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House Training - Potty Outside

When your puppy relieves himself outside, he will earn free time in the house. The more consistent the training, the faster your puppy will learn the desired potty response. You will alternate confinement and free time until your puppy learns the appropriate time and place to go potty. Every time your puppy comes out of his crate, he will go outside. Therefore, the following schedule will happen when training:
  1. 2 minutes outside - Potty - 30 minutes free time - Back into crate for 30 minutes - 2 minutes outside
  2. 2 minutes outside - No Potty - back into crate for 30 minutes - 2 minutes outside

The following guidelines will aid you in potty training your puppy:

  • Adhere strictly to the suggested schedule. Accidents mean too much freedom!
  • Allow only 2 minutes to potty outside. Reward urinating/defecating immediately (within 1 second) after the desired behavior.
  • Holding it all night is the first stage in successful housebreaking

Note: If your puppy whines and cries at night, ignore him and go back to sleep. (unless the puppy is hurting himself). If you get up to reprimand him, or let him outside, you will be training him to get up in the middle of the night. Occasionally, dogs must relieve themselves at night. Therefore, if ignoring the puppy leads to a mess in the morning, respond to his warning by only allowing 2 minutes outside. Do not do this for more than 2 nights, and be sure to check with your vet to determine if the puppy is sick.

Here is the suggested routine to quickly train your puppy to potty outside and avoid accidents in the house:

  • In the morning, carry the puppy outside, place him on the ground (with leash attached),and give a command like “Go Potty”. Allow 2 minutes for urination/defecation. Gently repeat the command and soon as the puppy responds, treat and praise immediately. Always bring a treat outside with you.
  • If the puppy fails to respond within 2 minutes, bring him inside and put him back in his crate for 20 to 30 minutes. Try again.
  • When your puppy goes potty outside, bring him in and give him 30 minutes of free time in a confined area. You should be with him during this time.

Daytime Schedule:

Potty Outside = ½ -hour free time then 1 ½-hours confinement.
This routine will continue until your puppy goes potty outside consistently and has learned the behavior. Then you may give him more freedom and less confinement.

Potty Outside = 1-hour free time then 2-hours confinement.
When your puppy becomes reliable with this amount of time, increase free time again.

Potty Outside = 2-hour free time then 2-hours confinement.
Increase free time as your puppy gains your trust.

If your puppy has an accident, DO NOT scold him. This could lead to many behavior problems.
If you catch him ‘in the act’, use a startle sound to get him to stop, and then carry him outside to finish. Reward him, and then put him in his crate.

The entire process may take 2 to 6 weeks. Please don’t become discouraged. Follow these guidelines, and remember- they are only puppies once!