Puppies are not born with the knowledge that
peeing or pooping on your floor or carpet is not acceptable.
It is up to you, the responsible pet owner, to teach them
exactly where you require them to pee and poop.
This is a long article but I ask you to please read it in its
entirety. It is not difficult to house train a puppy and
this article will give you the understanding to successfully
achieve complete house training.
(Also known as house breaking)
Potty Training Guide
*You will have to put some effort into house training your
puppy or dog.
*You have to be consistent.
*You have to be diligent.
Tools Required for Potty
.....That's all you need.
Have a Schedule
If you are able, take your puppy outside once an hour. Stand
with him but don't distract him at all. Let him sniff around.
If he goes to the bathroom while outside tell him what a good dog he is while he is actually peeing or pooping Choose
a word for his elimination. You can call it what ever you want
as long as you are consistent with it. For example: While he
is peeing say,
pee, good boy, well done" or "Go potty,
great work, good dog". By saying these words your puppy will
then be able to learn these words and associate them with the
action. In the future you will be able to ask your dog to
urinate on command.
If he pees or poops when you take him outside make
a big fuss of him.
Praise him, pat him, play with him. Let him
know that if he goes to the bathroom outside you are very very
pleased with him.
If you take the puppy outside and after three
or four minutes he hasn't gone to the bathroom bring him back
inside and try again in ten minutes.
FACT: Puppies will normally need to eliminate just after
they have eaten and just after they have woken up from a sleep.
your puppy outside as soon as he awakens from a sleep or
within minutes after eating.
They go plenty of other
times too so keep a watch out. Puppies may also
need to potty while playing. If your puppy runs away from a
game you are having always suspect he is off for a bathroom
Have an acceptable area
where you will allow him to go to the bathroom
If it isn't possible for you to frequently
take your puppy outside then you must decide where you will allow your puppy to
go to the bathroom inside. Have acceptable areas where he can
eliminate. When my puppies were small I allowed them to
either go outside or on newspaper
placed at the door that led to the
outside. (You may prefer to use potty training pads
rather than newspaper)
I only used newspaper
for a short period of time and only when the puppy was very
young. Over a period of time I moved the newspaper from just
inside the door to just outside the door and then I completely
removed the newspaper altogether.
If you are potty training your puppy to go
outside ensure that he can get out! Can you leave a door open?
Do you have a doggy door? Does he know how to use the doggy
door? Sometimes stairs to gain access to the outside can be an
issue. Puppies may be afraid to go up or down them. You could
teach your puppy to ring a bell to go outside to potty
Click on the link for instructions on how to do this.
Constant Supervision. Contain your puppy to one or
Before your puppy is potty trained don't let
him have the run of the house. Try to contain him to the room
you spend the most time in so you can watch him most of the
time. Close all bedroom doors and barricade other areas that
do not have doors. You could use baby gates to contain your puppy.
Watch your puppy as much as you can. This is
where diligence comes into play. You must be prepared to watch
your puppy as much as possible.
It is never a good idea to get a new puppy on
Saturday or Sunday and then go to work on Monday. If it is
possible try to organize at least a week off from work so
you can spend some intensive time potty training your puppy.
Know the signs that your
puppy is about to eliminate
Puppies are quick. One minute they are playing
and the next minute they are peeing on your carpet.
Some of the signs that
your pup is about to pee are:
Sniffing the floor
Taking off suddenly to another room or area. They often do
this when they want to poop.
Often there are no warning signs, the puppy just
squats and pees.
Give your puppy the right
When you notice your puppy doing any of the
above things gently and without a big fuss pick him up and
place him on the newspaper or take him outside.
Don't frighten the pup when
you do this. It's a fact of life that your puppy has to pee and he has to poop so you don't
want him to get the wrong message that peeing and pooping are
wrong. You want him to get the message that peeing and pooping
in the wrong place is not acceptable behavior and pottying in
the 'allowed' area is acceptable behavior.
Catching Puppy in the act
When you catch your puppy in the act of going
to the bathroom in the wrong place tell him firmly
in a 'not happy voice'
"Nooooo don't pee there." Then take him to the newspaper or
take him outside. If you shout and carry on at him it will only
frighten him and he will soon learn to sneak off and do it
where you can't see him.
Your puppy may have already started to pee by
the time you reach him and although you may have dribbles
across the floor still take him to the newspaper or outside and then
praise him for being there. Sometimes you are not quick enough
and he has finished peeing by the time you reach him. Never
mind.. take him to the paper or outside anyway and tell him 'Do a pee
here, good boy. Clever dog. ' Don't ever make the newspaper
something to be frightened of.
It helps to put some dog pee on
the newspaper because the pup will identify the smell and
associate it with going to the bathroom. When your puppy has an accident
blot a little of the urine on to the newspaper. Somewhere in his brain he might
think 'Hmmm, pee smell here. I think this would be a good
place to pee.' and so he pees on the newspaper.
When your pup goes to the newspaper or outside
of his own free will, wait until he starts to eliminate and
then as he is doing it tell him in a happy voice
what great fellow he is. 'What a good boy... do a pee on the
paper... good work... well done'
Don't have unrealistic expectations of your
puppy. He is going to have plenty of accidents before he gets
the message of what is expected of him.
Praise not Punish
your dog for doing the right thing will always work far better
him for doing the wrong thing. Don't get angry. Don't go
overboard by yelling and screaming. Teach your dog by positive
means instead of negative reactions.
Cleaning up is very
puppy pees or poops on the carpet or floor you must clean it
up immediately. If your puppy smells pee on the floor or
carpet then he is more likely to return to this area to pee
again. In addition to all other information on this page you
must clean all odors of previous accidents so as to prevent
him re-offending in the same spot. A dog relies very much on
his sense of smell.
hard floor areas such as tiles or wood this is not a great
problem. Wipe up the pee or poop with some paper towels and
then use some disinfectant. If your puppy pees or poops on
the carpet use an 'Oxy Action' laundry stain spray to get
rid of the odors.
(Image at left is just an example. Any laundry
spray that uses 'Oxy Action' is suitable.)
Below are two links which give detailed
descriptions of how to effectively clean up dog urine and
poop using household products that you probably have on
Accept some of the blame yourself, perhaps you
have been watching him better. Don't get angry.
If you find the mess or puddle after the event has
happened do not rub his nose in it. This is a big NO NO and
such an old fashioned idea that doesn't work. However, you
must let him know that this is unacceptable. Put
your dog on his leash or in the case of a small puppy pick him
up and take him to the puddle or mess.
Change the tone of your voice... adopt a
not happy voice and say 'I'm not happy with this' while
pointing to the puddle or poop. Make him look at the
'accident' It is very likely that
your pup will not want to look at what you are pointing to and
he will avert his eyes from what you are showing him. Hold him
there and tell him several times in a
not happy voice, NO! Not Good! He will feel
uncomfortable when you do this and this is what you want to
Have some tissue at the ready
and pick up the poop or blot the urine and take it outside and
put it where you would have liked him to do it in the first
place. Make sure you still have him on the leash and that he
accompanies you and watches every step of the procedure. Put
the tissue on the ground and then tell the puppy in a happy
'Good place... do pee here... very good place' or words to
I still keep finding little
surprises on the floor
If you are constantly finding puddles and
messes follow the above procedure with one small change. When
you take him to the puddle or poop and he averts his eyes and
doesn't want to know anything about it, tie his leash to
something nearby such as a table leg or chair leg. Make sure
he can't escape seeing it. Leave him like this for a few
minutes while you walk away and ignore him. Don't leave him
there for more than five minutes, that's long enough to get
the message across.
When you are not there
You can't always be with your puppy 24 hours a
day. When you go out you have the choice of putting him
outside or containing him to one room or area. In some very
cold climates putting your puppy outside is not an option. You could
for example put him
in the garage with a warm kennel or bed. If your house is open
plan you may have to come up with some idea of barricading
off a containment area. Baby gates often work well. Choose an area that
can be easily cleaned after accidents. Put newspapers in the room
with him near the door.
people choose to contain their dog or puppy in the basement
when they are away from home. Before you consider this
option ask yourself if you would be happy to be locked in
your basement for several hours. Is it cold and damp? How
could you improve the conditions of the basement? Is it
possible to provide heating? A snug bed would be the
absolute minimum requirement.
Don't shut him up in a pen or a small bathroom.
That's not going to teach him anything. Don't put him in a
crate. Crates teach dogs NOTHING. They are imprisoned and
have no choices. Imagine if you really needed to pee and you
were locked in a small cage. How long could you hold it?
Could you hold it for 5 hours until someone got home? I
doubt it. Now imagine your puppy is a small child locked in
a cage. Could a toddler hold it for 5 hours?
You can't expect your puppy to hold it for hours on end. You
should expect that there will pee or poop on the floor when
you get home. Just make it easier for yourself to clean up
by containing him to an area that is easier to clean. For
example, choose an area that is tiled, hardwood or concrete.
As your dog gets older he will have more control over his
bladder and bowels but when he is a baby you cannot expect
How long does it take to
potty train a puppy?
On average it will take about two to three
weeks. Remember that all dogs are not the same and some will
learn very quickly and some will take a little longer. I once
had a dog who learned paper training after one day. I caught
her 'In the act' and put her on the newspaper and she never
again went anywhere else apart from the newspaper or outside.
She was a very smart puppy and an exception to the rule.
Sometimes months after you think you have
successfully potty trained your dog he will have the odd slip
up. Expect this and deal with it as you did in the beginning.
Accidents may happen with fully trained dogs. Dogs that are
not neutered or spayed have a higher incidence of eliminating
in the house. Scent marking is another form of undesired
elimination and can be managed by neutering and refreshing
housetraining. If scent marking is a problem there is further
Prevent urine marking inside the house
We have a comments page where you can discuss
potty problems with others. You may also be able to offer
advice to others. Let them know what has, and what has not
worked for you.
Pet Pee and Poop Problems