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House Training

Cluing into a Puppy's House training Instincts

Almost any dog can be house trained (housebroken). However, the challenges of teaching a puppy to "go potty" may differ from those you encounter if you try to teach the same maneuvers to an adult dog.

If you got your puppy from a reputable breeder, the pup may already know the rudiments of proper potty behavior. A well-bred pup has had many opportunities to learn about keeping clean and getting along with other dogs (and people) — both of which are important pre-house training skills. A puppy who's nailed those basics will be easier to teach than one who lacks such knowledge.

Many breeders go even further. They'll take their puppies outside every morning and after meals, and they'll praise the little guys when they eliminate. If your puppy's breeder has done that (ask when you're interviewing prospective breeders), she's already done some of your dog's house training for you. That may also be true of a dog you adopt from a shelter, rescue group, or individual.

But even if your new puppy has aced those preliminary lessons, there's one crucial lesson he's only just starting to learn: the lesson of self-control.

Bladder control and your puppy

To put it simply, your little guy just can't hold it — at least not for very long. A puppy under the age of 4 months doesn't have a big enough bladder or sufficient muscle control to go more than a couple of hours without eliminating. As he gets older, though, a pup's ability to control himself gradually increases. And by the time he reaches adulthood (at about one year of age), a healthy dog usually has plenty of self-control.

However, even a dog who appears to have an iron bladder isn't necessarily house trained. The fact that he can hold it doesn't necessarily mean that he will hold it. That's because an adult dog may be burdened with mental baggage or just plain bad habits that can create additional obstacles to house training.

For example, if you adopted your young adult dog from an animal shelter, her previous owners may not have bothered to house train her — or if they did, they may have done a poor job of it. Either way, her failure to master proper potty deportment may well have been what landed her in the shelter in the first place.

Many shelter and rescue dogs have behavioral problems that manifest themselves as inappropriate elimination — for example, the shy dog who rolls over and pees whenever someone stand above her and looks directly at her. Even a dog who's been a model of proper bathroom behavior at one point in her life can later appear to forget what she's been taught.

Not surprisingly, then, house training an adult dog is often less straightforward than house training a puppy. The grownup pooch who has less-than-stellar bathroom manners often needs to unlearn some bad but well-entrenched habits. The person who lives with such a dog may need to develop his detective skills and figure out why his canine companion keeps making bathroom mistakes. By contrast, all a healthy puppy usually needs to become house trained is some time to grow and to develop some self-control, and some guidance from you in the meantime.

In any case, though, if you know something about your canine friend's instincts and impulses, you'll have a leg up on your efforts to house train him.

House training from mom

Even while he's still with his litter, a puppy is learning a lot about life as a dog. From his litter mates, he learns not to bite too hard, if he bites at all. He learns how to jockey for position among his brothers and sisters at feeding time. And he learns a lot about proper bathroom behavior.

Puppies start learning elimination etiquette from the time they're about four or five weeks old. That's the age when they have sufficient motor skills to start wandering around the nest where they've been living with their mom, and wandering outside the nest a bit, too.

The mama dog takes advantage of this ability. When the pups indicate they're about to go potty, she uses her nose to push them outside the nest. That way, their poop and pee won't stink up the doggie domicile. If the mama dog and puppies are lucky enough to be residing in the home of a good breeder, several layers of newspaper will be at the other end of the room for the puppies to eliminate upon.

Mom-dogs don't urge their offspring outward just to be canine housekeeping whizzes, though. Their efforts are based on something much more important: a biological drive to survive. That drive is rooted in the wild, where mother wolves are equally intent on making sure that their pups don't eliminate within their dens. The reason? Poop and pee stink — and the smell from either could attract a predator. By eliminating away from the nest, the scent draws a would-be predator away from the den, too.

Back in the domestic realm, a good breeder will reinforce the mama dog's efforts. He's placed the puppies' nest and eating area away from where he wants them to eliminate. After the puppies have eliminated on the newspaper that he's placed on the floor for just that purpose, he whisks the soiled papers away and replaces them with fresh ones.

By seven or eight weeks of age, most puppies have developed enough control to master this first bathroom lesson. They have to poop and pee every couple of hours or so, but they've learned to listen to their bodies, and they can tell when they need to go. When they get those urges, they'll try to scurry away from their den before giving in to that compulsion to squat. This effort to eliminate away from the den signals that a puppy is ready to begin learning the rudiments of house training.

From dog nest to dog den

The lessons a puppy learns about keeping clean go way beyond what his mom makes him do. The nest that his mother teaches him to help keep clean is really his first den — and dens are a big deal in the lives of most dogs.

But what exactly is a den? Are we talking wood paneling and a wet bar here? Maybe a home theater system and new leather recliner? Not exactly.

For a dog, the den is simply an area that he can call his own. Generally, it's a small place that's at least somewhat enclosed on two or three sides but also is open on at least one side. The area may be dark, but it doesn't have to be. What it does have to be is a place where the dog feels safe and secure.

When a dog seeks out his den, he echoes the behavior of his wild cousin, the wolf. Wolves make considerable use of dens when raising their young. Mother wolves bring up their pups in dark caves that are hidden from the view of an outsider, but from which the wolf family can see the rest of the world. These caves, or dens, are perfect places to leave a litter of wolf pups when mom goes hunting for food with the rest of the pack.

The domestic dog may not need a den to ensure his physical survival, but his urge to find a den is still very strong. For example, a dog could create a temporary den under a desk or table. Another alternative is a dog crate. Some people may think crating a dog is cruel, but the dog doesn't think so. Rather, the crate provides an atmosphere of safety and security.


9 Day House Break

Will work all ages 


1 small bottle essential oil lavender oil- Try and use DoTerra or Young Living.  These are the only two food grade oils.

Small spray bottle- 

Warm H2O


Days 1-3: 

One drop on forefinger and rub between thumb and finger- swipe sides of nose- 1x a day for 3 days

Days 4-6

In spray bottle- mix 5 drops of oil and warm water- spray the bed or crate where they sleep-  1x a day for 3 days 

Can use same bottle until empty- no need to remix each time. Shake well before each use.


Final 3 days- spray whole house where they have access.... 

House Training For Dummies

From House training For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Susan McCullough

Potty-training your puppy or adult dog doesn’t just prevent canine bathroom accidents in your house; house training also helps you make sure your dog stays healthy. With the right tools and some potty-training tips and tricks, you and your pup can set the stage for a long and happy life together.

How to Successfully House train a Dog

House training a puppy or adult dog is just a matter of being consistent, paying attention, and following your dog’s instincts about bathroom behavior. Here are some tips to help you house train your dog:

  • Choose a dedicated potty spot for your dog. If you have a cloth scented with your dog’s urine, place it on the ground the first time you take your dog out. Scent-marking encourages your dog to go to the bathroom there.

  • Follow an established routine and take your dog to potty after he wakes up in the morning, before and after meals, after playtime, after naps, and at bedtime.

  • Walk him on leash straight to his potty spot and give the prompt or cue you’ve chosen, such as “do your business” or “go potty.”

  • If he doesn’t go within 5 minutes, take him back inside, put him in his crate, and try again in about 15 minutes.

  • When he’s done, praise your dog enthusiastically and give him a tiny treat.

  • Between potty breaks, watch for signs your dog needs to go out — coming to a sudden halt, circling, sniffing in a dedicated manner, or dropping his bottom. If you do see him about to go, distract him and take him to his potty spot as quickly as possible.

  • Confine your dog if you can’t watch him.

Dog House training Tools

Before you can start house training your puppy or adult dog, you have to get your home ready. Depending on how you plan to house train your dog, here’s a list of equipment you may need to get the job done:

  • Crate: A correctly sized crate is just large enough for your dog to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down in.

  • Newspapers or dog litter: These items can serve as crucial components for a house trainee’s indoor potty.

  • Baby gates: Secure baby gates keep your house trainee from venturing into areas of your house where you don’t want him to be.

  • Plastic bags: Oblong bags, like those that cover newspapers or enclose loaves of bread, are extremely helpful when picking up dog poop.

  • Pet stain cleaner: A cleaner designed especially for pet stains is essential to cleaning up doggie bathroom accidents.

  • Black light: This handy device helps you find urine stains that elude human detection but serve as invitations for dogs to repeat their bathroom boo-boos.

  • Collar: A flat buckle or snap collar not only provides a place to attach your dog’s leash to but also holds essential identification tags.

  • Leash: A 6-foot-long leash of leather, cotton, or nylon keeps your pooch tethered to you when you take him outdoors to do his business.

  • Doggie door: After your dog is fully house trained, this item allows him to take himself from inside your house to the outdoor potty in his fenced yard.

  • Fencing: A secure fence that’s 4 to 6 feet high can keep your dog in his yard and keep other dogs out of it.



Training Your Dog to Potty Outdoors

If you’re training your dog or puppy to go to the bathroom outside, the outdoor potty area can be a designated spot in your backyard or wherever you allow your dog to do his business. Here are some house training do’s and don’ts to help your outdoor trainee get to know his bathroom manners faster and more effectively:

  • Do set up your dog’s crate before you bring him home.

  • Do choose your dog’s outdoor potty area before you bring him home.

  • Do notice your dog’s pre-potty routine.

  • Do take your puppy out at least every one to two hours when you first bring him home.

  • Do use the same words and take the same route to the potty spot every time you take your dog out.

  • Do praise and treat your dog for using his outdoor potty spot.

  • Do distract your dog if he’s about to unload in the house, and get him outside to his potty place as quickly as possible so he can do his business where he’s supposed to.

  • Don’t punish your dog for having a potty accident.

  • Don’t give your untrained puppy or dog the run of the house unless you’re right there to watch him.

  • Don’t place your dog in prolonged solitary confinement, either in the crate or in your yard.

  • Don’t distract your puppy when he’s eliminating in his potty area.

  • Don’t expect your puppy to hold it all day while you’re at work.

Training Your Dog to Potty Indoors

You may want to house train your puppy or adult dog to go to the bathroom in an indoor potty area. A dog potty or dog toilet can be some newspapers spread on the floor, a dog litter box, or some other device located in a designated area of your home. Here are some house training tips that make indoor house training a breeze:

  • Do consider indoor training if you live in a high-rise apartment, can’t get around easily, and/or have a very small dog.

  • Do consider your needs, your dog’s needs, and your home’s layout when deciding where to put the indoor potty.

  • Do get a crate for your indoor trainee so that he learns to regulate his potty maneuvers.

  • Do use scent and repetition to teach your dog that the indoor potty is the only surface upon which he should take a whiz or make a deposit.

  • Do be patient if you move the potty from outdoors to indoors.

  • Don’t let your puppy roam freely unless you can watch him.

  • Don’t get angry at your puppy for making a mistake; get mad at yourself for giving him a chance to do so.

  • Don’t take your indoor trainee outside for a walk or for playtime until after he’s done his business.

Your Dog’s House training Wish List

Here’s a key house training tip: Whether you’re potty-training a puppy or adult dog, the house training process works best if you think about how your canine companion thinks, feels, and learns. To get what you want from your dog, you first have to tune in to what your dog wants. Your dog can’t write down items for a wish list, but if she could, here’s what she might say she needs from you to succeed in house training:

  • Empathy

  • Optimism

  • Consistency

  • Rewards

  • Attention

  • Love

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Pottying Outdoors
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