Generally, dogs are very clean animals – they won't soil close to where they eat, or where they sleep. But living in a house is unnatural for an animal whose instincts would be to roam wherever they want to go, so you will have to help them learn where and when to relieve themself. It's essential that you teach good toilet habits tor your dog as early as possible. Trying to break a bad habit later can be difficult and frustrating.

Housebreaking your new puppy is your first mission. There is more than one method available to accomplish this. This first method, the one I prefer, takes the least amount of time to accomplish but it does require you are available to perform it.

Puppies need to relieve themselves the first thing in the morning, after eating, after play, after a nap, before bed and several times in between. You need to watch him closely to see the signs when he needs to go to the bathroom. Sniffing around in circles and showing signs of restlessness are clues that it's time to go. Sometimes they give no sign at all. He'll be running over to you, stop dead in his tracks and let loose. Because of that, when I have a new puppy, I'll take him out every hour or so whether I see signs or not. Nine times out of ten, he'll go. As soon as he completes the task, praise him lavishly so he learns what you want. It's also important to use the same door and the same command when you're taking him out. You can also hang a bell on the door knob of the door you will use and ring it everytime you take your puppy out. As he gets a bit older you can teach him to ring the bell when he needs to go out. Pretty neat!

If your puppy should have an accident in the house, and he will, if you see it happening, scoop him up with a strong "no" and take him outside. If he finishes outside, praise him.

If you don't catch him in the act, forget it. If you try to discipline then, he'll have no clue what your talking about. He won't associate your displeasure with the present he left you. Don't ever shove his nose in it. He'll just associate your anger with you, not the spot on the floor. Don't teach your puppy to fear you. That will just hinder other commands you'll want to teach him like "come". In either case, clean it up with a cleaner that doesn't contain ammonia and use a scent neutralizer. The ammonia will smell like urine to your puppy and he'll just keep going to that spot.

Another common way to house-break your new pup is to use newspapers. Simply lay down several layers of newspaper opened up in a stack on the floor, wherever it is that you want your new puppy to do his business. Make sure it's on a surface that's easy to clean. You still have to keep an eye on him and put him on the paper at the right time for a several days, but he'll catch on quickly. He'll soon learn that is where he's to go. Every couple of days, move the newspaper a bit closer to the door. Once you've reached the door, put the papers outside of the door leaving a couple of inches inside. You want your puppy to still be able to smell the newspapers and scratch or fuss to get to them. When this happens, praise him and take him out. After a few days he should catch on and go to the door and fuss or scratch to let yo know it's time to take care of business. This method works but I've found it takes longer than the first method. If you choose this method, instead of newspapers you might want to check out PetZoom Pet Park Indoor Pet Potty. 

As you can see, both of these methods will require your time and availability to accomplish, but let's face it, this is one of the most important things you need to teach your new best buddy, for his sake and yours. This investment of your time will be well worth it for years to come. You'll be much happier with a puppy that doesn't mess in your house.

Remember, once they've learned where to do their duty, you still have to monitor them constantly until their bladders mature. They just don't have the ability to hold it very long at this point. Just keep at it, be patient and before you know it your pup will be house broken.

This is where crate training can help with the process. see: How to Crate Train a Puppy>


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