How to Housebreak a Puppy Using a Schedule and Patience

If the wonderful world of housebreaking really existed and housebreaking was foolproof, puppies would come with on and off switches. Unfortunately that is not possible and so as a pet parent of a wonderful new puppy, the job of training has been handed to you.

If this active ball of four-legged fluff is your first dog, consider housebreaking your puppy an adventure for both of you, as neither of you knows what to expect.

Just remember to house break a puppy, you need a schedule and a great deal of patience.

However, before we get into the serious aspects of housebreaking, let us crawl into the mind of your little dog and see what is going on.

First of all your puppy has about the same learning capacity as an eight-month-old human baby. If you keep this in mind you will have a better understanding of what you are dealing with and hopefully this thought will make you more patient and understanding.

Puppies have no bladder or bowel control. They cannot “feel” when they have to go until they are “going.”

Puppies will have accidents and when they do, ”do not reprimand the puppy,”just clean up the mess. Keep in mind you would not scold a baby for a dirty diaper.

Actual bladder and bowel control will come sometime between 6 to 9 months.

Until then, dear friend, you are in charge of the wonderful world of housebreaking.

It really isn’t as difficult as it sounds, it is just a matter of training yourself until you get the furry person trained and when that’s done, it’s a piece of cake.

The secret of housebreaking a puppy is patience, consistency, rewards, lots of praise and petting.

It is also important that before you start the housebreaking routine your decide on two words that you will use consistently to tell your puppy what you want it to do. Words like “tinkle” if you want your dog to pee or “poo or poopie” if you want the dog to have a bowel movement. The choice of words is yours, just use them all the time until your pet is trained.

If you can remember these basic rules and follow through with them you will have half the battle won.

Activity makes urine; busy puppies pee a lot.

If your puppy has been playing hard for a little while, it will need to go to the bathroom, it matters not that he/she went 10 minutes ago.

A resting puppy may not have to go “potty” for an hour or more and a puppy sleeping at night can wait for 7 or 8 hours before it has to go.

It is also wise to take the puppy out about 10 to 15 minutes after eating or drinking. Remember, what goes “in” must come “out.”

ROUTINE is what is necessary when housebreaking your puppy. Establish a feeding schedule that suits your timetable. A timetable that allows you time to take the puppy out 10 to 20 minutes after it has eaten to go potty.

Dogs thrive on routine and routine means the same time every day and that includes weekends and holidays.

The secret during those first few months is not the puppy, but how well trained and alert you are to your puppy’s needs.

Accidents are not the puppy’s fault they are yours.

DO NOT HIT, SPANK OR BEAT your puppy if it has an accident. In truth, do not even scold it. Clean up the mess and count to ten.

The old school of thought that said rubbing the puppy’s nose in its mess will convince it not to do that again is just a bad idea and not a good thought.

Punishment at this stage of the game will only create fear of you and not accomplish your goal.

If you are as patient with your puppy as you would be with an infant, you will do well.

Your puppy wants to please you and wants to be a part of your family’s life; it is your job to show it the way.

Now that you understand a little more about the workings of your puppy’s innards and that your puppy is not a little furry human, let’s get on with some training.

There are several schools of thought on housebreaking, all of which have great merit. Some require more time than others and because “time is of the essence” in most of our lives and because I am a rather laid back busy lazy person (yes, you can be all those things at once,) I am going to offer you my version of “puppy housebreaking.”

The first essential is a “crate” if you don’t have one, buy, borrow or build one. Next to sliced bread for humans, a crate is the greatest asset for a puppy to have. Make certain that you get one that will allow your puppy to grow into it.

Dogs are like bears and love a den atmosphere. A den is a safe place, cozy and comfortable. If we were smart we would live in them, too.

Interestingly, dogs do not like to live in a place that is also its bathroom, so unless you never let the dog out, it will not mess in its home.

While I firmly believe that exercise is necessary for your pet and you, there are times and circumstances that can prevent this daily activity.

In a perfect world every pet would have its own yard to play and run in.

However, modern times finds many of us living in condominiums, apartments, and even RV’s.

Our lives are very busy, we work long hours and finding time for the extra little things in life like walking the dog several times a day almost impossible to do.

For most of us the biggest concern we have is making certain our pets have a place and an opportunity to eliminate when nature calls.

Cats have litter boxes, so why shouldn’t dogs?

I discovered on the Internet an “indoor potty for dogs.”

Wizdog is the answer for dogs. It looks like a large litter box, but does not use litter (only newspapers or puppy pads) plus a large screen to catch the solid waste.

Clean up is easy, the price is reasonable and two can be put together for dogs over 40 lbs.

I think it is a great idea, it is simple and attractive.

I feel this product is a great asset for busy pet owners, shut-ins, for taking on vacations and trips, the company even has a manual to help with “potty training.”

See if you agree, go to Wizdog read the material and consider how it might take some pressure off your busy life.

Now let’s continue with this training stuff.

Lesson number one: whenever you cannot keep your eye and your full attention on the puppy, put the puppy in its crate.

This means if you are on the telephone, in the bathroom, making dinner, reading the newspaper or doing the laundry, put the puppy in the crate.

Do not give this critter free run of your home until you have the potty training accomplished.

A puppy, like a young child, needs to be supervised at all times or else put in a confined place where it can not get into trouble.

If you have decided not to use a crate and/or the puppy litter box, hopefully you have a space in your home that is small enough (like a laundry room or bathroom) to confine the puppy when you cannot watch it.

Spread newspapers “all” over the floor and keep the door shut.

Make certain the puppy has toys to play with, food and water if you are going to be gone for a while and maybe a radio playing some soft music.

A normal puppy will tear up the papers, but will find a spot that seems like the perfect place to do its business.

Always praise the puppy even if you did not see it “go.”

This being the real world and most of us work, the housebreaking thing can be a real challenge, and if you cannot put your heart and soul into the training process, don’t get a puppy.

Older dogs are much easier to train into following your daily routine.

The first thing you do after your arrival home is get the collar and leash and take the puppy out for a potty call.

If you think your little fella cannot walk fast enough, carry him/her out to the spot you have chosen to be the doggy bathroom.

Praise and praise some more if the puppy does its thing.

If you are lucky enough to have a yard of your own it is a good idea to have a designated spot for a puppy bathroom.

Using that spot on a regular basis will get the dog used to going there, plus it will have a familiar smell that is important in triggering the dog’s mind as to why it is “there.”

If you live in an apartment possibly you can find a corner of the parking lot that will function in the same way. Just be certain to clean up any “doggy poo.”

Hopefully, you noticed I said put on the collar and leash, it is important that you never take your dog outside without its collar and leash.


Security is the first reason, who knows what would trigger a dog to run away from you to chase an unseen object. Secondly, you want to train your dog to stay close to you at all times.

Dogs are curious critters, they are also social animals and they are always looking for fun, so anything that moves might to fun to chase. That is why a collar and leash should be your dog's most fashionable accessory.

I am also a firm believer that in the house with a young puppy, a collar can be a dangerous object. It can get caught on something, if it is fairly loose the lower jaw could get caught in it or a paw could get caught.

Do not give your dog free rein in the house until it is fully trained or else you soon will have unnoticed potty spots in many areas of your home. As they dry they will just keep calling the puppy back to do it all over again.

All accidents need to be cleaned up and rinsed with white vinegar or another neutralizing enzyme.

A black light found in pet stores or craft stores is another handy tool, as it will help you find spots you did not know existed.

If you are crate training your puppy and have decided to go the Wizdog and puppy pad routine, life should be a wee bit easier.

I suggest you keep the crate in a spot where most of the activity of the day is occurring, this way your dog can be a part of the daily family life.

Find a spot near the crate to spread a puppy pad or the puppy litter box.

You undoubtedly will have to place your puppy on the pad a time or two to establish in your dog’s mind, why it is there.

Once the connection is made your puppy will go to that spot, however in the early stages it is still up to you to direct your dog.

Puppy pads or the “litter box” do not take the place of taking your dog out, but it does make life easier especially in bad weather or when you are just too busy.

Keep in mind exercise is good for your dog and it is even better for you.

I know busy professional people who have grown dogs that would not be able to have them if it were not for the availability of these conveniences to compensate for their erratic schedules.

The wonderful world of housebreaking a puppy can be rather frantic and frustrating at times. It definitely will keep you on your toes, but the end result will be worth all the effort.

Patience and consistency along praise and treats for jobs well done are your watchwords, remember them, smile and look forward to a long and happy life with our pet.

Since accidents will happen and puppies will stain and create unpleasant smells on your carpets and floors, I have put together a few helpful hints on solving some of those problems click on

(Stains Be Gone.)