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Archive for the ‘House Training’ Category

House Training Troubles

What to do when your dog just isn’t getting it.

I’ve seen a lot of comments recently on our other post How to Potty Train A Dog with people still having trouble so I’m going to comment on those here.

If your dog is all of a sudden having more trouble or seems to go little bits frequently, its time for a quick sample to be taken to the vet. Just use some tongs and a dixie cup or throw away container of some kind or take your dog to the vet and let them catch it for you. Often times bacterial infections can cause this problem which is common in puppies and small dogs because of their closeness to the ground.

If your dog has been cleared of an infection, but you aren’t seeing progress, the following steps need to be taken.

1) Make sure you are keeping track. If your puppy is having accidents still its important to quantify how many times they are having accidents and when they are occurring. If there is a pattern that will help you in your training to be proactive rather than reactive. Or maybe the puppy isn’t having as many accidents as you think.

2) Is the puppy having accidents when you aren’t around? If so then quit letting your puppy or dog roam. Use baby gates, dividers, crates, leashes tethered to you, whatever will help keep your puppy from leaving where you are. Also watch for those tell-tale signs, pacing, sniffing, circling, jumping up from a down position and going somewhere new.

3) Reward the puppy or dog for going outside. It can be easy as a tummy rub or a little treat, but try to make it worth their while!

Dont punish the dog, they just aren’t getting it yet

Now keep in mind, small dogs take longer to learn this process and certain breeds are harder than others. It probably has to do with the size of their bladders and the amount of control they actually have. Over the years I have noticed certain temperaments of dogs get it easier than others. If you have a dog that came from a puppy mill type situation, I would call a local dog trainer to come and give you advice on your house training troubles.

Stay patient, keep at it, keep taking notes, it will get better.

House Training

House training is the biggest reason for dogs winding up in shelters. Its probably the number one reason I used to get calls from frustrated owners who wanted dog training help.

Get your House Training IPhone App

One thing I always instructed my clients to do was keep a log of their accidents. By doing that you can help figure out how often your puppy needs to go out. I have since built a House Training IPhone App – It will allow you to keep track of successes and accidents, and it will help you by providing a timer that reminds you to take your puppy potty.

We hope this helps in your potty training of your puppy or new dog. We even included dog training tips for dogs of all ages.

House Training Schedule

Check out the House Training App

We brought home our new puppy Blaze this weekend. He is an 8 week old labrador retriever. Every puppy is so different and teaches you new things. Little Blaze loves to drink water, and will drink non stop. Here is how today is going, and what type of house training schedule I am going to keep.

Morning 1 – I got up, filled up a bowl of water and went about my morning making breakfast and lunches for the kids. He went out and pottied, lots of praise. He came in and went #2 on the floor (I saw him sniffing and was trying to locate my jacket because of the rain). That was my fault I didn’t move fast enough. We went out anyway and he went potty again, came in and had 3 accidents back to back. No sniffing this time, just peeing on the floor. Luckily we keep a swiffer wet jet in the kitchen to clean up the mess quickly.

I decided this wasn’t a good pattern. Now I am limiting how much water I put down. Here is our new schedule

Puppy Crate Time
Comes out of the crate – potty
If he pees he gets to play in the kitchen with 1 cup of water available in the bowl. (this is more than he needs but its always better too offer more than less!)
He can play for 20 minutes, we go back out to potty.
If he pees, he gets to stay out, if not, he goes in the crate.

We’ll see how this goes. A few tips on a house training schedule, see how long between potty trips you can go – some puppies can do an hour, and some only 15 minutes. The goal the first week home is to get more peeing outside than inside. Expect them to do a poop sometime after eating (1-3 hours).

How to potty train a dog

Check out the House Training App

Tips for potty training a puppy!
Puppies need to go to the bathroom after they play, chew, drink, eat or sleep.

Start by putting them on a leash and tethering them to you. That way you can be aware of them when they start sniffing the ground (usually a cue the puppy needs to go potty). Pick them up and carry them outside.

When they go potty, tell them “good potty” and give a cookie as a reward. Do not let your puppy off leash until they have finished going so they get into the habit of going potty, then playing. Many puppies will want to go outside just to play if you let them off leash first.

Learn how to potty train a dog quickly
potty train a dog

What if my puppy has an accident?

He will. Do not punish your puppy though. If you catch your puppy in the act then clap your hands or pick them up – this will make your puppy stop going. Get him outside FAST and let him finish up out there. Reward him for going outside. Clean up the mess with petzorb (or some other odor removing cleaner) which will remove the odor completely.

Do NOT rub their nose in it, swat them with a newspaper, or isolate your puppy. It will only teach them to not go in front of you.

If your puppy is going frequently in the house you are probably not supervising them enough. Watch and learn their cues. If you feel you are watching and your puppy isn’t getting it you can always have them checked for a Urinary tract infection.

If your puppy piddles when you greet them, this could be submissive urination. This would be a problem that is usually cured by ignoring the behavior and letting your puppy calm down before touching them when you first see them.

This article not only applies to puppies, but shows how to potty train a dog of any age. If you can’t supervise your dog, please put them in a crate to help curb accidents. Remember, dogs go where they go most!

This can be a trying time, so have patience and you will get through it.

How to potty train a dog that is older

Training an older dog can actually be more difficult because the behavior has been learned. The best advice I can offer is to treat them like a puppy. Start from square one. Keep the dog on a strict schedule and reward heavily for going potty outside. If they have an accident, clean it up appropriately and make sure you don’t punish the dog. After all they haven’t clearly learned not to go in the house. Always ask yourself if you missed some cues.

You can try hanging a bell on the door and teach the dog to ring the bell. Hold it just in front of their nose, and let them out when the bell rings. Beware of dogs wanting to just go out to be out instead of going to the bathroom.

House Train a Dog

House Train a Dog – Common Methods

By Renee Premaza, Dip.,C.B.,C.C.B.T.
Dog Obedience Trainer and Behavioral Consultant
(609) 280-9338

If you’re having problems housetraining your puppies or older dogs, are you:

Leaving your dog’s food bowl full all day long? “Free feeding” prevents your dog’s digestive system from having a specific schedule of elimination. Your dog is NOT a cat! Feed your dog a good quality dog food and feed him twice/day. Keep his food bowl down for no longer than 20 minutes. Whatever he doesn’t finish within that time period, put the rest away and add it to his next meal.

You need to take your dog outside onleash for elimination everytime you think he has to go. This way, you’ll be able to monitor what he’s doing and what he’s NOT doing. If you just let him out and don’t watch him, how will you know if he’s done his business?

Take your dog out:

First thing in the morning Within 5-10 minutes AFTER EVERY MEAL Immediately AFTER EVERY NAP Take your dog out after being played with for awhile. This is very stimulating to many dogs and they will need to eliminate soon after something exciting happens. Take the puppy out on an average of every 45 minutes to an hour. You might want to keep a log on this to determine just how often he needs to go from how many times you can get him to eliminate when you take him outside. If you have an older dog, you can lengthen this to every hour to hour and a half. Before taking the dog outside, say to him, “wanna go potty?” and bring him outside ONLEASH to your designated spot. KEEP TREATS ON so you can reward the dog immediately after he does his business. Within a second after your dog begins to pee or poop in the right spot, offer a treat and praise him to the skies. You can reward good house training behaviors by then letting him run around outside with you. Throw him a puppy party ANYTIME he eliminates in his spot. If you’re out with your puppy for awhile and he’s been running around and playing, make sure you bring him back to his “toilet” area before going inside. He might have to go again. When you’ve established a fair amount of success in getting the dog to go in this spot, begin putting a command word on the behavior. For example, when you bring the dog to his spot, as he starts to eliminate, say your phrase, like “go potty.” Then reward him with a treat. If you cannot keep your eye on him ALL THE TIME, (1) put him in his crate, or (2) tether him to your waist with his leash or long-line. Watch him for certain signals that he may have to go: (1) sniffing the floor, (2) looking a bit anxious or worried, (3) coming to you and just staring at you, (4) preparing to squat or lift leg, acting excited and a bit obnoxious.

Take the dog outside to potty before bedtime.


Do not allow him to play outside.

Bring him inside and put him in his crate for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour.

Take him out again, and repeat all procedures

you’ve been instituting. (generally, the dog will go after having been crated for an additional 1/2 hour.)

Please be aware that it is more difficult to train a toy or miniature dog. These tiny dogs have VERY small bladders and need to be taken out much more freqently.


The success of teaching a dog to go potty outside depends on YOUR MANAGEMENT OF THE SITUATION.

By punishing the dog, he will NOT LEARN that going outside is what you want him to do. Punishment will only teach him that you are DANGEROUS. This can result in a dog that will (1) refuse to potty outside in the presence of his owner; (2) come inside and eliminate where nobody can see what he’s doing. Dogs that are not completely housetrained and still have accidents in the house are NOT spiteful dogs! They are merely looking for an absorbent surface to eliminate on without suffering the consequences of being threatened. Management is key in house training any dog. If you don’t have the time to watch your dog or take him out very often, you’re going to have a much harder time of housetraining him!


Renee Premaza
Dog Obedience Trainer
Berlin, New Jersey
Dip., C.B., C.C.B.T.
Professional Member APDT #63137
Clinical Member IADBC
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