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Puppy Training: Housebreaking

While initially potty training your puppy may seem like a daunting task, even the most stubborn pup can master a new bathroom routine with persistence, consistency, and love. While it is easiest to prevent pups from forming problem behavior as soon as possible, no dog, despite age or situation is a lost cause. Keep these things in mind during puppy training exercises.

Be Positive: It is essential to remember, as with all dog and puppy training, to abstain from negative reinforcement.


If your pup has an accident, distracting them and moving them outside is a vastly preferred option than yelling, screaming or rubbing their nose in it.  Your dog will not associate their location (inside/outside) with any punishment you dish out; they will actually associate the act of using the bathroom with punishment. This negative reinforcement teaches your pup to hide all bathroom activities from you and will severely set your dog training back.

Restrict access: Until your dog has routinely displayed a mastery of proper bathroom habits, restricting their access to the home helps prevent accidents by keeping them in a smaller environment.

Don’t be so boring: Keep your pup supervised and busy! Mischievous younger dogs often sneak off to have accidents.

Don’t leave them alone: Join them outside! If you can’t see your pup doing their business outside, they might just be playing around rather than relieving themselves.

Give praise: Always praise your dog for proper bathroom behavior. If you catch a mistake in process, just distract them and take them were it is ok. Avoid negative association.

Don’t eat and pee in the same place: If your pup seems to enjoy using a constant part of your home, try moving their eating area over to the problem spot. While this will prevent your dog from using the same spot, be careful that a new negative pattern does not develop elsewhere.

A time for crate: Consider making use of a crate or pen when your dog is unattended. Don’t let your absence undo all of your hard work.

Keep it consistent: If you want your pup to do their business outside, never use puppy pads or indoor aids. Don’t mix signals, choose indoor or outdoor and stick to it.


Positivity and consistency at work with a well-controlled environment are key to successful puppy training and the happiness of everyone involved!

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