How to Housetrain A Puppy

By Eric Letendre


setraining a puppy can be done if you follow a simple plan. In this article you'll discover the steps you need to know to housetrain your puppy in as little as 14 days.

Things You'll Need:

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Treats
  • Patience


Step 1:

Understand puppy behavior: puppies do not know right from wrong. What they understand is safe and dangerous. When your puppy comes into your house he doesn't understand that it is "bad" or "wrong" to urinate on your carpet. We want to teach your dog that going in the house is unacceptable. We do this by catching your dog in the act - not after the behavior has occurred but while the behavior is happening. Punishing your dog after the behavior has occurred can confuse your dog, making the house training process much more difficult.

Step 2:

Understand your puppy's digestive system. A puppy's digestive system is much shorter than a humans. We have about 26 feet of intestines; a puppy has about 4 feet. Some dog food companies recommend feeding a puppy four times a day. That can make the house training process very, very difficult on the puppy and the owner. I have always fed my puppies twice a day. You can meet all of their nutritional requirements and make it much easier to housetrain on this feeding schedule, which leads us to Step 3.

Step 3:

Develop a schedule. Putting your puppy on a feeding schedule during the housetraining process can make your efforts much more successful. Developing a schedule to take your dog outside will make it easier on you. I always bring a dog outside within 15 to 20 minutes after meals. Sometimes in 5 to 10 minutes depending on the dog.

Step 4:

Manage your puppy's behavior. One of the most important Steps in the housetraining process is the proper management of your puppy's behavior. In Step 1 we discussed catching your dog in the act, not after the fact. Using a crate can help you when you are too busy to watch your pup. Using a crate is excellent for young dogs. At some point in your dog's life he will probably have to go into a crate. The vet, travel and grooming visits all require your dog to go into a crate. It is better to get him used to one while he is young. I also recommend crates because as a former animal control officer, I have seen plenty of young dogs that became injured--some seriously--because they were allowed too much freedom while unattended.

Step 5:

Influence your puppy's behavior. Just as you need to catch your dog in the act, you also need to let your dog know that she is doing the right behavior. During the housetraining process it is a good idea to take your puppy out on leash. If you let your puppy out into a fenced in area and you are not there, you will not be able to communicate to your puppy that she is doing the right behavior. When your pup needs to go out, put your pup on leash and as she is sniffing the ground say a command like, "get busy" or "do your business," and keep saying that until your pup starts to go. Once she starts, don't say anything else. Once your pup is finished, praise and reward her immediately.

Step 6:

Proper clean up. When I am helping someone housetrain their pup, one of the first questions I ask is "What are you cleaning up the mess with?" A lot of people get commercial cleaners at the supermarket. A lot of these products contain ammonia. Ammonia smells like urine to your puppy. So if your puppy urinates on the carpet and you clean with an ammonia product, your puppy will come back to that spot and think that a strange dog has gone on the carpet. Nature's Miracle is an excellent product that has enzymes to break down the scent of urine naturally.

Step 7:

Get everyone involved. If you live by yourself with your puppy this step will be easy. If your puppy lives in a house with more than one person, make sure that everyone is taking the steps to make the housetraining process quick and easy. The closer everyone sticks to the plan, the faster the training will progress.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a crate to speed up the housetraining process.
  • Take your puppy outside on leash to reward him when he goes.
  • Clean up any messes with the right cleaning products.
  • Don't push your pup's face into any messes that they make.
  • Don't over punish--this will cause your pup to hold it when you are close by.

How to Housetrain A Puppy Provided by


Eric Letendre, author of the book "The Amazing Dog Training Man," has been professionally training dogs for the past 18 years and has helped literally thousands of dog owners learn gentle and effective training methods to teach obedience and solve behavior problems. On Eric's website,, he offers over 1000 pages of dog training tips, videos, and articles as well as dog training books, DVDs, and online dog training courses.


Comments (3)
Jul 28, 2008 puppylove08
that helped me a lot. thank u!:)
Oct 4, 2008 dmarcotte1997
oh my gosh i did not think it would work but it did i am glad i trusted the info!!!!!!!!!!!!:)))
Dec 8, 2008 lyssa3
i have a question for my baby. he has a problem of wetting all over in front of the door but he only does it at night when I get home from work. how can i help him not to do this??
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