Keeping pets healthy, and families happy.

House Training Basics

  1. Keep the dog in a safe place when you are not home or are asleep. A crate just large enough that he can lie down and stand fully erect is usually ideal for this. A small room with a baby-gate rather than a closed door will also work, provided this safe place is a place where the particular dog will not use the bathroom. You are trying to help the dog develop control.
  2. When you are able to watch the pup, keep pup always in the same room with you. If you see pup start to have an accident, say "No, Outside" at the very same time you scoop up the puppy and run outside. For a dog you cannot carry, use a leash. No punishment, EVER. That doesn't work for housetraining, and can cause nasty complications.
  3. When you are outside in the right place for pup to relieve, use a cue phrase, such as "Go Potty." This is only used at the time and the place where you want pup to do it now. Never say it before you take the puppy outside. While you're still in the house, only use the word "Outside."
  4. When pup relieves outside, praise sincerely. If pup likes a treat, you might have some hidden on your person, and whip one out to give at that moment. If pup likes to play outside, allow a little playtime after pup relieves. If your puppy wants to get right back inside, reward the pup by going right back inside.
  5. Every time pup has an accident in the house, it confuses the puppy. Therefore, you need to supervise or confine your pup 100% of the time. If necessary to keep you watching the puppy, sometimes you can fasten yourself to the puppy with a leash at your waist.
  6. If you find an accident the puppy has had in the house that you did not see happen, that is more your mistake than the puppy's! Whatever you do, never punish your dog for this.
  7. Before using any other cleaning agents, treat the spot deeply and thoroughly with a bacterial enzyme odor eliminator product such as Nature's Miracle. Nothing else has been proven to really work on getting rid of the scent. If you don't get rid of the scent, it will draw the dog's instincts to use the spot again. Other cleaning products used before the the bacterial enzyme product can cause it to be unable to work. They can literally kill the little bacteria before they have a chance to deal with the odor.
  8. Make sure your puppy is on a top-quality dog food, and is free of intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, coccidia, giardia. Any of these things can sabotage housetraining efforts. If the puppy ever seems to be urinating abnormally often, take a urine specimen to the veterinarian for analysis.
  9. Schedule food and water. Give water whenever you can, but not in the crate, and not right before the dog is going to have to wait in the crate for some time. Modify this, of course, if the vet recommends it for your puppy or your situation. Feed at least twice a day, the best dog food you can get (cheap dog foods cause housetraining problems, as well as many other problems), and keep the food to a careful schedule. Scheduled food going IN leads to scheduled poop coming OUT, and that is very important for housetraining.