Puppies housebreak at different rates. Some breeds are tougher to
teach to go potty outside than others. Your crate and a consistent
schedule are two key ingredients to teaching puppy to potty outside.
Even if you have an adult dog, you can adapt the puppy schedule…


Depending on the age of your puppy will depend on how many meals he
eats a day. Puppies up to about six months should be getting three
meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Feed Puppy at the same time each
meal and use a potty schedule that corresponds to eating. Here is an

6:30 a.m. – wake up and take Puppy to go potty.

6:45 a.m. – feed Puppy in crate and give him water.

7:15 a.m. – take Puppy to go potty.

Young puppies have small bladders and less capacity. They may need
to go out every couple of hours during the day.

11:30 a.m. – take Puppy potty

11:45 a.m. – feed Puppy in crate

12:30 p.m. – take Puppy potty

Puppies, like children, benefit from naps after play. Put Puppy in
his crate with a drink and a few safe toys and let him “go sleepies”
for an hour or so.

4:30 p.m. – take Puppy potty

5:00 p.m. – feed Puppy supper in crate

5:30 p.m. – take Puppy potty

Evenings, especially in the summer when it is cooler, are a great
time to take Puppy for walks and socialize him. Plus, this will help
tire him out for the evening.

8:00 p.m. – pick up water for evening

9:00 p.m. – take Puppy potty

9:30 p.m. – put Puppy in crate for bed

Note: young puppies cannot be expected to hold all night. It can be
months until they have enough bladder control so be patient.

Look for signals between scheduled potty times that Puppy needs to go
out: sniffing around the ground, circling, etc. When you see him
start this, say a sharp “AAAAH! NO” to stop the action and then say
in a happy tone some thing like “Want to go out?” Take Puppy outside
immediately to his potty area and encourage him to go. I use “Go
Kennel!” You can use “Get Busy”, “Go Potty” or whatever you like –
just use the same command each time and praise as soon as the action
happens. My dogs will stand by the door to signal they have to go
out. I know people who have taught dogs to rings bells hanging from
the doorknob.

Along with a solid schedule, puppy needs to be with you and not
roaming the house unsupervised. Use baby gates or if you are walking
about, umbilical cord the puppy to you with a leash. This way, puppy
is never out of your sight. The best redirection (correction) is the
one that happens the instant the behavior of pottying inside
happens. If puppy is wandering the house and gets to realize there
are times he can potty inside, he will continue to do so. Also, a
correction after the fact is a correction that is lost. If you are
going to be in a position where you cannot watch him (napping, going
out) crate him. And NEVER leave the leash on puppy when he is crated
or when he is not tied to you. A dragging leash can get tangled and
puppy could get hurt.

Should Puppy have an accident in the house, you must catch him in the
act for discipline to be effective – why in the above paragraph the
use of gates and a leash was brought up. If puppy has pottied five
minutes ago on yuor best rug and you just see it, the correction is
totally lost. Puppies and dogs forget faster and will interpret the
discipline not being done because he pottied in the house but for
something different. Clean up the spot well and with something that
will neutralize the odor. Use one of the commercially made products
or white vinegar and water.

I am against paper training or using those special pads
that “encourage” Puppy to go potty on them. This teaches Puppy it is
fine to potty in the house. Now you want to teach him he cannot do
something once fine for him to do. It is confusing. Unless you are
disabled or for some reason MUST paper train, I encourage people to
avoid it.

Bear in mind that should a housebroken puppy or dog begin having
accidents, there could be an underlying physical reason such as a
bladder infection. Should this not be the case, there could be a
behavioral issue such as submission urination or stress. Should you
start having problems with a dog not prone to problems, seek medical
assistance first. Also, as a dog ages, accidents may happen.
Accidents also happen with fully trained dogs. Dogs not neutered or
spayed have a higher incidence of eliminating in the house as well.

From Karen Peak of West Wind Dog Training, http://www.westwinddogtraining.com.

[Back to Animal Articles]