Puppy Tips – Housetraining

housetraining new puppyTips for Housetraining a New Puppy

The most effective method for housetraining is crate training.  Consistency and patience are keys.

Housebreaking should begin as soon as your puppy enters his new home.  How long the training must continue depends on both the puppy and you.  Some pups learn sooner than others.  Your dog wants to please you, but a puppy’s memory is short so your patience is important.  A home with a badly trained puppy is not a happy home for you or the puppy.

Crate Essentials

Make sure the puppy’s crate is slightly larger than the puppy.  If it is too large, the puppy may defecate or urinate in a corner rather than go outside.

When the crate is smaller, the puppy will usually do its “business” outside rather than soil its bed.

Creating a Scent Post

The secret to housebreaking is a scent post.  A scent post is a place marked for waste. A scent post is created when your puppy has an accident. If that happens in the wrong place, you need to train the puppy to go to a more desirable spot.

To create a scent post where you want it, leave a smear of stool or urine in an out-of-the-way place in the yard. The first thing in the morning, the puppy should be taken directly to the scent post.  This is so he can begin learning his way to the door and scent post.  Let him sniff about.  The moment he has relieved himself, praise and pat him on the head and immediately bring him into the house.  Do not let him play about.

Please note: The toilet period and play period should be definitely separate in the puppy’s routine.

Digestive Cycle

After the morning visit to the scent post, your puppy should be fed.  In a short while, the puppy will become uneasy and walk in circles sniffing at the floor.  The puppy should then be coaxed or taken to the scent post as quickly as possible.

This routine should be repeated every hour or two throughout the day, especially after meals, playtime, or naps.

When the puppy is taken out to play, it is wise to leave the house by another door and avoid taking him near his scent post.  Never play with your pup until after his eliminations.


There will, of course, be some “accidents” in the house.  Never let one of these slip by unnoticed; punishment (scolding or using a shaker can, but not hitting) must be done while the puppy is caught in the act.  When the accident occurs, scold the puppy and rush him to the scent post.  Then, scrub the spot thoroughly until all odor is gone.  Sprinkle the area with vinegar.

Never punish a puppy after the fact, as it will not realize what it has done wrong.

Remember to Praise

Positive reinforcement of proper urine and bowel habits is just as important as properly applied discipline.  When your puppy urinates or defecates in the correct place, spend several minutes stroking and praising him.


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