Housebreaking a New Puppy

Updated on April 27, 2009
M.C. asks from Ann Arbor, MI
8 answers

Hi Moms,

I'm looking for advice on how to successfully housebreak a new puppy. My dog is a small chipin, so I'd like to teach him to go outside during the warmer weather and when it gets really cold out, go on the wee-wee pads in the basement. We just got our new puppy 3 weeks ago, he's 5 months old and not yet neutered (I don't know if that may make a difference in housebreaking). I've been using the wee-wee pads as instructed, but he will go on the pads once in a while, but then he's gone in secluded areas of the house. I've also been putting him outside regularly which I see him pee in the morning, but I'm still finding accidents in the house. Please help.

Thanks Moms,


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answers from Detroit on

I have a Cockapoo. I had him from a few mths old too and I took him outside every 30min-1hr initially. He did not like the potty pads. He would pee right next to them. I bought the potty aid spray, it did not work either. But when I took him out I had a bell hanging from the door. So I would ring the bell and says lets go potty everytime. Eventually when he had to potty, he would go to the back door and hit the bell. Also, when he potty inside, I would put his nose really close and swat him and tell him no and then take him outside. He usually did not go again but I think it helped him associate outside with potty. But stick with it, just know that it will take some months before there are not more accidents.

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answers from Lansing on


Remember, your puppy is learning a new language at the same time that he is learning where he can do his business. He needs a lot of positive reinforcement right now - just like a child who is learning to go potty on the toilet. So, for the fist few weeks he should be wearing a leash and you should go outside with him so he can do his business. Say "go potty", ring the bell, and then praise him "Good boy go potty!" when he pees or poops in the yard. Pet him, play with him, and then bring him back inside. Repeat every 1/2 to 1 hour. Your puppy wants to please you and when he learns his actions make you happy he will continue to do those actions.

A crate also makes all the difference - it becomes his safe place, his very own space - and he will learn to go there when he needs alone time.

Good luck with your new furry member of the family. =)




answers from Detroit on

Keep him wioth you in the house, at your side on a leash if necessary. Do not let him have run of the house. When he is not with you, put him in a crate. Crate trainig is instinct, dogs do not do their business where they eat/sleep, so get him crate trained ifyou can't b with him all the time, and then take him out. When he is with you and you see hi start to go, (they'll circle) then take him outside and praise him til the cows come home!



answers from Detroit on

You are still in the infancy of housebreaking. Smaller dogs can take much longer to housebreak than bigger dogs. I think it's way too confusing to be training him with pee pads and to go outside. At this point, I would just work on housebreaking him to go outdoors. Ditto on the previous post with the bell. This will give him a surefire way to communicate to you he has to go outside. Every time you take him out tell him lets go potty and ring the bell with his paw as you are putting him out. Also, every 30mins is a great guage when to put him out. He should NOT be left unsupervised at this point. So if you have to take a shower, bathe your children etc..put him in his crate. The biggest advice is patience..It can take a long time but it will be worth it in the end!



answers from Detroit on

Get rid of the pee pads and start using a strict feeding/outing schedule. Crate him when you absolutely can't keep an eye on him. Do NOT give him free run of your house - keep him either in the same room you are in or in hs crate.



answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,

We too just got a new puppy only 2 weeks ago and she is only 11 weeks old. We tried the Wee Wee pads and she wont even touch them, she was peeing everywhere but on the Wee Wee pads. I called the Human Society Hot Line they have listed and spoke to a woman who told me crate training is the best way to train a puppy. She said to put her in the crate at night time so there are no accidents in the house and also put the puppy in the crate when you can't give it 100% attention. Our puppy is only 4 lbs. so we have to take her out of the crate at night about every 3 hours to releive herself, but the woman at the Humane Society said that wont last long, they learn to hold themselves better as they get older. Be prepared for the first few nights of crying though and dont let your puppy out of the cage when they are crying. We also take her out within 15 minutes of her eating or drinking anything and even if she relieves herself right away, we wait atleast another 5-10 minutes incase there is more. Dont get me wrong, there are still accidents on the floor but I have seen a huge improvement since we started the crate training and watching her eating pattern. I hope this helps you out, I know I too was very frustrated the first week we had our pup, but it does get better. I know we are on our way to no accidents eventually. Good Luck!!



answers from Detroit on

Housebreaking a puppy is tough work. I used positive reinforcement- give lots of praise when you see him go outside so he understands it is good. Keep a constant eye on him so he can't go in the house without your knowing (which is easier said than done with 2 kids and 2 on the way!). If you see him start to go in the house, take him directy outside or to a wee-wee pad. If you can't watch him constantly in th beginning, you might want to think about a crate. good luck!



answers from Saginaw on

Hello M., Consistancy is the key. If you use the wee wee pads, don't use the outdoors also. Like potty training a child, use just one method to avoid confussion. Then apply a timed scedule. Use a crate, or simply leash him to one area at night. Go to potty spot first thing in the morning. Give one hour of free play, then back to potty spot. If he doesn't go, then put him back in crate/leash for a half hour then back to spot. Repeat throughout the day. This is all about training the people to couch the puppy to learn. Accidents are not the dogs fault, but the trainers. Set an alarm clock, or stove timer to assist the prossess. If you use a sentence like "do you're busness" each time you take him to his spot, he will also learn to go on command. Then enjoy, as dogs bring so much to a family. Good luck.

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