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Puppy Potty Training Using a Pad-Housebreaking a Puppy-Puppy Potty Training Problems

Updated on March 14, 2011

Housebreaking a Puppy

Potty training puppies. There is nothing worse than puppy poop or pee all over your clean floor, this is the one thing that new puppy owners hate and sadly results in puppies being discarded or put in the pound.

How to housebreak your new puppy is the latest article in our puppy training techniques program, if you follow these very simple instructions your puppy will be house trained in no time at all.

Start with this in mind, your puppy does not want to pee or poop in his bed, next to his bed, in his new puppy crate or on your floor.

During the first few weeks in his new home your puppy will have no control over when or where he needs to go. It is up to you to potty train your puppy and teach him when and where he can go and do his business.

Puppy Pad Training

Most new dog owners start their puppy potty training with training pads.

Throwing the spanner in the works some what; I would only recommend using puppy training pads if you live in an apartment or a building where you have no immediate access to the outdoors.

If you do have fast access to a yard or outdoor area try to ignore this step certainly during the day, you may need to use a puppy training pad during the night in a dog crate but if you possibly can avoid teaching your new puppy to do his business indoors.

Pad training a puppy

A puppy training pad is simply a sheet that absorbs moisture on one side and is leak proof on the other. There are many pads on the market with different sizes, textures, qualities and accessories available.

How to pad train your puppy

Puppies are very simple souls, they eat, sleep and play. When they eat sleep or play they then want a pee or poop, so pad training your new puppy is fairly straight forward if you think about it.

When puppy has finished his dinner; put him on his pad until he does one or the other, when he does give him plenty of praise.

After praising him he may have a little rest or sleep for a while, the minute he wakes up put him straight back on a pad, let him do his business; when he does give him more praise and then have a little play.

During or as soon as play stops put him on a potty pad, let him have a pee or poop, praise him and start all over again.

In it's simplest form this is the easiest way to potty train a puppy, it doesn't really matter what he does; keep this rule in mind:

If puppy does anything, put him on a training pad, wait for him to do something then praise him.

There are no short cuts to this, you simply keep doing it over and over. In no time at all he will start making his way towards the pad all on his own.

Please never scold your puppy if he has an accident; it's not his fault it's yours for not paying attention.

Never ever rub your puppies nose in poop or pee, it's not training; it's cruel and imagine if someone did it too you.

House train a puppy

Potty Training Puppies  courtesy of Wikimedia
Potty Training Puppies courtesy of Wikimedia

How to Potty Train your Dog

It is never too soon to start potty training your puppy, remember our opening statement, puppies do not want to pee or poop in their bed or anywhere near it.

For this reason if you follow the steps we used in puppy pad training but substitute the pad with the outdoors he will catch on very quickly.

When your puppy eats, sleeps or plays either pick him up and take him out or call him to your yard or garden, wait for him to relieve himself, praise him and repeat the steps over and over until he makes his own way outdoors.

Always clean up after your puppy immediately, he may be tempted to eat his poop, it's natural for a dog to do this but not very healthy. 

Puppies very rarely go to bed at night, sleep for 8 hours then wake up and go to the toilet.

During the night you have a couple of options:

If your puppy is sleeping in a crate, put a pad in the crate but as far away from his bed as you can. Don't leave a dirty pad in his crate any longer than you have to.

If you can get up during the night and let him outside; do so. If you can't; get up as early as you can the next morning and let him out.

Don't worry too much about him expecting you to get up every night, he will grow out of needing the toilet during the night within a couple of weeks.


Puppy Potty Training Problems

The two main problems you will have with potty training your puppy are:

He will only use a puppy training pad and won't go outdoors. If this happens gradually move the pad closer to the door to your yard, when he follows the pad put it in the yard. Once he uses a pad outdoors, remove the pad and reward him when he does his business.

He keeps having accidents indoors. This is your fault not your puppies, he can't open doors, he can't ask you to open the door and he is unable to tell you when he needs to go. You must follow the advice above and not leave him many opportunities to have accidents.

Potty Training Puppies Summary

Following this advice will have your puppy potty trained very quickly:

  • if he eats, sleeps or plays put him on the pad or outside
  • never scold him for accidents
  • never rub his nose in his poop
  • pay attention to what he is doing

Housebreaking a puppy can take anywhere between 2 days and 2 months, it really all depends on you and your puppy. You will not go far wrong if you are patient, observant and full of praise for his success.

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    • lundmusik profile image


      7 years ago from Tucson AZ

      fantastic article -- puppy training is a complex enterprise,, would you be willing to comment and follow on my hub?

    • Aiden Roberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Aiden Roberts 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi thanks Linda

      I am glad you enjoyed this dog training advice.

      Thanks for the follow.

    • lindatymensky profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent, informative article. I'm following you! Linda

    • Aiden Roberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Aiden Roberts 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi thanks for your questions.

      It sounds to me that you are already half way there, any puppy that is pad trained obviously understands there is a special place to do his business.

      As I pointed out above simply move the pad outside and let him do his business on it until he moves off the pad. If your puppy is unable to access the outside because he is secured in a room then he has little option but to do it where he is, over time he will recognise that doing it outside is the only place and as he get's older he will be able to hold it longer until he get's outside.

      Just keep at it and work on the fact he is pad trained, you decide were the pad is.

      Hope this helps!

    • Tirzah Laughs profile image

      Tirzah Laughs 

      8 years ago from USA

      I haven't had a puppy in probably ten years. My two older dogs trained fairly easily.

      But my new puppy is not training at all. I love Fred but he's a pisser.

      He's a three month old Peke mix. The rescue said five months but the vet says 3. So he's much younger than I thought.

      The rescue or who ever had him before puppy pad trained him. He'll go on puppy pads 80% of the time. But he's going to be a 20 pound MALE dog and I'm not sure that peeing in the house is good thing to start.

      During the day, he has the laundry room to himself with a play area, a sleep area and a puppy pad. He uses this quite well.

      But occasionally I doze off in the evening after work. Most of the time he goes to the puppy pad but occasionally, he'll pee elsewhere.

      I want him to pee OUTSIDE. I've taken him out hour upon hour and stood out there in his area for 20 minutes or so.

      He just won't go outside. He waits until he comes in.

      How do I convince him to go out?

      And don't say crate...he will pee in it.

    • Aiden Roberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Aiden Roberts 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi there

      Honestly this does work, be patient and consistant.

      Good Luck

    • rt-cal profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Thankyou, I have been struggling with my knew brittany pup. Hopefully this will help!


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