Housebreaking dogs

A Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Dog House Training

Alain Courchesne
Doggy Bathroom Black Dog Sniffing Staircase Doggy Bathroom Black Dog Sniffing Staircase

Training your furry friend to eliminate in the right places is an essential aspect of responsible dog ownership. This behavior is not only natural for your dog but also rewarding. However, achieving success in house training requires a thoughtful approach, emphasizing positive reinforcement over punishment. Let’s delve into the intricacies of dog house training, covering key aspects such as supervision, confinement, recognizing elimination cues, and dealing with accidents.

Supervision and Observation

A crucial element of successful house training is vigilant supervision. The time it takes to train your puppy is directly linked to how well you can monitor and guide them. Puppies, in particular, require constant attention, as they can only hold their urine for about an hour plus their age in months. This emphasizes the need for proactive supervision and observation.

Know When Your Puppy Needs to Eliminate

Understanding your puppy's potty needs is paramount. Puppies typically need to eliminate after eating, drinking, playing, and waking up. Establish a consistent feeding schedule, offering multiple meals a day for a specific duration. Be attentive to your puppy's signals, such as sniffing, circling, or approaching the door, and take them to their designated area promptly. Keep an eye on their bathroom habits and wait patiently if they typically have a bowel movement after urinating.

Supervise Effectively

While constant supervision is ideal, it may not always be feasible but this is critical especially at the beginning. Do your best to have your pup in the same room as you and additionally, consider using a crate during times of non-supervision, adhering to the principles of crate training.


A crate serves as a safe haven for your puppy during house training. Dogs instinctively avoid soiling their living spaces, making the crate an effective tool. Ensure the crate is appropriately sized, allowing your puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Adjust the crate size as your puppy grows or gains bladder control.

Reward-Based Training

Positive reinforcement is key to successful house training. Always accompany your puppy outside on a leash, signaling the purpose of the outing with phrases like "Let's go out." Avoid playing or giving attention until after your puppy eliminates. Introduce verbal cues like "Go potty" or "Doggy Bathroom" before elimination to establish a connection between the command and the behavior. Reward your pup promptly with praise, treats, and playtime every time they eliminate in the designated area.

Dealing with Accidents

Accidents are inevitable during house training, but it's crucial to respond calmly. Avoid punishing your dog for accidents, as this can create fear or confusion. If caught in the act, gently cue your dog to go outside or to their designated area. Use odor eliminator/enzyme cleaner to remove any scent that may attract your puppy back to the accident spot. Maintain a calm demeanor, focusing on reinforcing positive behavior. Read another article Tackling Pet Urine Odors.

Leaving Your Puppy for Extended Periods

For times when you must leave your puppy alone, consider confining them to a suitable area or room with enough space for sleeping, eating, and elimination. Introduce a designated elimination area using a litter box like a Doggy Bathroom. Encourage your puppy to use this area by showing it to them after meals or play and reward them for using it appropriately.

Effective dog house training requires patience, consistency, and a deep understanding of your dog's needs. By incorporating positive reinforcement, vigilant supervision, and appropriate confinement methods, you can guide your furry friend towards successful elimination habits. Remember, accidents are part of the learning process, and a supportive, positive approach is key to building a strong bond with your canine companion.