Puppy Potty Training-The Basics

There are four simple, yet essential skills, that a dog must master before you can consider your dog housetrained. It does not matter if your dog is living in an apartment in the Gold Coast of Chicago or in a mansion in Lake Forest.


In order for your dog to have a big and wonderful life, he must be housetrained. If you have children this is doubly important as children can become sick if they touch canine fecal matter.

If you purchased your puppy when it was young, between five weeks and five months of age, you will have about six months to put the puppy on the correct potty path. The four foundation skills that a fully housetrained dog must master are:

• NEVER go in the house or the crate for 31 consecutive days
• ALWAYS go outside.
• ALWAYS hold “it” until the puppy is outside.
• ALWAYS tell your owner when you have to go outside to potty.

If any one of these four potty training skills is not mastered your dog will continue to have “accidents” for the rest of its life. Can you imagine living with a dog that uses the toilet all over your house for ten to twenty years? Well, you don’t have to live in filth, all you need to do is toilet train your puppy dog.  If you have a plan and a program you can housetrain almost any dog within six months.

It is important to understand that the skill of housetraining cannot be effective until your puppy is at least sixteen weeks old because he does not have any control over his bowel and bladder muscles until this age. If on the other hand, your dog is an older puppy (more than five months of age) or an adult dog, you have about thirty days to assist your dog in mastering these important foundation skills.

With some breeds of dogs such as the toy breeds, the scent hounds and the sight hounds, it may take at least a year to completely housetrain your dog.   Toy dogs offer a special set of problems, as some toy breed puppies will have to potty as frequently as every 10 minutes when they are young.

Dogs that removed from the litter at a very young age, purchased from inexperienced “hobby” breeders, purchased from farms, purchased from Internet “puppy brokers” or purchased from retail outlets (farms, pet stores, backyards) tend to have greater difficulty becoming housetrained and crate trained.

There is a point in a dog’s development, where, if he has not mastered the four foundation skills, your dog will be at point of “No Return.”  This is a point in your dog’s development where improper conditioning, long-standing bad habits and age converge (9months to 1 year of age). Once at the “Point of No Return” the chances that a puppy or dog can be properly housetrained are greatly reduced.

Your duty as the owner of a very young puppy is to prevent accidents, ignore mistakes and reward good behavior.   As of today, any potty accident is always your fault. Never, ever punish a puppy for housetraining accidents

This article was written by Ami Moore,  located in Chicago, Illinois. Ami Moore can be contacted through her websites www.amimoore.com, www.dogtrainingchicago.com and www.dogtrainerchicago.com .

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