How to Successfully Housetrain a Dog
Part of the Housetraining For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Housetraining a puppy or adult dog is just a matter of being consistent, paying attention, and following your dog’s instincts about bathroom behavior. Here are some tips to help you housetrain your dog:
Choose a dedicated potty spot for your dog. If you have a cloth scented with your dog’s urine, place it on the ground the first time you take your dog out. Scent-marking encourages your dog to go to the bathroom there.
Follow an established routine and take your dog to potty after he wakes up in the morning, before and after meals, after playtime, after naps, and at bedtime.
Walk him on leash straight to his potty spot and give the prompt or cue you’ve chosen, such as do your business or go potty.
If he doesn’t go within 5 minutes, take him back inside, put him in his crate, and try again in about 15 minutes.
When he’s done, praise your dog enthusiastically and give him a tiny treat.
Between potty breaks, watch for signs your dog needs to go out — coming to a sudden halt, circling, sniffing in a dedicated manner, or dropping his bottom. If you do see him about to go, distract him and take him to his potty spot as quickly as possible.
Confine your dog if you can’t watch him.