Puppy House Training


 The basis of housetraining is comfortable confinement to prevent mistakes. Confinement includes both a short term confinement area (crate) and a long term confinement area in the home. Crate training allows owners to control puppy’s opportunities to eliminate and to teach good habits. Dogs will avoid soiling their sleeping area. They won’t eliminate in the crate unless left there too long, or the crate is too large. The crate can be used as a short term confinement area during the day, and is also where the pup sleeps at night. It can be placed near the owner’s bed at night so that Pup doesn’t feel alone or frightened. The larger confinement area is used during times when you will be out and need to keep your dog safe with more space than the crate. Details are below. 

 Crate training requires the following:

  • Proper size crate (some can be expanded as pup grows)
  • Comfortable pad or blanket & pillow
  • Stuffable chew toys appropriate to dog’s age and size (e.g. Kong toys)
  • High quality treats
  • Lightweight cord (used only with supervision)

 Long term confinement area requires the following:

  • A larger area inside – kitchen, playpen, bathroom, or any small area with a hard floor
  • Dog proof barrier
  • Comfy bed
  • Water bowl
  • Toilet area - potty pads, newspaper or turf placed at farthest point from bed
  • Stuffed chew toys

Other supplies:

  • Nature’s Miracle or similar product to clean up accidents
  • High quality treats cut into small bits
  • Treat bag, fanny pack or other quick access to treats
  • Leash, collar and harness, appropriate to size of dog
  • Large towel or cover for crate at night

Times when dog should be taken out:

For young pups, every hour

For pups 18+ weeks, every 2 hours

1st thing in morning, no delays        

After a naps, meals, and play sessions

When let out of crate or confinement area

Last thing at night


Teach Pup to love crate:

Show Pup stuffed chew toy and let her sniff.

Put stuffed toy in crate and shut door with Pup outside.

When Pup wants to go in to get to toys, open door and let her in. Leave door open.

Tie toys inside the crate so Pup must go in and stay in to enjoy them. Leave door open and stay with your pup to make sure she doesn’t chew the cord. Remove cord when done.

Feed meals in crate by stuffing toys with food, or putting food bowl in crate.

 Potty Training Routine

Put Pup in crate with chew toys. Don’t leave Pup in crate for extended periods of time, except to sleep at night. When you take Pup out of the crate, attach her leash and carry her immediately outside to your selected toilet area. Don't put her down on the floor and give her the chance to make a mistake! Always go to the same spot. Stand still and let her circle you until she pees and poops. Give her treats and lots of praise. Take Pup outside to toilet area every hour at first, or as frequently as possible. Be ready with treats and praise. Instead of waiting for Pup to wake up (in the morning or from a nap), wake her and take outside immediately.

 Make sure Pup has access to fresh water when not in crate. Feed meals in crate using stuffable toys. To prevent overfeeding, measure out the correct daily amount and use that to stuff toys and as rewards. Feed at the same time every day and take outside immediately after meals.


Teaching Pup to Go Potty Outside Only:

Timing is crucial – pups pee within ½ minute after waking, and poop a couple of minutes later. BE READY. Carry  Pup out to potty area. Have treats ready, watch Pup closely, praise lavishly when Pup goes. Give 3 yummy treats immediately. Rewards must be delivered within 2 seconds.

Stay outside for 5 minutes to make sure Pup has time to empty herself.

Only let Pup loose inside when she’s empty (within 1/2 hr after peeing and pooping), and you can watch every second. If you can’t watch Pup every second, use play pen or other confinement area, go in there with her for play. Play after a successful potty trip is an additional reward for eliminating outside. If there’s an accident, clean up and deodorize area so it won’t be attractive to Pup. If you catch her in the act, pick up and rush to potty area. Don’t yell, or scare her. That will only result in her waiting until you’re not around.

Once Pup has learned to go outside only, start saying “go potty” while she sniffs, then “good potty!” when she eliminates, and give treat. This will eventually result in the dog going potty on demand when necessary.

When Pup is old enough, follow a successful “potty trip” with a walk. The walk adds a strong reward for going when and where she’s told. It is very important to avoid taking the puppy inside right after she has eliminated. That would give her the message that going potty ends her time outside, and that is a negative result for the dog. She is likely to hold it in to avoid be taken inside, and then will have to pee and/or poop inside.