use a pooper scooper it can't scoop up urine, which kills grass). Do you really have time to do this 4 times a day? Is it safe to go out at night? What happens if you're sick or for whatever reason just can't do it? In the thriftyfun box "Search for Answers" type in "litter box training a dog" and you will find lots of good ideas.

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September 9, 20070 found this helpful

I absolutely have time. If I didn't I wouldn't have
an inside dog. Watch Dog Whisperer, he knows
how important it is to walk dogs. We live in
the country, his poop can stay on the side of the
road. As for the neighbors, they all have dogs
too. Most of them run loose. Fenced yards are
a great thing. Ima3

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By 1 found this helpful
January 16, 2013

I have a 18 month old Pom and I almost had him toilet trained, but I have moved like 4 times in the last 2 years since I got him. I got him when he was 6 weeks old, and far as I'm concerned it was a rough time as well where he was living when he was born.

I try everything with him, he stays outside most of the time now coz when he is inside he wonders off an goes and pees on mine or my mum's bed. It is so frustrating because I would have just washed the sheets too. I just don't know what to do. We wanna train him to stay outside unless we say he can come in and we wanna do that with the door open, but he just comes in and pees.

He used to sleep inside on my bed, but then he just got lazy and would pee on it so from now on he has been an outside dog. He does not liked to be tired up or locked in a small area coz he just barks.

What can I do to fix it? I'm getting into trouble for him doing it when in the first place I didn't know how to toilet train him anyway because no one would help me.

By Shay

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By 0 found this helpful
July 13, 2007

About a month ago, I adopted two 1 year old poms, one male and the other female. They were not housetrained and left outside all the time. Neither of them were altered. We have just had that procedure done for each. I understand that because the male was not neutered before he was six months old that we may have a tough time in housetraining him especially with him cocking his leg. Does anyone know how long it may take to housetrain (especially for the male)? Any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks!

Kathy from VA


July 13, 20070 found this helpful

My husband bought me a dog that had lived for the first 4 years of her life in a basement kennel. She had never even been outside as the vet came to their house for shots and stuff.

She didnt have a clue about house training or even playing, the poor little mite.

I just spent the first two weeks watching her like a hawk. She is a pretty tiny dog and didnt really understand the "come" command at the time so I would pick her up and take her outside. Gently of course.

She had the run of the whole house and slept on the bed with us. When she had to go potty she would start fussing and yes, I did go outside at any hour. Still do sometimes.

If and when she went potty I would praise her to high heaven and love her up like I hadnt seen her in a month.

Honestly, it shouldnt take you more than 2 weeks, just be sure to clean the spots he has soiled in the house for smell. An enzymatic cleaner works quite well.

Crate training might be fine if you actually know what youre doing, a book or a video just isnt enough training.

It's easier to teach a dog to go potty outside than it is to teach some people how harmful crate training is.

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By Donna (Guest Post)
July 17, 20070 found this helpful

Some of the ideas on my web page may be of help to you. Look under the services section where I have an article about training a puppy. I have found that these ideas work also for older dogs.

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By AJ (Guest Post)
August 29, 20070 found this helpful

My dog has lived outside for the last three years while my little one was growing up. We now want him to be 50/50 indoor/outdoor. Would these procedures still apply?

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2007

What is the fastest and easiest way to housetrain a Sheltie? I am using a crate right now but how long should he stay in or out of the crate at a time?

Nelwyn from Bunkie, LA


By denise (Guest Post)
June 9, 20070 found this helpful

hi i have several dogs and some of the things i was told by the vet that have worked are. get the dog on a feeding schudule remove there food at say 6 pm and dont give them anything to drink uless you have the time to bring them out within 20 minutes of drinking water and last but not least is give them a treat when they go outside. hope this helps denise

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By Suzanne (Guest Post)
June 15, 20070 found this helpful

I'm not a fan of crates, although some swear by them. Eh. Anyway, no dog should be left inside them for much longer than 4-6 hours.

Instead what I do with our Male rat terrier (who tends to take "liberties" when we're away) is to:

drill/screw an eye-hole bolt into the base or side of a kitchen cabinet and use a carabiner--connected to one end of a dog leash--to fasten the leash to the bolt. Then hook the leash to the dog's collar to sequester it. That way, it has some freedom to get up, move around easier and stretch. We put Cosmo's dog bed there for him to lay down on, and he's pretty content with this set up.

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June 26, 20070 found this helpful

Crates are so misused by misguided pet owners. Pets should only be in the cage to sleep at night if it's a destructive or unruly pet or in the cage when you leave the house for a very short time.

Some owners leave their pets in crates while they go to work all day which makes the pet wild when it finally gets out, especially if it's a large breed. I know a person who keeps a large breed dog in a crate all day and all night, only letting it out a couple hours a day. The dog has a broken spirit and is depressed, not at all true to it's breed. It also has serious arthritis problems at a very young age. I have four dogs in my home and I don't keep any of them in crates. They sleep all night and cause no problem when I go out for a while. I just put them in the family room with the doggy door so they can go in and out.
If a dog gets food and water and plenty of exercise, there is rarely a behavior problem. It is usually the owner and not the dog with the problem.

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By diana (Guest Post)
August 6, 20070 found this helpful

i started my dog on paper, after a few weeks i started moving paper towards the door,then i put paper outside,after she used it ,i put some of the soiled paper outside,then she just smeled the paper and has been going out since,i noticed it also helps if you just take dog out right after drinking or eating,i praised her a lot when she went outside,they are smart for the most part,you have to be consistant and dedicate some time when they are puppies. good luck

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By 0 found this helpful
July 26, 2018

So my dogs won't go outside unless I tell them to. They have a doggy door to use, they're not scared of it either, they just won't go outside to potty. We've tried everything. Spanking sometimes works. We kept them away from the living room, kept them outside for the day when it wasn't too hot out, and keeping them in the kitchen (where the doggy door is located). I would hate for my dogs be outside dogs, but they might as well be. Is there anything I can do to fix this? It's so bad that it is stinking up my house because of them.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 15, 2017

I just adopted Toby on Wednesday, and he wii not potty outside. Everytime I take him out he is shaking and scared and hovers in a corner. What can I do to make him go outside?

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September 25, 2006

I am trying to crate train a rescue dog who is fine about going in the crate and never soils it in any way. I feed him in the crate and then take him out about 45 minutes later. As I have to keep him on a long leash he will pee, but will not do the business whilst on the leash. If I let him off he manages to escape into neighbors gardens as he has burrowed holes in hedging which I am trying to cover but he keeps getting through.

After 20 minutes I take him in and he then does it in the house. How can I make him understand that he should never do it in the house rather than not just to not do it in his cage. He seems to open his bowels several times a day whilst I thought if you feed twice a day, they go twice a day as a kind of reflex.

My daughter is looking after him and she has a young pup which she lets free around the house and he is a nightmare. She is reluctant to use a cage I bought her but I can't force her to. The older dog is not encouraged by the habits of the young pup. He was staying with me before but because he is too boisterous my daughter has him, but he has never been housetrained to the extent that he knows not to do it at home. It was more through vigilance than training that he didn't do it at my home, any help would be appreciated.

Margaret from Swansea S. Wales


By Spellcaster (Guest Post)
September 26, 20060 found this helpful

Hi, I would try walking him. I know it is a pain for a while, but that may be the only way to get his bowels moving when you want to. He may not realize that outside is for potty. Or take him out, bring him in, set the timer for 10 or 15 min and take him out again. If he don't go, put him right back in the crate when you get back in and keep doing the timer thing. I know it is a pain, but you never know what the rescue dogs have been through and it is wonderful you chose to give him a second chance.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 14, 2016

My dog always pees/poops in our house, and when I tried to walk him outside (morning, midday, night) he's always just sitting besides me. Does sitting have a meaning to poop or pee? How do I teach him to do his business outside?

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December 3, 20140 found this helpful

I rescued a 1 year old Mini Pin. We are his first owners. He is doing fairly well with our other Mini Pin (also a boy) that we rescued from the street, and a 18 year old Maltese mix. I feed them early in the morning usually about 7 am, put them out right away to go and they usually do well. And when they don't want to go in the rain they go on pee pad. I give them about a 1/4 cup of food usually around 2 to 4 pm. I figure that they should be well done doing their BM by then. However, the new dog goes poop in the middle of the night in my daughter's room. Both Mini's sleep with my daughter. Please, any suggestions on timing of feeding and perhaps a good dog food that produces less BMs and gas.

By Sarah from Yucaipa, CA

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By 0 found this helpful
November 8, 2010

When can I give my pup water while house breaking?

By elmer brown

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January 1, 20140 found this helpful

I got a Lakeland Terrier in April who had only lived in a shed. Now when I let her out, she will always urinate near the back door. Can you please give me advise on changing where she urinates.

By Sheila

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May 22, 20130 found this helpful

I have a Jack Russell and a Russell/Yorkie who have been trained to toilet on puppy pads. As I haven't a garden it has been difficult to move the pads outside. How can I retrain them to toilet when I walk them outside only?

By Barbara D

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July 13, 20070 found this helpful

I have a 4 year old male toy fox terrier-chihuahua that apparently was never potty trained correctly. He has found a spot in my bedroom against the wall and onto the carpet to lift his leg. I have tried to watch him, also spanked him when I caught him at it. The frustrating thing is that he has a doggie door right off the master bath. I need some suggestions how to deal with this. Also, how to get the stains out of the carpet? I have even tried spraying a repellent there, but that's not working either.

Betty from Shelton, WA


Housetraining an Older Dog

You should train a dog without using physical punishment. You're going to have to train him as if he was a pup since the previous people didn't train him well. It takes consistency and effort. If you aren't there during the day, block him off in the kitchen where there's no carpet (I assume). If you are there during the day, take him out every hour. Big praise and a treat every time he goes. Food is a huge motivator for a dog. He will catch on. Remember he has 4 years of not being trained to catch up on. It's not his fault. It's the idiots who had him before. Clean the carpet with an oxygen based cleaner, especially the spot he likes. It's natural for them to go back and mark the same spot. Just be patient and he'll learn. And good for you for adopting an adult dog. But as you see, it can have it's challenges. Been there done that, more than once.

By Vic

Housetraining an Older Dog

Take a few days, preferably a weekend and spend all the time with him. When he gets ready to mark or wet on an area, take him out, no scolding, or spanking. Then praise his when he does well. He will learn to love the praise and look forward to it. The spanking only makes them more rebellious, and confuses them. Kindness and consistency are the best ways to do housebreaking at any age.

By Sue

Housetraining and Older Dog

Please DO NOT spank or hit your dog with ANYTHING! Your dog will not respond well to being hit and I guarantee your dog certainly won't be housebroken this way either! You are creating either fear or aggression in your dog by hitting him. I use only positive reinforcement in training and it starts with YOU. My new puppy arrived last night and I began right away teaching her how to potty outside. Your dog isn't a pup but apparently was never trained to 'go' outside. Also, if you dog isn't neutered, he will lift his leg more than a dog who is. If you just aquired your dog recently, he may be trying to show you his dominance by 'marking' his territory. This is unacceptable. With ALL dogs, YOU must take leadership and stop this behavior.

Assuming your dog is in good health and has no bladder or incontinence issues, you need to buy a book or read online how to housebreak your dog. It takes patience, praise and consistency on YOUR part to train your dog. Behavior problems are the number one reason why dogs die. If you don't have the patience to teach your dog, hire a trainer. To rid the smells, any place that sells dog products carry an odor eliminator. Use it in all the places your dog marks. As far as stains, there are products for that as well. Remember, all dogs need leadership and if YOU don't take the role, your dog WILL.

Housetraining an Older Dog

NEVER EVER hit your dog. Don't use your hand or anything else in a threatening manner. Not only could you possibly create a fearful or aggressive dog, the only thing you are teaching him is to fear peeing in front of you. Now he will go and hide somewhere to pee and you will find out later when you smell it. There is no reason to spank your dog for doing something he was never trained NOT to do. Assuming your dog is healthy and neutered and depending on how long you have had your dog, I would say that you need to teach your dog how to do his business outdoors.

An intact male dog is more likely to lift his leg and 'mark' his territory than a sterile dog. Also, your dog could be showing dominance. He's telling you that he doesn't respect you because you aren't in charge. Neuter your dog, train him to go potty outside, clean up the carpet with a cleaner at any dog store and learn how to be a leader for your dog. If you don't know how, hire a trainer. Dogs need leadership and if you don't assume the role, your dog will. Please don't hit your dog.

By sandra johnson

Housetraining an Older Dog

Hi: I also would suggest crating your dog when you cannot watch him. The above tips are really good as well. I rescue dogs and have found positive reinforcements with food, patience and lots of praise wonderful motivators too. Good Luck!

By Dawn in Austin, TX

Housetraining an Older Dog

You said you have a dog door to the outside and he does not use it, correct? I believe I would shorten his world by crating him and make him use the dog door. Dogs will not mess where they sleep. If you make his world smaller by putting him in the crate, he will be forced to use the dog door to go outside. For every time you see he has gone out, or has gone for hours without messing his space, praise him. AS for the smell where he has been already, try vinegar to remove the stain and baking soda to neutralize the smell. Good luck!

By Jackie

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