We Got a New Puppy.. How Hard Can It Be to House Train It?

Updated on December 06, 2007
T.H. asks from New Hope, AL
21 answers

I need to know the best way to train a puppy to go outside to use do its business!
What is the easiest way to do this.. My kids really want to keep it but i'm getting very irritated at it because it will not use it outside I will take it out and stay for about 15 minutes with it and think it has went and as soon as we get back into the house it goes right there in my carpet... My husband said that it has to go!!
I don't feel like I can do this either I have 3 kids that want it very badly but they don't want to help take care of it they just wanna play with it.. Is it to cold to put it in a dog house outside with shavings or a blanket.. SOme where besides in the house... I need help on this issue.. Thanks to anyonw that can help..

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answers from Birmingham on

The best way to train a puppy is to crate train it. Dogs are cave dwellers and like small tight spaces. Place the puppy in the crate at night for bed time and when you take him out in the am, take him to do his business immediately then praise him. He will not go in the crate after a while though a puppy has to learn to hold his bladder like a child, they just do it quicker. Do not leave food and water down all the time, Feed him give him water over 10 to 15 minutes do not let him wander. Immediately take him outside. Praise him when he does his business. He may take longer than 15 min in the beginning.



answers from Nashville on

It is going to be very hard and difficult and especially harder and more difficult with kids. The only thing that I know to do is take it out about every 30 minutes till it gets old enough to get the hint that it needs to go outside. You have to be consistant with it.
Good luck.

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answers from New Orleans on

the easiest would be to crate train it. Dogs don't like to use the bathroom where they sleep. Take the pup outside like normal and then immediatly put him into the kennel to keep him from peeing in the house and then try about 5 mins later.

If you need more help I'm here to help :)



answers from Montgomery on

i used to be a dog trainer and the way we trained them to go potty outside was, only put food down at 2 or 3 times a day about 20 minutes after it's done eating take it outside for about 10 minutes, do the same with the water just make sure you offer water several times throughout the day. after it goes potty outside give it a treat. if it goes in the house immediately pick it up and take it outside do not rub it's nose in the mess or it will start to hide to potty. if it poops inside when you take the dog out take the poop too and put it in the yard so it knows where you want it to potty.



answers from Chattanooga on

Hi T.

The best way is to crate/kennel train the dog.

Here are some tips I used to give my customers when I taught dog training.

Make the kennel the dogs safe place. Never use it as punishment. Feed the dog in the kennel, give it treats for getting in the kennel, etc so it will begin to like the kennel.

If the dog does not like the kennel and is barking, do not take him out while he is barking this will ONLY reinforce the barking. As soon as he gets quiet you can let him. you want to reinforce good behavior.

Here is how I potty train:
put dog in kennel.
take dog out to go to the bathroom.
if the dog is successful HUGE praise and a cookie. Make a big deal about it. Since the dog was successful he can earn some time outside the crate in the house.
If the dog does NOT go, put him back in the crate, wait 30 minutes and try again. Dog ONLY earns free time in the house after he successfully goes outside.
The dog will pick this up very quickly.
Use the same word while the dog is going (potty, hurry up whatever you choose, be consistent)

You have to make a big deal about going outside and make it fun.

You also need to clean up the mess in the house with Natures Miracle so that the smell is removed and it doesn't tempt him to go again in the same place.

Please feel free to email me, I will give you # where you can call me and we can talk if that will help!
[email protected]____.com



answers from Baton Rouge on

Puppies take a lot of work. I don't know if you're crate training it, but it won't use the bathroom in its crate. You have to let the puppy out on a schedule and repeatedly say outside, let's go outside. Bring treats. Watch and make sure the puppy peepees or poopoos. When he/she does they get a treat. Trust me, the treats work. But it does take time. You have to have the time. Puppies don't train themselves just like children they need guidance and love and protection.
I hope this helps some. Got to SitStay website, I think there is information on everything.



answers from Little Rock on

Puppies are a LOT of work and house training them can be such a huge task, so I understand how overwhelmed you probably feel. Especially with three children! I have had numerous puppies over the years and I've found the best way to house train them is putting them outside consistently. Every couple of hours or so if possible. It may be that 15 minutes is not long enough for this dog to find his/her spot to go. Some dogs are incredibly picky about where they go potty and some will squat anywhere and potty. Have you tried taking the dog for a walk on the leash? If you can do this a couple of times a day it is good for you, puppy, and if you can take your kids, another bonus! The longer he/she spends outside for potty breaks I think will help. You might want to look into crate training, as that has worked for me with particularly difficult puppies. I have also used the puppy pads that you just set in the floor and the puppy uses the bathroom on them and you throw them away. They are absorbent, disposable pads and they usually have them in any grocery or pet store. They aren’t my favorite since I’ve had some puppies that liked to chew on them too :)

I really hope you guys can hang in there, because a dog can be such a wonderful companion and once you get over this rough patch, I think you will be very happy you kept trying!



answers from Memphis on

It is usually a very long process and even after you think the dog has mastered it they have an accident. I read to keep them in the kennel all the time for the 1st month except to go outside and take care of their business. Then gradually give them more room, like block them off in the laundry room for a month, then block them off in the kitchen for a month, etc... Most people think it is cruel to leave a dog in a kennel all day but all the dog is going to do while your gone is sleep anyway. It is safer for them and a weight taken off your shoulders worrying about your pet. I hope this helped.

What kind of puppy is it?



answers from Knoxville on

I have two small dogs in my apartment. I got the Yorkie at the beginning of the summer about a month and a half ago (She is a little over a year) is when she finally was crate trained. I will take her out in the mornings give her a treat and she knows its time to go in her crate and does not relieve herself until I get home. I just recently got a new Maltese puppy Saturday and I am VERY shocked and happy that when I take my other dog outside if she has to pee she does it then. I do have 2 puppy pads in my home and both I sprayed with stuff I bought at Petsmart. I leave the her in the kitchen because she has to have food down at all times or her blood sugar will drop. She did use the puppy pad to pee on once but then there were other spots in kitchen she used as well. I put both pads where Miley (the Maltese) usually pees at. She does relieve her bowels throughout the house but I would rather have a hard time with that then her peeing. I read that you need to take them outside everytime they eat and wake up and to get them on a set schedule. This is what has seemed to work with my Yorkie, once she was on a set schedule she was fine. You also need to buy some of that stuff to spray where the puppy pees at so there will be no more scent there so she doesn't keep coming back to that spot.



answers from Jackson on

Okay I tried to read through most of the responses as to not repeat. I have had dogs all my life and have raised several puppies to be very good dogs. We have a lab and an australian shepherd right now who both are well behaved and stay in the house.

That said, you have to take into consideration that this is a puppy. Even if it gets the concept of going potty outside, it is going to have limitations on bladder control and function. It needs to be taken outside about once every hour even if it is not acting like it needs to go. If it is taken out less frequently it may be so excited to be outside that it will forget to go and only remember to go after it gets back inside.
It needs to be taken for at least one preferably two 15 min. walks a day to get out the puppy energy. This will cut back on behavioral problems and "accidents" that are not accidents (poop in weird places).
Do offer food and water at only certain parts of the day (take up all food and water two hours before bedtime to cut back on night time potty breaks).
Do the kennel training it is great.
You MUST do a little research on the breed of your dog as well. Some dogs are harder to house train than others, or will need certain tricks to get them to do what you want. If it is a mixed breed it could have traits from both breeds. There are many websites and books that talk about the different breeds of dogs.

Finally I will tell you what I tell other people who are thinking about getting a puppy. For the first month it is like having a new born baby. You are up all hours with it, and frustrated because you know you are doing something wrong and there has to be an easier way. IT WILL PASS. After the first month, everyone gets in a routine and you begin to enjoy this new member of your family.

Hang in there and Good Luck,

PS If the dog is a medium to large size dog, it will not hurt it to spend some time outside in a dog house (with bedding of course). I would only use this occasionally and on days when you just can't take the whining from the crate any more. If you use it too frequently, you will end up with a grown dog who is hard to manage.



answers from Shreveport on

I also agree with crate training. You should have already taken the new pup to the vet, and your vet can be a wonderful resource for new puppy questions! And as a general rule, a puppy can only be expected to "hold it" approximately one hour for every month they are old (eg. 2 month old puppy can "hold it" about 2 hours)....and like a baby, they need to go after eating, sleeping, playing, etc. :) Good luck!



answers from Tuscaloosa on

I agree with crate training as well. You can also get a litter box for a puppy and he will continue to use it as an adult (works best with small breeds)I used Purina Second nature approach with one of my dogs when he was a puppy and he continued to use it until he passed away. He was a rat terrier, and I have never tried this with a big dog although they make large pans. http://www.doglitter.com/GetPage.aspx?D=12332665&T=41...

I now have a 3 yr old dachshund and he is crate trained. Got him when he was 8 weeks old and I was a stay at home mom of a 2 yr old and 5 month old twins. It was like having a 4th baby, a lot of work, but worth it.

You have to be committed, and if your kids want the dog and are old enough to take on some of the responsibilities (with supervision) than they should help out with him as well.

Puppy kindergarten is also a good training tool. Training is about training the dog and the owner. You can find them through local kennel club, humane society, or some pet store chains like Petsmart.



answers from Little Rock on

T.--I may have a simple solution to your problem. I used to breed & raise pugs. We also had a Welsh Corgi. All our dogs (9 at one time, because we had a litter of 6 babies!) were crate trained. Some people see it as harsh or cruel, but it is merely a behavior training device.
When you get up in the morning, take the puppy out of the cage & put it outside. When you bring it back in, put it in the cage until you are ready to spend a little time with it.
After you & the children have given it some attention--at first, no more than 20 minutes or so--put it back outside then to the cage for a "nap." Within a week, there should be way less accidents! At first, the puppy may pee or poop in it's cage, but it will learn that is it's bed, & they don't like staying in a stinky, wet bed, so they learn to hold it. When my first pug was about a year old, we started letting her stay out of her cage when we went on short errands, & she's done well. She'll be 10 years old in March, and rarely has accidents in the house---and, of course she hasn't been in her cage in years now.
It's not inhumane to keep a pet caged when you can't be there to monitor it's behavior, and especially during the puppy years, it certainly cuts down on the amount of destruction a puppy can do--chewing shoes, chair legs, carpeting.....you get the picture.
We began crate training Sugar's babies when they had their eyes open & could walk, & before we sold them, every one of them had been house-trained about 80% of the time.
Do some google-searching on best methods for crate training & you'll gather a lot of helpful information, and everyone will be much happier. Tell your hubby to have a little patience, explain to the children that puppies need plenty of rest, and potty breaks OUTSIDE, and hopefully your home will get back to normal soon. Good Luck!!!



answers from Chicago on

I have had lots of dogs, and crate training is the only thing that has worked for me. They say dogs won't use the bathroom where they sleep, which I have found to be untrue with my little dog, but it's easier to get the mess out of a platic crate than out of the carpet. Keep the dog in the crate when it's not getting attention from you or the kids. It's safer for the puppy, and the furniture and cords this way. The longer you have it, the more you can let it out. As far as going outside, it's alot like potty training a toddler. I took mine out every hour and watched until I knew she did her thing. If an hour is too long, try every 45 minutes. If you're not home, put it in the crate and let it out as soon as you get home. Look for any sign that it has to go, and you'll start to "speak it's language". I've also heard that you can train the dog to ring a bell when it has to go out, but I haven't tried it. Just give it lots of love and treats when it does what's it's supposed to. That's all dogs want from you anyway is love and food. And remember little dogs have little bladders, and they can't go as long between potty breaks as big dogs can.



answers from Baton Rouge on

I worked for 15 years as a vet tech, and crqte/kennel training is best and easiest for both you and the dog. If it’s done right (ie the crate is not used to punish the dog), the dog will actually come to see the crate as his refuge. One of our dogs got to the point where we could simply tell him “go to bed” and he would go into his kennel and stay there until we called him out – we didn’t even have to close the door. Another would go to hers when she wanted to nap.
You want an airline kennel that is big enough to hold his food and water dishes and for him to stand up, lie down, and take a couple of steps. You don’t want one that’s big enough for him to eat and sleep at one end and relieve himself in the other. The whole point of crate training is to take advantage of the dog’s natural instinct not to soil their food.
The pup needs to eat and sleep in the kennel, and he needs to be in the kennel when no one is home.
Take him outside first thing in the morning, and praise him when he does what he is supposed to do. Take him to the same spot every time, so he can smell what he did before, which will help cement in his mind what he’s supposed to do and where he’s supposed to do it.
Pups need to be fed three times a day. Don’t leave food out all day for him. You’re trying to get him on a fairly regular schedule of filling and emptying. If he’s filling all day, he’s going to need to empty all day.
After he goes out in the morning, give him his breakfast in the kennel. Whatever he doesn’t eat in 10 minutes or so, pick up. Do leave him access to water all day. Take him outside 15-20 minutes after he eats. After he relieves himself, he gets to come inside and play. Do this every time you feed him.
NO TABLE FOOD! Their digestive systems aren’t equipped to handle the spices and grease we eat, and it can give him diarrhea, which will make housetraining next to impossible.
ESPECIALLY NO CHOCOLATE! Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and can cause cardiac arrest.
Don’t give him too many doggy treats. They’re high in fat (that’s what makes them taste so good), which can make feces soft. Too many can cause diarrhea.
Take him out again last thing before bed.
As for a doghouse, that depends on the breed, size, and age of the dog. But even if you make him an outside dog, you need to housetrain him and teach him basic etiquette (come, sit, stay, down, etc.), so that you can bring him inside in case of a freeze or a hurricane.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions.



answers from Memphis on

I agree with Christina N. 100%. We have a Shih Tzu who is 11 months old, but I have only had him for about 2 weeks now and my children find him adorable. When we got him, he was not potty trained, so I crate/kennel trained him. Sometimes he will scratch or sit at the back door to be let out. Prior to training him, he would use it right on my carpet, but I got tired of cleaning up after him. I have two children who are 14 and 11, but I prefer to cleaning up after him because I know I am going to do a better job and get the smell out of the house. We would take Pepper out immediately after he soiled the carpet and leave him outside for 15 to 20 minutes, then he would be in his kennel for the remainder of the night; he could only come out to eat and go outside to potty 15 minutes after he ate and I would leave him outside for 15 to 20 minutes. Now Pepper is able to run around the house, then entire time we are home, plus get puppy treats whenever he asks to go out, but I will automatically take him outside 15 minutes after he eats. After school the children let him outside, feed him, and let him back outside 15 minutes later for 20 minutes. Pepper is on a schedule also he is let out every morning at 6, then he eats and goes back out at 6:30 until I leave for work; then at 3 he goes outside (kennel is clean) for 15 minutes, the children fixes his food he eats; goes back outside; then eats with us at 6 or 7 PM (dog food only); back outside, inside to play, outside at 9:30 and to bed at 10 when the children go to bed, including on the weekends.



answers from New Orleans on

The only way that I know how to house train a puppy is to start in the kitchen with newspaper. If he goes somewhere other than the paper inside you rub his nose in it, telling him "No! bad puppy" and then you put them on the paper. After they eat you put the puppy on the newspaper. It is a constant rewarding for going on the newspaper, and punishing the dog when he doesn't. Eventually when his start going on the newspaper regularly you move the newspaper outside. Once the newspaper is outside it is a matter of days before till you can stop using the newspaper. At least that is how we trained all of the dogs that I have owned. It takes work, time and alot of patience.

Other people that I know have potty trained their dogs by walking them after they fed them. If they go inside instead of outside, then they are punished by rubbing the dog's nose in the "accident" and taken back outside. Some dogs house break easier then others. Just depends on the dog.



answers from New Orleans on

try using some puppy papers to train him for now, when they are really young they can go as much as once an hour!

i've heard sprinkling fine ground white pepper into the carpets will discourage peeing or pooping on them (as they generally sniff before they go). they have specilal products to break down your puppy's excrement to keep him from reusing the same spot where he went before. for cleaning non-carpet floors definitely stay away from ammonia based cleaners.

these can help protect your floor while going through paper training:




answers from Jonesboro on

What worked for my dog is: we got a cage you can pick it up at walmart. just big enough for him to turn around in. When we would leave him home alone he would always go in the cage (with water) a dog USUALLY will not waste where he eats n drinks. I say water cause if you'll be gone for alittle while you don't want him thirsty.
AS soon as you get home let him out side IMMEDIATELY.
IF your home with him every 20-30 min let him outside or when you see him sniffing. Exspecially if he goes right back to the same spot. You know he's bout to do it. DO NOT let him back in until you SEE him do something pee or poo.
When you put his food down a dogs digestive system takes about 20 min then its time to unload take him out everytime. You might even give him a doggy treat after you see him do something out side.
IF the dog does have an accident show him the spot and put in right back in cage for 30 min or so. Then make sure you take him directly outside.
Never rub his nose in his waste that don't work. Just shoves waste up his nostrils. It's abusive. A simple nudge close to the spot so he/she can see it and smell will be fine.
Good luck it takes time and alot of effort but within a few weeks you should see results.
You didn't say how old your kids were but age appropriate I would definately tell them they will be responsible for taking them out and feeding and watering it.
If they don't you will have no other choice but to send the dog to a family that will care and love and take care of it responsibly.
IF they are way young perhaps right now isn't the right time for your family to have a dog. Maybe get rid of this and waite later in life when they're older. Kids will forget easily. Here today gone tomorrow.
GOod luck



answers from Knoxville on

I got a Bichon Frise last year and I quickly learned to feed the dog on a schedule. Dogs go after they've eaten. They like a special place inside if you can't get them outside - I used to buy the dog pads but they're expensive so now if I'm gone, I split open a plastic bag and put newspapers on top. I also confine her with a gate. (I found mine at Salvation Army.) I also use the same words when I take her outside. I walk her - that stimulates them to go and they get to sniff around and that stimulates them to pee on places where other dogs have gone. Of course, I have her on a leash and I repeat the words " hurry, potty". She knows now what I want her to do. I also read that letting your kids, if they're old enough, do the walking is great training for kids and dogs and gives them a feeling of responsibility. It's especially good for a child that's hyper. Brag brag brag when they do. I'm so glad I have mine. She's a gift from God for our household.

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