House Training a Puppy: The Four Main Techniques to Potty Train Puppies or Adult Dogs

March 2, 2019
As a dog owner with over 25 years of experience, I can attest that having a dog is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. The companionship and joy they bring is incomparable.

Dogs that aren't housebroken are much more likely to end up in a shelter. Every puppy and dog should understand that going to the bathroom in the house is unacceptable.

Preventative dog training methods

Preventing your dog from ever going to the bathroom in the house is critical to having a house trained dog. There are essentially two ways to prevent your dog from using your house as his bathroom:

  1. Crate training - When you are not home or are too busy to watch your dog make sure to keep your dog in a crate or kennel. Crate training a dog is a natural and easy way to give your dog a 'den' where he feels comfortable and safe and will avoid going to the bathroom.
  2. Leash training - When you are home make sure to keep your dog or puppy with you. The easiest way to do that is by keeping your dog on a leash. If your dog is on a leash you are always in control and can maintain a constant eye on your dog.

Encouraging proper dog behavior The second step in housebreaking a dog is perhaps the easiest step. When your dog goes to the bathroom outside make sure to praise him heavily. Praise can be done in the form of physically petting your dog or giving a treat. Whatever you do, make sure to help your dog know that going potty outside is a lot of fun.

Correcting unwanted behaviors with your dogRegardless of how well you are supervising your puppy and praising him for using the bathroom outside you are still going to encounter 'accidents'. The important thing is to make sure you catch your dog in the act. As you catch him in the act quickly rush him outside as you tell him 'no' in a firm but calm voice.

Setting a schedule and structure for your dogGet your dog on a schedule. There are three routines that you should control with a puppy or dog:

  1. Food - Your dog should be eating from one to three times a day depending on age and your schedule. Don't leave food out but make sure that your dog is eating when you set down the food dish.
  2. Water - If your puppy has a hard time 'holding it' throughout the night make sure to remove his access to water after about 7pm or so.
  3. Bathroom - Take your dog out to the bathroom first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Take him out after eating and an hour after eating and take him out when you remove him from his crate. You can also take him out whenever else you feel he needs to go.

Follow these steps for house training your puppy and in no time you will have a housebroken dog.

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