House training your dog

1st January 2017


House training your dog requires lots of patience and commitment. It’s vital that everyone in the house is consistent with his or her behaviour towards the pet, so this month we thought we would run through some of the basics to help everyone work towards the common goal.


Have a routine

Puppies learn quickly when given a routine. The schedule will teach them that there are times to eat, times to play and times to toilet. You’ll find that a puppy can generally control its bladder one hour for every month of age. So if your puppy is two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Don't go longer than this between toilet breaks or they’re probably have an accident.


Outside frequently

We’d recommend at least every two hours, and immediately after they waking up, after eating and drinking. It’s also worth letting them outside just before bedtime.

Pick a bathroom spot outside, and always take your puppy to that spot. While your puppy is relieving himself or herself, use a specific word or phrase that you can use before they go to remind them what to do.


Lots of praise and reward

Reward your puppy every time they urinate or defecate outdoors. You can give lots of praise or even a small edible treat. The timing of this reward is critical, so do so immediately after they’ve finished, not after they come back inside. Make sure they’ve finished as well, as if you praise too soon, they may forget to finish until they’re back in the house.


Breakfast and dinner– same time each day

Depending on their age, most puppies need to be fed two, three or four times a day. Feeding your puppy at the same times each day will make it more likely that they'll toilets at the same times as well. This will make the whole ‘house-training’ process so much easier for all of you.


Night-time toilets

If your puppy does wake you up in the night, don't make a big fuss or they’ll think it’s playtime as well. Just take them out and then make them go back to bed.


Be vigilant

Don't give your puppy the opportunity to urinate in the house. It’s worth keeping an eye on them whenever they’re inside.


Look for the signs

Watch for clues that your puppy needs to go out. Some signs are obvious, such as restlessness, crying, barking, squatting, circling or scratching at the door. If you see any of these signs, take them outside immediately and give them praise and reward if they use the outside toilet space.


Kennel space security

It might be worth considering buying a dog cage to put up in the house. You can put a nice bed inside, and encourage your puppy to use the cage for sleeping and relaxing. The space should be just big enough to comfortably stand, lie down and turn around. This cage can be used to keep your puppy safe and secure if you’re not about for a short period of time.


Accidents will happen

Expect your puppy to have a few mishaps in the house. If you happen to catch your puppy in the act of just starting to urinate or defecate.

  • Interrupt them - make a startling noise immediately take them to their garden toilet area.
  • Don't punish - if you find a soiled area, it's too. Just clean it up. Punishment will often do more harm than good.
  • Clean the soiled - puppies are very likely to continue soiling in areas that smell like urine or feces.


Get some help during the day

Arrange for someone, such as a professional pet sitter, to take them for bathroom breaks. At Bollington Veterinary Centre we often have names of people who offer this service. Give us a call on 01625 573375 and we can let you know.