Welcoming a dog into your home is exciting and just like any new beginning, starting on the right note is important. Housebreaking has a few key steps involved that will result in a happy puppy household.

It’s great to teach your dog boundaries early on in your relationship so that no bad habits are formed, and the experience is a positive one. Begin by teaching your dog where to go potty. Make it very clear to your dog where you want him or her to go potty and give them a treat immediately after they go potty in the desired spot.

The next step is to ensure your dog knows where not to go potty. Without using aggression or punishment, redirect your puppy if they attempt to potty in an undesired  spot. The results will be quicker and more positive when your dog isn’t frightened.

Dog owners tend to get frustrated when their dogs eliminate in the house but remember that they aren’t doing it on purpose. Until they are taught, they will just do it where it is most convenient because they aren’t born with the understanding that going in the house is wrong.

Patience is key when housebreaking your puppy. All dogs progress at their own pace and it is important to give them time to understand the do’s and don’ts because after all, they are just puppies!

Getting a crate can also be helpful when potty training because confinement teaches the dog when to go potty and when not to go potty. Puppies usually go potty within 20 minutes of eating or drinking. Approximately 20 minutes after your dog has eaten and drank in his/her crate, let them outside. After doing this several times, your dog will soon comprehend that going potty is done outside. After your dog goes potty outside, reward them for a job well done and wait a bit before returning them into their crate so that they don’t associate the action with a punishment.

Accidents happen sometimes, especially when your dog is a puppy but be sure to take your dog out frequently enough to maintain housebreaking and keep your dog up with good habits.