House Training a Puppy

The process of potty training a puppy can be simple but isn’t necessarily easy. Knowing the basic guidelines and common methods will help you guide your puppy to becoming fully house trained and grow your relationship in the process. Key ideas include the following:

  • Establish a routine. Most dogs thrive on routine, especially when it comes to potty training.

  • Praise every success. When your puppy goes potty outside, offer praise like crazy, along with a tasty treat.

  • Don’t punish accidents. Even if your puppy eliminates in the house, a negative reaction will likely just cause them to hide from you the next time.

  • Clean soiled areas thoroughly. Make sure you clean up accidents so that there is no odor remaining, which can entice your dog to use that same spot again.

  • Reward each success with play time. As soon as your puppy goes in the designated area, make time for some fun. This tells your puppy that proper potty habits lead to more good things!

  • Train everyone in the household. Consistency is key, so everyone in your home needs to be using the same process, attitudes and vocabulary.

The first step in potty training a puppy or older dog is to decide on your approach. Deciding factors will include your availability during the day, your living environment (i.e. house with a yard vs. apartment in a city), the weather, and your dog’s breed, size and temperament. Several common methods of house training include:

  • Crate Training. The idea behind crate training centers on the fact that dogs like to be clean. They usually won’t soil their own space unless they become desperate. Crates may seem confining to us, but dogs are den animals and naturally look for an enclosed space where they feel safe resting. Follow a schedule for eating, drinking, frequent potty breaks and a lot of supervised playtime outside of the crate.

  • Puppy pads and Paper Training. Providing absorbent pads gives your puppy a place to go when going outside simply isn’t an option. Place the pads in a quiet corner, in a small bathroom or in the space where your puppy is confined. As your dog gets older or circumstances change, you can transition from the pads to outdoors.

  • Observation and Supervision. When your puppy isn’t confined to a crate or small play area, you’ll need to provide constant supervision. As soon as you notice any sniffing, circling or whining, take your puppy outside immediately. You can tether your puppy to yourself, which makes it easier to monitor his or her behavior. This method serves a dual purpose if you are also trying to correct destructive behaviors.

With good planning and lots of patience, you will soon enjoy house training success. If you need a break or a helping hand, check out our doggie daycare program and puppy training classes, designed to help you and your new furry friend start off on the right paw! Call us today at (629) 205-4702 or visit for more details.