Housebreaking a Puppy Faster

Puppies are so adorable and bring so much joy, which is why housebreaking them fast is such an crucial goal. The good news is that with a few simple tips and tricks, you can go from cuddling your pup on the couch to them doing their business outside in no time! Let’s get started!

Crate training is the fastest and most effective way to housebreak your puppy. Start by putting your puppy in a crate just large enough for them to turn around and lie down comfortably. You’ll want to slowly increase the amount of time you leave your puppy in the crate, which will help your puppy become used to being in it and will give them a sense of safety. This will also help with teaching your puppy that the crate is their spot and to hold it when you’re not there to watch them. Until you’re SURE the puppy is housebroken, they shouldn’t be left alone in the house. They will have unregulated access to relieve themselves in your home and this will catastrophically delay housebreaking.

Once your pup eliminates in the right place, reward them with plenty of verbal praise and a treat. Repeat this after every successful potty break and the pup will soon start to associate the reward with the desired behavior. Use a firm “no” to punish any unwanted elimination in the house and calmly take them outside and have them finish on a pad or in the yard.

Puppies prefer to “go” where they’ve gone before, in fact, it’s instinctive. So walk the puppy in the common area they’re “supposed” to poop in. Some owners report INCREASED success by actually transplanting errant puppy poops to the intended “poop area” to reinforce the use of that area.

Pad-training is also an option for potty training your miniature-breed puppy. Place a designated pad inside your home and any accidents that occur should be on the pad itself. The idea behind pad-training is to make sure your puppy is able to go to the bathroom in the right place. Make sure to reward any time the puppy goes on the pad, and try to keep the area clean as much as possible.

It’s important to note that puppies are like tiny humans and should be taken outside based on their activity level and diet. If a pup has eaten recently or is just waking up from a nap, they are more likely to have the urge to go than in a more relaxed state. Factually, a puppy should feel the need to poop 15-20 minutes after taking a meal. Besides that, take them out often (Every 120 minutes) to get in the habit of eliminating outdoors more quickly.  When or if, you are ready to stop pad training, put the pad by the exit door, and then another pad just outside. Over time, reduce the size of the indoor pad. Reward the use of the outdoor pad.

Regardless of whether you’re crate and pad-training, taking your puppy on walks is a great way to keep them engaged and exercised. Make sure to find a place that is safe for your puppy to walk, like a dog park or a backyard. Take them out often on walks to help them learn the “business” of the area and when is the appropriate time for them to go. After the walk, it’s important to praise and reward your puppy for relieving themselves .

However, it’s also important to punish any inappropriate behavior from your puppy. If you catch your puppy going in the wrong place, take them to the designated spot and give them verbal commands like “Go Potty”. If possible, use a gentle spray bottle to discourage inappropriate behavior, but never use it in a punitive way.

Housebreaking a puppy is possible with the right techniques and strategy. Crate training, pad-training, and taking them on frequent walks will help them understand when and where the appropriate time and place is to relieve themselves. Be sure to reward them for good behavior and punish them in a gentle manner if they do something wrong. In time and with dedication, your puppy will be potty trained and you will enjoy having them as a new addition to the family.

Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.