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Puppy Housebreaking Made Easy


Most puppies are 75% reliable by 16 weeks of age and 100% by 6 months. If you own a toy breed, try a little psychology on yourself. Pretend that his accident is as big as a cow patty and as odiferous as an elephant's stall and you will get him out on time.

Four basic instincts which guide your puppy's elimination habits.

#1. He will eliminate where he is in the habit of eliminating. At first, your pup will actively resist "going" anywhere except where he has gone until now. You must establish a new "habit" by repeatedly going to another place.

#2. Given reasonable intervals, your puppy will not soil his bed. Give him only two choices: his bed or the appropriate spot in the yard. If he is confined (ie: in a crate), he will hold his bladder and bowels until he can leave his sleeping area.

#3. Puppies will eliminate where they can smell a familiar elimination scent (from another dog, a cat or even their own offal from a previous elimination session). Clean any inside "mistakes" with an odor eliminator so they will stop beckoning him back to make another mistake. Pre-treat the elimination area with a few drops of attractant or use the Pee Post.

#4. Puppies prefer soft surfaces rather than hard surfaces. Choose an elimination area outside on a grassy surface (not too far from the house but not a patio or deck).

Your puppy will need to eliminate immediately upon waking and approximately 20 minutes after eating. Physical exercise stimulates his bowels, so be particularly vigilant at those times.

If you understand all of your puppy's instincts, you can see that many of his signals in your house are backwards or topsy turvy. The carpet is calling him, the yard is rejecting him. Put things right and it will be very easy for him to understand.

Never leave him unsupervised in the house. And under no circumstances should he be allowed freedom from confinement unless you have just witnessed that he has eliminated. If he does not eliminate when you take him out, he is an accident looking for a carpet, and he must be returned to confinement for 20 to 30 minutes and then be exercised again until he finally voids in the appropriate place in the yard.

Be attentive to his request. It is sometimes as subtle as just walking toward the door. Supervision means you are actually watching him.

Look into the great new "bell" options such as the "Tinkle Bell" device for him to ring when he wants to go out. Each time you pass with him to the yard, use his foot to ring the bell. If he hits the bell (even by accident) during his free time, respond immediately and let him into the yard. (If you want to speed the bell training, schedule regular 5 minute training sessions throughout the day when you can show him how to ring the bell to receive a tiny cookie treat. It won't be long before he is ringing like a champ. Now change the reward to just opening the door. Soon he will be asking you to let him out using the bell.)

Use a consistent phrase to tell him it is time to eliminate. Tell him to "hurry up". Repeat it over and over as you walk him in a circle at the designated spot.

Give him his treat or a game with his favorite squeaky toy after each successful session.

Most puppies are 75% reliable by 16 weeks of age and 100% by 6 months. If you own a toy breed, try a little psychology on yourself. Pretend that his accident is as big as a cow patty and as odiferous as an elephant's stall and you will get him out on time.

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