Housebreaking your new puppy

Housebreaking your new puppy

The following tips will help make housebreaking easier for you and your puppy:

·        Feed him uniform amounts of food on a regular timetable during the housebreaking period.  This makes it more likely that he’ll need to eliminate at regular intervals.  Leave his food out for 20 minutes, then put it away, even if he hasn’t finished.  He’ll soon learn to eat all of it as soon as it is available.

·        When mealtime is over, take the puppy outside to a spot you’ve chosen as his outdoor bathroom.  In an encouraging voice, give him a command like “Hurry Up!” or “Go To It!”.  If you use this phrase each time you take him out, he’ll associate the words with the process of relieving himself and do what you ask.

·        Accompany him outside first thing in the morning, last thing at night and anytime he finishes napping, drinking, playing or chewing on his toys.  While he’s young, it is a good idea to take him out at least once an hour.  This maximizes the likelihood that he’ll eliminate outside, thus giving you lots of changes to reward him and reinforce the lesson.

·        When he’s done his job, praise him enthusiastically and take him inside.  If you stay outdoors to play or go for a walk he’ll forget the original purpose of the trip outside.  Once housebroken you can stay out and play.

·        If you see your pet in the act of make a mistake indoors, say “NO” firmly and take him outside at once.  Urge him to relieve himself, using your verbal command.  When you return inside, clean the soiled area with an odor neutralizer available at pet stores.  Unless you get rid of the scent completely, he’ll be drawn back to the area and may repeat his error.

·        DO NOT try to correct your puppy for mistakes that occurred while you were gone; he won’t know what you’re upset about and will only become confused.
And don’t get angry when he eliminates in an appropriate place.  Showing anger or “rubbing his nose in it” will only fright and confuse him.

·        If you’re away during the working day, spread several layers of newspaper on the floor in him room.  When you return, throw away any soiled paper and don’t replace it until you leave the next day.  While you’re at home, continue training to eliminate outdoors.  The purpose of the paper is only to protect the floors; don’t praise your pet for using it or he’ll get the idea that it’s okay to eliminate indoors.

·        A puppy’s kidneys do not fully develop until they are 6 months old; so accidents are to be expected.

·        In addition to being a safe haven for your dog when you are not home, a crate is an excellent means of housebreaking.  Discuss this with your Breeder.

Common Problems


Chewing:  This is a natural behavior for dogs.  Puppies, like babies, need to teethe.  Be sure your pet has several sturdy chews.

Jumping Up:   Dogs usually jump up because they want to get closer to their owners’ faces.  You can avoid encouraging your puppy to jump up on you by kneeling so that you’re on him level when you pet or talk to him.  If he does jump up, don’t reinforce the behavior by petting him.  Instead, use one of the following two methods to startle him into getting back on all fours, then praise him:

1.  Put the puppy on his leash.  When he jumps up, jerk the leash to the right and firmly say “NO”.

2.  Put 10-15 pennies in an empty soda can and tape the opening shut.  When your pet jumps on you,
shake the can vigorously and say “NO”.  One that is naturally nervous or shy may not respond well
to the soda can technique.

Excessive Barking:  If your puppy barks constantly while you’re at home, put him on the leash.  When he barks, give the leash a corrective jerk and say “Cut!” or “Stop!”.  If he barks when you aren’t at home, you need to find out why and remove whatever is causing this to happen.

Biting:  Young puppies should be trained never to bite the hand that plays with, caresses, and feeds them.  When a playful pup nips too hard, give his leash a corrective jerk and say “NO!”. then slowly resume play.  If the puppy continues to nip, stop playing.

*This information provided by the Western Reserve Poodle Club.