How To House Train A Dog

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A grey dog laying on a grey, furry blanket
Amber LaRock Author of How To House Train A Dog

House training your furry friend can be one of the most challenging parts of being a dog parent. While it can certainly be a frustrating process, there are ways to speed up the process and make it less stressful for everyone involved.

In this article, we’ll dive into the best tips and tricks to house train your dog, and the tools you’ll need for potty training success!


Essential Items For House Training Your Puppy

Once you welcome a new furry friend into your home, there are some essential supplies you’ll need in order to begin the house training process with your puppy. These items include:

  • Puppy pads/potty pads
  • A crate
  • Their favorite treats

A crate will make the potty training process so much easier for everyone involved, the puppy pads will come in handy if your puppy has accidents in their crate, and their favorite treats will be a reward for when they go to the bathroom outdoors.


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Routines & Guides For House Training A Dog

The most important part of house training your new puppy is by establishing a routine that will best suit them throughout this phase of their lives. Potty training can be difficult for your furry friend to grasp, so it’s important to make sure you are making this process as easy as possible for them.


Take Them Outside Frequently

In order to help your puppy understand that they need to go outside to use the bathroom, you’ll need to try your best to make sure they are outside each time they may have to go. By taking them outside every couple of hours, they will begin to understand that this is the spot that is best to go. By pairing this process with praise each time they use the bathroom outside, they will pick up on the fact that this is the desired behavior. Also, make sure to take them outside every time after they wake up from naps or after they consume food or water. They are more likely to have to urinate at this time, so it’s important to get them outside. 


Consistent Bathroom Spot

Having a consistent bathroom spot will help your pup better understand where they need to go. Whether it’s your backyard or the dog park near your apartment, they will begin to learn that they only use the bathroom when they are outdoors. Try your best to stick to the same spots outdoors until they really grasp the concept of house training. 


Regular Feeding Schedules

Regular feeding schedules promote regular bowel movements. By offering regular feedings they will soon develop a schedule in which they typically need to use the bathroom, and this will make the house training process easier to pick up on. 


Removing Their Water Dish

Having a water dish in your dog’s crate or sleeping area can be challenging to the potty training process. Puppies will often drink throughout the night, and likely have to urinate many times because of it. As long as your dog is drinking enough throughout the day, it is perfectly safe to remove their water dish at night to prevent them from having to use the restroom in their crate.


Rewards

If you want your pup to continue to use the restroom outside, you will need to praise them when they do. By giving them treats and cuddles each time they use the bathroom outdoors, they will quickly catch on to the fact that this is the desired behavior. However, make sure you are giving them the treat while they are still outside. Giving them the treat once they come indoors can create some confusion while they are still learning. 


Crate Training

Crate training will be a lifesaver throughout the house training process with your puppy. If your puppy has free-roaming abilities throughout your house in the middle of the night or when you are away, they are bound to have accidents at some point.

By keeping them in a crate that is large enough for them to lay down and turn around, but not large enough for them to move far away from their accidents, you can help them learn how to hold it until you are able to let them outside again.

As long as their crate is cozy and you offer them a treat each time they go in, they should see their crate as a safe place. Since you are relying on this crate throughout the process, try your best to never use their crate as a punishment for having accidents or other bad behaviors. You want them to enjoy their crate, not fear it.


Catching Accidents

How you react when you catch your dog having an accident inside your home is a huge part of a successful house training journey. Your pup should be aware that they should not use the bathroom indoors, but this should never be traumatic.

If you catch your puppy having an accident inside, make a noise that startles them (clapping, stern voice, whistle, etc. Once you have gotten their attention, quickly take them outside and allow them to finish and understand that this is the correct area to go.

Punishment does not work well with potty training. The old methods of pushing their face in their accident, shouting at them, or even spanking them, can be detrimental to the process and cause stress for your furry friend. In order for this to work, they have to feel safe and comfortable in your home, and praised each time they do the right thing!


Additional Tips

Now that you understand the basics of house training, let’s cover some quick tips to further help you throughout the process. 

  • Try not to allow your puppy to roam freely around your home without monitoring them
  • Do not go more than a couple hours without taking them outside throughout the day
  • Make sure to offer them treats outside instead of inside
  • Consider keeping them on a leash so that they stay near you, this helps prevent them from wandering around the house and having accidents
  • Try to keep a set feeding schedule
  • Try to stick to the same bathroom area while they are learning

While house training your puppy can be challenging, it should always be a positive and uplifting process. Make sure to review these tips before welcoming your new furry friend into the family and you’ll have a potty trained puppy in no time!


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Meet The Author 

Amber LaRock

Amber is a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Recently she has specialized in veterinary and animal-related content creation and social media management. When she is not working she loves spending time with her furry friends exploring the outdoors.