Housebreakingcrate training, crate training, crate training!

There are many books, magazine articles, and Internet sites devoted to housebreaking advice. Here are some basic tips:

1.     Always pick up your puppy and take him outside:

  • a few minutes after he finishes eating.
  • after he has been playing for awhile (15 minutes for very young puppies).
  • after he wakes up from a nap.
  • if you see him sniffing around.

2.     Whenever your puppy pees or defecates outside, fuss over him and tell him what a good dog he is! Make sure he knows he did something right.

3.     If you see your puppy squat, you can shout “no” or “stop.” Hopefully, that will surprise him and he will stop. Pick him up and carry him outside. (And keep an enzyme cleaner on hand to treat any areas where he has had accidents.)

4.     Dogs do not like to dirty their own areas, so sleeping in a crate speeds housebreaking (as well as providing him a sense of security). Some young puppies can sleep through the night while others need to potty. If your puppy fusses or barks, carry him outside. It’s a good idea to put him on a leash to prevent him playing—you don’t want to have to chase him around the yard in the middle of the night. Ask him to pee and when he does, praise him! (Teaching your dog to pee when you ask him is very useful, especially if you travel with him.) Then carry him back inside and put him back in his crate for the rest of the night.

5.     Do not allow your puppy free access inside your house until he is housebroken. It’s hard to break bad habits! If you aren’t playing with him or watching him, put him in his crate with a toy or something to chew on. If you just confine him to your kitchen, bathroom, or some other larger area than a crate, he will pee on the floor and this will prolong the housebreaking process. Don’t worry about the puppy being confined. Puppies and adult dogs sleep most of the day, anyway. When you are able to watch him, let him out and play fetch or some other energetic game with him.