House training your puppy is one of the most important first steps a new pet owner takes. Proper house training requires patience and consistency. It won’t happen overnight, but follow these tips to house train your puppy as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Create a Schedule and Routine
Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule. Track how long it takes them to need to use the bathroom after eating so you can anticipate the best time to take them outside. Pick a designated spot for them to use the bathroom outside. While they’re going, pick a word or phrase to say that they can associate with the action.

Using a Crate
Dog training crates offer a good short term solution for house training your puppy. Use the crate to instruct your puppy to wait to go to the bathroom until you open the crate and let them outside. If you use a crate, there are some tips for making sure that you are utilizing it correctly.

  • Take care to purchase a crate large enough for your puppy to sit, stand, turn around and lie down in comfortably, but not large enough for them to use the bathroom in.
  • If you need your puppy to be crated for an extended period of time, make sure that it has enough water. There are even dispensers that can be attached to the outside of the crate.
  • Don’t continue to use a crate if your puppy is using the bathroom in it a lot. They are developing bad habits that will be hard to break.

Use Positive Reinforcement
Reward your puppy for going to the bathroom in the correct area. This can come in the form of a treat or something else like a walk around the neighborhood. They will associate the behavior with receiving something positive and will continue to do it.

Take Note of the Signs
Many dogs tend to exhibit universal signs that they need to use the bathroom. Some common signs that your puppy might need to use the bathroom are sniffing and circling around. If you pick up on the signs, you will be able to prevent more accidents from happening.

Avoid Punishing for Accidents
Accidents are going to happen. If you catch your puppy in the middle of using the bathroom in the house, make a startling noise. This should be loud enough to interrupt them but not to scare them. Then immediately take them outside. Make sure to thoroughly clean the soiled area. They’re more likely to use the bathroom in a spot they went before. Yelling at your puppy or inflicting harm will get you nowhere and damage the relationship between you and your puppy. Always try to use positive training methods to get the best results when you’re house training your puppy.

Most puppies aren’t completely house trained until they are at least 6 months old. Keep in mind that every dog learns at their own pace. For example, smaller dogs typically have smaller bladders which may cause them to have to use the bathroom more frequently. This could mean that they might take longer to be house trained. Getting your puppy house trained requires sticking with it through the most difficult times and loving them through it.