Intro to housetraining


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A little effort now saves a lot of frustration and paper towels later on.

Whether housetraining a new puppy or solving a soiling problem in an older dog, the basic principles are the same:

  • Prevent your dog from making mistakes
  • Make it easy for your dog to do the right thing in the right place
  • Praise and reward your dog for getting it right

The more time you devote to housetraining and the sooner you start, the faster and easier it will be–so if you can, take a few days or even a week off work when you bring your dog or puppy home. If you stick closely to the routine, you can housetrain a puppy within a few weeks, and an adult dog within a few days.

All you need to know to housetrain a puppy or dog

1. Setting up house and home

2. The three-step program

3. When it’s time to stop

Frequently asked questions

What’s the benefit of using a crate to housetrain my dog?

What if my dog doesn’t like his crate?

What if I don’t like using a crate?

Can’t I just leave my dog in the yard until he’s housetrained?

By Ian Dunbar, veterinarian, behaviorist, and DogTime contributing editor