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Tips for House Training Your Dog

House training a dog isn't always an easy task. A few laid-out newspapers won't get you a house-trained puppy or dog. This type of training requires a lot from pet parents - mainly patience, consistency and a strong commitment. It certainly won't take a day, and may take more than a week.

Consider these tips on how to house train your dog:

Develop a schedule
When you first get a dog, it's good to create a routine right off the bat, the Humane Society of the United States advises. Dogs will know when it's time to eat, sleep, play and go to the bathroom. Perfect Paws notes that developing a regular eating schedule for your dog may help potty train her faster. What goes in regularly will come out regularly. Keep in mind that puppies need to be fed more than adult dogs. When they first begin training, dogs have to go out frequently - especially if they're puppies. If you work a full-time job, you'll have to hire a dog walker or have a neighbor do this task for you.

Find a bathroom spot
Association is everything for dogs. Find a spot outside where your pup can do her business and stick to it. It's important for dogs to know where it's OK to go to the bathroom. That way, when you bring your dog outside to the spot, she immediately goes instead of sniffing around for hours. Use a leash at first to keep her contained to this particular area. Create a phrase that orders your dog to go to the bathroom, such as "Go potty" or "Time to go out" so she knows what's about to happen. Only take your dog on longer walks or keep playing after she's gone to the bathroom. 

Praise for outside elimination
Always praise and reward your dog for going to the bathroom outside. That way, she'll quickly make a distinction between outside and inside. Praise your pup directly after she goes so she isn't confused about why she's getting a treat. However, wait until you're sure she's finished. If you introduce a treat too early, she may get excited and forget about her needs.

Remove the water dish
Pet parents should remove your pup's water bowl about two hours before bedtime. Doing this will lower the risk that she'll have an accident during the night. Most dogs can get approximately seven hours of sleep before feeling the need to go out. If your dog does wake you in the middle of the night, keep it short. Though it may be difficult, if your dog gets you up in the middle of the night, be appreciative she chose to wake you rather than having an accident. Turn on only a few lights and don't get her riled up. Remember to praise and reward her after she properly goes outside.

Keep an eye on your pooch
It's crucial for dog parents to always keep an eye on their dog, Doctors Foster and Smith recommends. If you're planning on being occupied but will be in the house, keep her confined to one area. That way, she can't go out of sight to try and eliminate. Be mindful of elimination signs. After a while they'll become more obvious to you. Squatting, restlessness and going in a circle are all signs that it's going to happen soon. When you see this, immediately untie your dog and bring her outside to the special spot. Praise her when she goes.

If you know you'll be gone for a period longer than three hours, you need to find a friend or hire someone to let her out. Notify that person about your special spot so the dog isn't confused. She won't be able to hold it that long. If you know that you live a busy lifestyle where you won't be home much, it may not be the best idea to get a puppy. Wait until you're at an age where someone can keep an eye on the dog if you're at work or that you have more free time to spend with the dog.

What to do about accidents
At some point, whether it's earlier in training or later on, your pup will have an accident inside the house. Expect it now because it's bound to happen. When you notice your dog going to the bathroom inside the house, you should: 

  • Immediately stop her. Bring her outside.
  • Make a noise that will startle her and cause her to stop. Say "Outside!" and bring her out to the special spot. Wait for her to finish going to the bathroom there and then praise her and reward her with a treat.


If you notice your dog has already gone inside the house, there's nothing you can do. Yelling at her or showing her the soiled spot will do nothing other than make her scared of you. Be sure to clean up the mess with a product that is designed to remove the smell of pet elimination. Dogs return to the place they initially eliminated if they can smell it.


These are just a few tips to keep in mind while house training your dog.