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How to Housebreak a Puppy


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How to House Break a Puppy

A puppy, the same as an older dog, is a creature of habit. When it comes to learning they learn through consistency, schedules and by rote. When they continue to be rewarded for peeing outside and scolded for doing so inside – they can quickly make the connection and make a dash for the kitchen door. If, however, you are not consistent with your training then you will have a difficult time figuring out how to house break a puppy.

There is no half way house when it comes to how to potty train a puppy. Either your puppy is house broken or he (or she) is not. There are a few exceptions where a puppy (due to poor bladder control) may urinate a little out of excitement (such as when seeing a new person) or fear (such as being startled by a loud noise). This will stop over time and there isn’t much you can do about it since there isn’t much the puppy itself can do about it.

There are a variety of methods when it comes to how to house break a puppy. There are fundamental methods such as constantly moving the puppy outside and praising when they urinate outdoors and scolding when catching them indoors. Some trainers prefer to learn how to litter train a puppy first while others consider the use of dog cages while waiting for a dog to be house broken.

The basis of any puppy training is praising with gentle tones, petting and treats and scolding with a harsh tone and clapping your hands together. Take the puppy outside every hour or so and before/after meals or playtimes. If the puppy does its business outdoors make a fuss and give a lot of praise. If you catch the puppy doing so indoors then quickly scold and move the puppy outdoors. If it continues when outside then follow that with praise.

We cover a couple of methods here on the site but the one key to knowing how to house break a puppy is consistency. Keep the diet consistent. Keep the treats consistent (given at the right time) and (as far as possible) keep the schedule consistent.

Timing is also important when it comes to potty training a puppy. You need to praise (or scold) immediately. There is no point in doing so afterwards because the puppy will not make the connection. If you find a wet patch on the carpet and scold the puppy while they’re in the other room playing with a ball – they’ll think they’re not meant to play with the ball. Likewise, if you praise too late the puppy with associate that praise with whatever it was doing. Another important timing issue when house breaking a puppy is to immediately take him back indoors once they have done their business. If you need to walk him/her then go back out again in ten minutes or so. Going outside – doing its business and getting praise – then going back inside makes the connection to the puppy that that is what outside is for. 


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  • About us

    Hello, Chris here and thanks for stopping by. I hope I'll be able to help you learn how to potty train a puppy without too much of a headache!

    There's nothing quite like living with a dog and I've potty trained a fair few in my time. I put this site together to help people who were having problems potty training a puppy.

    It doesn't have to be as hard as people make out and the guides you'll find here should make things nice and easy for you.