Potty Training A Puppy – 5 House Training Tips

Today we discuss 5 potty training (house training) tips for puppies, how crate training can help you make this process a breeze, and how we can potty train your puppy for you!

potty training crate training a puppy

Puppies bring a lot of joy, and a lot of hard work. Potty Training aka House Training, means teaching your puppy where to do his business. This is very important and inexperienced dog owners may struggle. With some thought and consistency, house training a puppy can be easily achieved.

Potty Training – House Training – Housebreaking

Before we delve into the five tips to properly house train your puppy, let us go over some terms to avoid confusion and misconceptions. You can find a variety of terms describing the same thing. In this case the terms: Potty Training, House Training and Housebreaking mean practically the same thing.

The following tips and suggestions are generic ones and will help the majority of puppy owners. However there will certainly be house training cases where a different approach is required. If you are still stuck after you try these tips, let us know and we will look at your particular situation individually.

5 Tips to Properly House Training your Puppy

  1. Take your puppy out first thing in the morning. This is basic! As soon as your puppy wakes up, he will need to go to the toilet. Make sure that you take him out first thing in the morning.
  2. Stick to a feeding schedule. What goes in must come out! By sticking to a specific feeding schedule you will be able to know roughly when your puppy needs to go to the toilet. Never leave food lying around in between meals. Remember that puppies should be fed three times a day as opposed to twice a day for adults.
  3. Take your puppy to the same spot. Although this is not a must, it does help if you take your puppy to the same spot to do his needs. By doing so, your puppy will relate both the smell and place to doing his business. Once he gets used to this, it will save you a lot of waiting for him to do his job. Although this point is really subjective to the dog, in some cases it does really help.
  4. Be patient with your puppy. Patience is a must, especially when it comes to training dogs and puppies. The puppy will need time and the more impatient you get, the less likely that the job gets done. Take it easy and give your puppy time!
  5. Reward the puppy. Last but very importantly, praise the puppy when he does the deed! You need to give the puppy a positive message so that he relates the action to a good experience. This can be through praise or a treat. You can use a clicker to signal your pup that he did a good thing. We shall discuss the concept of clicker training in a future article. Stay tuned!

Crate Training aka Crating, Helps a Lot!

Crate Training is a whole topic for discussion in itself. In fact we discuss crate training in more detail in our related article about Puppy Crate Training. In that article we discuss all you need to know about Crate Training & its Benefits. We also include a detailed Step-by-Step guide to Crate Train your Puppy quicker and easier!

How can crate training help you potty train your puppy?

puppy sleeping in dog crate

In a nutshell, crate training is teaching your dog to stay happy and comfortably in a dog crate. Crate training can be a very useful tool when raising a puppy. A dog crate is NOT a punishment. Rather, it is a safe place for your dog to rest. It helps keep them stay out of mischief and prevent unwanted behaviours or potty training accidents.

Just as you would put your baby in a cot to keep him safe and let him sleep, a dog crate provides the same opportunity for your puppy.

Crating and Potty Training

How do you use a dog crate to potty train a puppy?

You resort to a dog crate in periods where you need to be away from your puppy i.e. unsupervised periods. Dogs will not soil their immediate surroundings unless they have no other choice. Therefore a puppy will not do his needs in a dog crate and will generally put an effort to hold it!

However as soon as you get back you must take the puppy out of the crate and head out so he does his needs outside. Reward and reinforce this behaviour and repeat. Potty training is all about catching the puppy in the right time and guiding him accordingly!

Having said all this you must keep in mind that puppies have limited control over their bowels and you should NEVER leave a puppy in a crate for a long period of time. Moreover, before actually using the crate you must make sure that the puppy perceives it as his safe haven and not a place of punishment!

There is a whole process how to introduce a puppy to a dog crate which we discuss in this related article.

Crating is not a way of “parking your dog” but only a tool that must be used sensibly and responsibly!

We can Potty Train your Puppy for you!

Potty training a puppy requires a lot of time and commitment. If you are struggling to potty train your puppy then let us know!Ā We will be more than happy to help out. If you lead a busy life and your time is precious you will definitely benefit from our help. We also make sure that your puppy gets the required socialisation with other dogs.

Our Puppy Socialisation Plan is specifically designed for puppies to be around other role model dogs to learn from. We can help your puppy grow into a better adult dog. Both you and your dog will benefit in the long run.

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Written by:


Hi I'm Matthew. I am a scientist by profession with particular interest in canine behaviour.

I take time to deliver weekly blog posts relating to various interesting topics about our pets. I am also responsible for our Dog Walking Service and Pet House Sitting Service at Pet Sitting Algarve.