Puppies are certainly cute, but they also take a lot of work. One of the toughest things you’ll have to do with your new little bundle of fur is making an attempt to potty train him or her. Training your puppy isn’t always going to be easy, yet it’s a vital process. Fortunately, the theory behind learning how to housebreak a puppy is fairly solid.
Start With a Crate
House training definitely involves at least a few things that can break your heart. Training your puppy might mean learning how to do some things that are less fun for you than you might think, one of which is using the best dog crate you can find for your pet. Yes, it’s sad to see the little guy or girl confined but crates are actually amazing tools for a number of reasons.
The truth is that your little puppy is actually predisposed to hanging around places like crates (1). They’re not just for when you take your puppy to the vet, after all – these crates can be places where your pup feels safe and happy.
So, how does this work when you’re trying to teach your puppy where to go when he or she has to go potty? Simply put, dogs don’t like to make a mess where they live. A properly-sized crate that gives your dog room enough to stretch out but that isn’t too big will convince your dog that using the bathroom inside really isn’t a great move.
So, what will your pup do instead? He or she will whine or cry in the crate to let you know that he or she needs to go outside. Once you hear the noise, you should get him or her outside to reinforce the connection between needing to go and going in the yard.
The Paper Training Option
Not so sure about the crate? If so, you might want to think about paper training. Yes, this is the process of using those lovely puppy training pads to help your puppy figure out where to go when he or she cannot get outside. The general goal of house training in this manner is really damaging control – if you can show your pup that there’s only one good place to go inside, he or she will only go on the pads if he or she cannot get outside.
Thinking About Potty Training Schedules
Yes, potty training your puppy does require a schedule. You may wonder why your puppy pees so much, but in any case you need to give the little guy or girl a chance to get outside routinely. As a rule, most would say that a dog can wait to go outside about as many hours as his or her age in months. This means you’re going to be taking a three-month pup out about once every three hours, while you should expect a nine-month-old puppy not to make a mess while you’re gone for a full workday.
Realistically, though you are going to take your puppy out more than once or twice a day regardless of his or her age. A reasonable schedule includes taking your puppy out as soon as you wake up, as soon as your puppy has been in a crate after he or she eats or drinks, and before sleep. You may also want to think about taking the puppy out after playtime or any time he or she dozes off.
Always Be Alert When House Training Your Puppy
Another huge part of house training is keeping an eye on your dog. Look to see if he or she has to go potty, then take him or her out when necessary. While the schedule above is great, your puppy is going to try very hard to show you if there is a need to go out and use the potty.
Don’t Forget Positive Reinforcement
Another big part of getting your dog to go potty is learning a little more about positive reinforcement. While your initial reaction might be to yell at the puppy any time he or she has an accident inside, this doesn’t actually help. Other types of puppy punishments like rubbing a dog’s nose in the mess don’t work, so you’re going to think a bit about going in the other direction. Yes, this means learning how to praise your dog when he or she will actually go to the restroom outside.
Praise is an amazing tool for any puppy. Not only does it make him or her feel good, but it reinforces what he or she needs to do. Your puppy lives for your praise, but he or she will go absolutely wild for it if that praise is accompanied by a dog treat. Using a few little bribes to go potty outside isn’t ever a bad idea.
What if the puppy has an accident? Simply put, clean it up with a carpet cleaner and move on. Your dog won’t remember what he or she did wrong, so just spray some stain and odor remover on the soiled area so that your dog doesn’t start to associate that spot with where he or she should go.
What If It Doesn’t Work?
There are plenty of great ideas here, but that doesn’t mean that they will all work. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why puppies might not do so well when they are being potty trained. Though some of these issues are absolutely physical problems that need the help of a vet, there are also other puppy problems that are simply going to need more attention from you.
Your goal needs to be to look at the problems and to workshop solutions. Does your do go all over your house no matter what you try to do? If so, it might be time to start thinking about using puppy training pads instead of just trying to get your dog to go to the bathroom outside. It’s not ideal, but it solves your problem.
Is your dog going to the bathroom in one spot over and over again? Congratulations, you’ve identified where your do has marked and now you can pick up something to get rid of that smell. Don’t fret about what your puppy has done, but instead look at ways you can prevent your puppy from doing the same thing again.
In all honesty, training your puppy is something that’s going to require more than just a list of best practices. You will need to look at house training not just as something that a dog does, but something that your new puppy does. The more time you take to help out your pet, the happier you’re going to be by the end of the process.
How Long is it Going to Take To Potty Train?
The other big question about house training is always how long it’s going to take. Unfortunately, there’s just not an easy answer here. How long your dog takes to house train is going to depend on everything from physiology to your training strategy, so try not to fret if things take longer than you might like. As much as it might be helpful to have some kind of calendar for your puppy, the truth is that house training always takes exactly as long as it is going to take, not one second more or less.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you housebreak a puppy in 5 days?
In all honesty, you probably don’t. Housebreaking a dog takes as long as it takes, and there are simply many dogs that are going to take more than a week to housebreak. With that said, you really can get on a great start by properly crate training your dog, paying careful attention to his or her habits, and trying to get your dog on the kind of regular schedule that will help him or her learn to go to the bathroom outside.
2. How long does it take for a puppy to be housebroken?
This largely depends on the puppy. In some cases, you can get puppy house training in just a few days. In other cases, it might take months. There are even some dogs that feel like they’ll never get completely house trained, so you’ll have to learn how to deal with that in an effective manner. As nice as it would be to say that there is a solid answer here, the truth is that you are going to have to take this one on a case-by-case basis.
3. Can an 8-week old puppy be potty trained?
Yes, you can definitely start training a puppy at eight weeks. There’s no guarantee that the process is going to be quick or even pretty, but a puppy should be able to hold his or her bladder for an hour or two at this age and should be able to understand that going outside is generally a good idea. With that said, make sure that you have some patience because not even eight weeks old is going to be quite as ready for potty training as some of their peers.
4. How do you stop a puppy from peeing and pooping in the house?
Consistent training is the only way to do this. Whether this means crate training, paper training, or just using a schedule, you need to be consistent to help your puppy learn how to use the potty outside. If you are able to praise your puppy for going out and you’re able to take steps to make going inside less of a viable option for him or her, you should be able to solve this problem.