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Smart Tips For House Training A Dog

Updated on January 28, 2010

When you first get your new puppy home, you might overlook the mistakes they make on the carpet, cleaning them up lovingly and thinking that you'll train them later.

However, house training a dog is one of the most important and early things you can do with your dog after bringing them home. If you never allow your dog to go to the bathroom in the house, they'll likely never pick up the habit, making it that much easier to house train them.

When first house training a dog though there are certain things you should keep in mind; first off, be consistent. As long as you follow the same routines every day, your dog will likely pick up on it and follow those same routines with you. House training a dog becomes much harder the moment you stop maintaining the same scheduled training.

House Training A Dog: Watch Your Puppy

When a puppy is young, they are very cute. However they are also very prone to accidents with minimal notice. Keep an eye on them at all times, not letting them wander into corners where they might make a mess. When you are not around, keep your puppy in a crate (you should start crate training early as well).

When you witness your puppy start to sniff around and try to hide around a corner, immediately take them outside to where you want them to learn to go. This teaches them immediately not to go inside. They will quickly associate the act with going outside.

In terms of your crate, make sure to use it often, starting crate training early. However, your crate should not be too big. Don't buy a crate in anticipation of your dog's future size. Buy a smaller one for your puppy from the start. They should be able to stand up and move, but very little else. If you give them too much room, they will go in a corner of the crate that doesn't get on them. House training a dog is much harder when they've gone in their crate.

House Training A Dog: Discipline

Don't be violent with your puppy ever when they potty train. Instead, merely say "No" in a sharp tone of voice, followed by immediately moving them to a place where you'd like them to go. Take the cloth you used to clean their mess with outside and allow them to smell it.

Smell is a very strong sense for dogs and if they smell an area that reminds them of pottying, they will likely go there; another good reason to keep them from ever going inside. If they do go inside, make sure to clean it immediately with strong solvents to ensure they don't go there again.

House Training A Dog: Location

House training a dog should be done somewhere quiet, where your puppy (whose attention span is quite limited) is not distracted. That means no busy streets, schools, or bus stops preferably. When he or she does go outside, give them treats and praise them immensely.


If you feed your puppy at the same time every day and take them out at the same time every day, they will likely begin to follow the same schedule every day. It's when you start randomly changing up your times that they more regularly go inside. For that reason, you need to stay on top of your puppy's potty times and keep them on schedule. Consistency is key.


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