This video will explain some basic housetraining tips as well as how to use a long-term confinement area. I recommend that you view the video and then read the extra tips below. Check back frequently for more videos and leave comments. The comments will help me decide which videos to publish in the future.
Puppies can hold their bladders roughly one hour per month of age. It is important that you pay attention to the daytime length, because puppies can often hold it much longer at night. Puppies that can't hold it that long need much more frequent potty breaks. Dogs that grew up outside or in pet stores or shelters might have zero bladder control.
You need to be patient if you have a puppy like this. Take him out every 15 minutes, if necessary, and use the long-term confinement area when you can't do this. You really want to avoid accidents in the crate, because then you lose the ability to use the crate as a housetraining tool.
This is one option for your morning routine. You can adjust it to your individual schedule. As your puppy gets older, you can start removing the second walk after eating. You can start doing this when, over time, your puppy has shown that he can hold it after eating for the length of time that he will be alone before the next walk.
- Take your dog on a quick potty break when you get up, and make sure you reward him when he goes potty
- Play with him a bit, so you are not immediately putting him in the crate after going pott
- Put his breakfast in the crate with him and close the door
- Chart when he went potty, when you fed him, when he drank water, and when he was put in the crate
- Finish getting ready for your day
- Take your puppy out one more time before you leave
- Chart the details
- If he went potty and can hold it until his next break, put him the crate
- If he did not go potty and you are worried that he might have an accident in the crate, put him in the long-term confinement area
- Enjoy your day
I understand that not everyone can afford or has access to a dog walker. I live in the city and most of my clients have dog walkers or take their dogs to daycare. You can absolutely leave your dog in a large area, put newspaper or puppy pads down and leave the house. I do think it takes longer to house train puppies this way since they can go potty all day long and have no motivation to hold it. Also, their bladders do not physically learn how to hold it for a longer period of time. But, a lot of people successfully use this method and their dogs turn out great!
Here is the video again, if you need a refresher:
Long-Term Confinement Area
The confinement area in the video is the "Rolls Royce setup." You can simply use just the exercise pen without the crate. It needs to be big enough so your puppy can move away from his waste, or that can be extremely stressful and can lead to other house training problems.
Go on the Pad, Please!
Occasionally when you are home place your puppy on the pad in the long-term confinement area and say, "Go Potty" and wait a few minutes. If he doesn't go, put him back in the crate and try again in 15-60 minutes. If he does go on the pad, BIG reward! This will make your life easier by teaching your puppy to go ON the pad. Then, when you come home, it is much easier to clean up.
Not Just When You Leave
It is important that you use the crate and long-term confinement area when you are home. If you only use it when you leave, your puppy could get anxious being alone. You might not realize that your puppy has separation anxiety until it is too late.
After your puppy goes potty, give him some freedom and then back in the crate or pen. Get into a schedule so you don't have problems later on.
See my dog training EBooks if your puppy has a barking or separation anxiety problem.