House Training A Puppy

House training a puppy should start the day your pet walks through your door.

When housebreaking a puppy, tell her where she needs to go potty. When she does, reward her and praise her many times.

A pup who pees in the house once is more likely to do it over again, so training should start the first minute she is home.


cafe au lait miniature poodle standing up and looking to the side

Be aware that they will usually have to go potty after they eat and drink.

These are times you want to make sure you take him outside. When house training a puppy and he goes potty, praise him.

Using a Crate

If you are away during the day and can’t take him outside, try dog crate training.

Leave him in a crate or use a baby gate and place him in one room.

When crate training a dog, line the crate or room floor with newspapers for potty use. Remove some paper each day to teach him to potty on the paper.

Eventually, confine him to the room where the door is to go outside, putting paper right by the door to teach him this is where to go to go outside to potty.

If He’s Not Alone

red auburn poodle puppy as he sits down looking irritated

If you can be home all day until he is trained, take him outside every hour. If he goes potty, reward and praise him.

Between each hour, keep him in his crate or in his bed, he won’t want to go potty where he sleeps.

When potty training puppies, on the hour, take him outside to potty. Say “go pee” (or poop!) then reward him.

He’ll learn this is where he should potty and will be able to hold it until he’s taken outside.

Helpful Suggestions

  1. When potty training a dog, teach him to sit before he goes outside, he’ll learn to do this himself as he gets older when he needs to go out.

  2. Limit potty time to about 3 minutes each time. After time is up, take him back in the house until the next hour.

If he didn’t potty when you had him out on the hour and he goes inside and has an accident, pick him up, say “No!” and take him back outside for a few minutes then take him back inside.

  1. If you’re using a crate for housetraining, the crate is probably big since he will be growing. If so, partition off one side of the crate.

You don’t want him to be able to pee on one side and have a clean bed on the other side, that will defeat the purpose of crate training.

black poodle sitting down with a silver collar on

Wire crates are more open so air can circulate, and your pup can see out. Fiberglass crates are more sturdy. These can be used for traveling, too.

4. Use the same door when you take him outside, and take him to the same spot in the yard to pee. Praise abundantly and give him a treat when he goes potty!

The Signs

And, how do you know when she has to go potty?

She may do a little dance, walk in a circle and sniff, do short paces back and forth, whine, or stand in front of the door.


Remember that puppies are babies and will have limited bladder control, perhaps for as long as 6 months. Expect some potty accidents along the way.

Don’t punish her, just clean up the mess, and house training a puppy days will go fast and be something of the past.