Housebreaking Puppy

When bringing home a puppy accidents will happen. Even Bailey had a couple accidents when we brought her home and she was over a year old. Finding themselves in a new environment is stressful. Until routines are learned, including where the door to go out is, we need to be extra patient and diligent with our new pet. Your diligence and patience will be rewarded. Eventually your new friend will much prefer going potty outside than inside. Do not rub your puppy’s nose in the mess you will only teach her to fear you. After 6 months of age your puppies bladder will have matured enough that your puppy should have much better control now. This is a good time to get loud and vocal in your potty training. IF you catch them in the act of piddling where you don’t want them to then you can make loud fearful noises and shout NO. Then they will learn what they are doing is not making you happy. Do not continue to carry on though. In the dog world discipline is a quick event that is moved on from not continued indefinitely.

I’m a big believer in the use of piddle pads for house training. We scattered them throughout the house in hopes of Teddy finding one. Ideally we would have kept him confined in a family room or kitchen when he first came home. Then as he used the piddle pads reliably he could gain more freedom. We have an open floor plan house so closing off an area is extremely difficult. So instead I watched him like a hawk as much as possible. If he stopped playing, just woke up and had just eaten he was bound to need to go very soon. We went outside a lot the first few months he was home with us.

When Teddy was going to be home alone for an extended period of time we locked him in the utility room with toys, a , food, water and piddle pads. We found restricting his water after 8:00pm to be very helpful in getting through the night. We didn’t do this until he was 6 months old though. Since young animals can get dehydrated quickly we didn’t want to risk making him ill. After 6 months old they also have achieved much better bladder control so you can expect less frequent accidents and the ability to sleep through the night at this point.

In training to use the piddle pads clean up a bit of the messes with a fresh pad so the dogs can smell that is was already used for both poo and pee. Not too much though or they won’t want to use it. Piddle pads were a great resource when we had to leave him home alone for long stretches of the day. It made cleaning up way easier.

After the puppy shots are completed make sure to take the puppy out for lots of walks. This will begin encouraging the puppy to go potty outside. When it’s time for him to go potty anyway take him outside. Take him out the door you want him to use so he learns to go there when he needs to go. Leave piddle pads in front of this door too. This encourages his behavior to go to the door you want to use when he needs to go potty. By you letting him out when he goes to that door it reinforces the behavior you want him to learn.

In my experience, dogs naturally want to go potty outside so it’s an easy transition to stop using piddle pads. Eventually the dog will choose to go outside rather than inside.

A couple pee problems – the excited pee and the marking pee. The dog who pees when scared or excited needs to be ignored. Do not try to correct the problem. Ignore the dog when you first meet it until it is calm then you can calmly pet it. A dog who is marking on the hand needs to know you don’t like that behavior. Both males and females mark with there urine. If you catch them in the act of marking in your house then make a loud noise and holler NO. Eventually they will understand. Unless it’s an adult dog then that behavior is extremely hard to correct. I haven’t successfully been able to correct that behavior in an adult dog.


Make sure when you bring home your puppy you are well equipped with cleaning supplies for the the inevitable messes. It’s important to use a cleaning product that has enzymes to break down the urine so the dog can’t smell it anymore. Otherwise it will be attracted to use the same spot over and over again.

Good Luck!