The basic premise of housebreaking a puppy is
to know that dogs prefer not to soil the area they consider their den.
The object is to teach your puppy that the whole house is his den, and should
not be soiled. This goal must be accomplished one step at a
A puppy is very small and to him the house
looks large. The dining room may impress him as being distant turf, and
therefore fair game. Restricting the puppy to a small space helps him
learn to keep his small area clean. By slowly increasing his space the puppy
begins to consider larger and larger areas his den. Confining the
puppy to a small area when you are not watching him helps prevent accidents
from happening. The more effort you exert at the very beginning of the
venture the quicker he will learn.
We keep the puppies confined to a small pen
when we cannot be with them. As they grow we make the pen even smaller and
remove the papers. When the puppies go to sleep at night or when we are
out of the house they are put in a crate. Rarely will a puppy soil his
Watch the clock - using an oven timer helps to
keep track of the puppy's schedule. The moment the puppy wakes up, take
him outside. Find a command you like and use that command consistently. We say
Hurry up. As soon as he relieves himself say Good boy
and go right back into the house. This is a training session, not a play
period. You're on a mission.
Now the puppy can be allowed to play freely for
a few minutes. Start with ten minutes and increase the time until you
learn how frequently the puppy needs to urinate. After ten or fifteen
minutes, take the puppy outside again, and repeat the process. At first
you will need to go in and out rather frequently, but once you learn his
bladder tolerance, youll be able to stretch the time that he may be free
inside. Soon the puppy will realize he's going outside to go to the
bathroom. The more diligent you are with this process in the beginning the
sooner he'll catch on.
You can assume that a puppy will need to
defecate minutes after he has eaten. As soon as the meal is over, take
him outside. No playing- again, we're on a mission. As soon as the
puppy has relieved himself, praise him and go back inside. In ten to
fifteen minutes take him out again to wet.
Outside play periods are different from "being
on a mission." During play time you stay out as long as you want. When
it's time to go in, if the puppy hasn't wet for awhile, either put him in his
crate or in a very small pen. Then in a little while take him out to
potty. Again say "hurry up" and then lots of praise.
At night, take him out for the last time as
late as you possibly can. Puppies usually need to defecate late in the
evening - I put them out around 11:00. Get up as early as you possibly
can to start out. Run the puppy right out the door and go through the bathroom
routine. Then right back in. If you are consistent the puppy will
learn what the pattern is, and will wait for you to come and let him out.
Although baby puppies sometimes think that 5:30 A.M. is a fine time to be up
and having fun, do not despair. Once he understands the pattern you'll be
able to stretch the time to suit yourself.