Potty training

How to housebreak a puppy

Housebreak a puppy

Let’s face it: one of the problems with puppies is pee & poop. Puppies are like young children in that they don’t come out of the box knowing how to do everything properly. They have to learn as they grow and one the things to learn is where and when to go to the bathroom.

When it comes to housebreaking a puppy, what you’ll need is patience, praise and persistence.


It takes patience, time and dedication to properly house train a puppy. A puppy needs to go potty up to six times a day and in the beginning, you will have to know when to do that rather than wait until he tells you by demonstration.

A good start is to buy a dog crate that will allow you to corral your little friend. Dogs don’t like to soil their den, so once he’s inside his crate, he will be much more motivated to hold it up until you let him out of the crate and take him to the appropriate location to take care of his business.

Take him out of the crate after every meal, go to the location which you’ve assigned to go potty, then patiently wait for him to do his thing and  praise him once he’s successfully completed his mission. At first, he might look at you like you are crazy, but after a while he will understand the connection.
If you have to be out of the house all day, such as for work, you should ask help from a friend or neighbor. Alternatively, you can bribe a teenager who needs some cash to come walk your puppy regularly.


Always bear in mind that a puppy will respond better to praise than to punishment. Respect your puppy. You may be the human and the pack leader, but you should still treat your puppy with respect. He doesn’t understand yelling, hitting or shoving his nose in his poop. These types of tactics do not work and will only harm your relationship. It will only lead to convincing your dog that you are a creature that he should fear rather than trust. A dog that is fearful becomes a dog that is neurotic, and from there, many different problems will arise. You don’t want to go there…

As you gradually let your puppy explore your home more and more, stay alert for puppy language that indicates “I need to go”. Such signals include circling around, sniffing intensely and squatting. Respond quick to get him outside and praise him each time he completes his tasks successfully. If you are too slow and catch him eliminating in the house, firmly say “No!”, and then take him outside.

As you’ll have guessed, it is also important to immediately clean up any accidents and use a product that properly eliminates the smell of urine. Dogs like to go where there find familiar scents, so removing that odor will prevent that he uses that same spot again next time.

One natural cleaning option is to use a combination of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to rinse the area. Then blot the liquid and use baking soda to absorb any remaining smell.


Finally, a crucial ingredient for successfully housebreaking your puppy is persistence. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up.

With these techniques and with the due amount of patience, praise and persistence you will learn how to housebreak a puppy successfully.