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Housebreaking Your New Puppy: Training Tips for Success



puppies peeking over wall

So you just got a new puppy! Congratulations (and condolences).



Adding a new dog into your home is an exciting and rewarding, albeit exhausting, experience.. One of the most important challenges of dog ownership is proper training, and this includes housebreaking. Whether you have adopted a puppy or an older dog, housebreaking is a crucial part of dog training that requires patience, consistency, and heaping dose of humor.


In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of how to successfully housebreak your new dog and set a solid foundation for their overall dog training.




Understanding Your Puppy's Needs


puppy on walk with owner in snow

Starting out on the path to successful housebreaking begins by learning the unique needs of your new puppy or dog. Bear in mind that dogs are creatures of routine, thriving on predictability. As such, pinpointing their natural rhythms - their usual eating, sleeping, and elimination times - is crucial. This will lay a sturdy groundwork for housebreaking. Make it a point to closely observe your pup. You'll notice patterns emerging, like a need to go outdoors shortly after a meal, an active play session, or waking up from a snooze. This knowledge is your first step toward effectively communicating with your pet and setting the stage for successful training.


Creating a Schedule/Plan



Building a solid routine is an invaluable strategy in your housebreaking journey. Regular feeding times set the stage for a dependable elimination schedule. Serving meals at the same times each day creates a pattern that your pup will instinctively follow. Scheduled leash walks can further reinforce this routine, ideally taking place after meals and before bedtime. These outings provide your new dog with the perfect opportunity to relieve themselves in an appropriate setting.


Being consistent with these routines is essential. This will reassure your pup and make them feel secure, understanding that certain times are designated for specific activities. Be patient during this phase. Adapting to a new routine might take some time, but you'll soon start seeing the results of your hard work. The Humane Society reports that puppies can typically hold their bladders for one hour for every month of age they are up to about eight months old, meaning an eight-week-old puppy needs to go out every two hours.


Incorporate positivity into these routines. For instance, when your dog successfully eliminates outside during one of the scheduled walks, shower them with praises or rewards. This makes the routine enjoyable for your pup, strengthening their commitment to the schedule.


While creating this schedule, remember, your dog is learning and adapting to a whole new way of life. So, expect some hiccups along the way. But stay committed to the routine, keep your patience, and soon, you'll have a happily housebroken dog, and a home free of accidents.


Need help getting started? Get your free downloadable housebreaking chart here.


Positive Reinforcement Works Best


Puppy getting positive reinforcement with treat

Adopting a positive reinforcement strategy in dog training is paramount to success. This means rewarding your new pet when they act in accordance with your expectations, such as relieving themselves outdoors, thus strengthening their understanding that they've done something commendable. Shower them with praises, offer a treat, or engage them in a brief play session. These rewards communicate approval and create an association between good behavior and positive outcomes.


Resist the urge to resort to punishment or scold when your dog makes a mistake. This approach can often breed fear and bewilderment, leading to a counterproductive training experience. Instead, focus on acknowledging and reinforcing the right actions. This approach will ignite your dog's eagerness to repeat them. Don't teach your dog to fear potty time.



Remember, each positive reinforcement strengthens the bond you share with your pup and makes their training journey a pleasant experience. This method fosters trust, instills good habits, and encourages your new dog to make positive choices voluntarily.


Dealing with Your New Puppy's Accidents



Mishaps are an inevitable part of your dog’s housebreaking journey. When your furry friend has an accident indoors, it's crucial to remain composed and patient. Rather than resorting to punishments or harsh words, clean up the area diligently to erase any residual odors that could possibly entice your pet to repeat the incident. If you catch your pup in the middle of an accident, interrupt them calmly and swiftly guide them outside. This helps communicate the appropriate place to relieve themselves. While these accidents may initially seem like setbacks, think of them as invaluable learning opportunities that contribute to your shared training experience.



Tackling Other Puppy Training Problems



puppy jumping on owner

As you embark on this exciting journey with your new dog, you may encounter additional challenges such as leash walking or unwarranted chewing. It's important to understand that these are not acts of defiance, but natural behaviors that your pup must learn to channel appropriately.


Chewing, for instance, is a normal action for pups. They use it as a means to explore their surroundings, alleviate teething discomfort, or simply pass time. Therefore, the key is not to discourage chewing altogether but to gently negate their behavior and guide them towards appropriate objects. Always have a variety of safe, chewable items at your puppy's disposal. When your puppy makes a wise chewing choice, promptly mark their choice with a positive to encourage the same choice in the future.


Leash walking, on the other hand, can be a tricky skill to master for your new dog. Remember to approach this with patience and understanding. Starting off with short, frequent walks (up and down your driveway or even in the house) and gradually increasing the duration can help your pup adapt. Employ the power of positive reinforcement, linked with our Piloting Method, and you'll soon see progress.


Seeking Professional Help


Man hugging his dog

Facing challenges on this new adventure with your furry friend is entirely normal. If you find yourself at a crossroads with housebreaking or other training hurdles, consider turning to an expert for assistance. Professional dog trainers are equipped with a wealth of knowledge and experience, poised to offer you invaluable insights and guidance. They can help you to navigate the ebb and flow of this new journey, transforming potential frustration into rewarding milestones. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy reported that pet relinquishment rates decreased by 70% when dog owners attend obedience training classes.


When seeking a trainer, prioritize those who employ force-free, communication-based training methods. This ensures your pup’s training journey is a positive, enriching experience, fostering a strong bond between you two. Remember, seeking help isn't a sign of defeat, but rather a proactive step towards a harmonious home life with your new dog.


Dog Training vs. Dog Life


Dog kissing owner

With the Piloting Method, dog training has never been simpler. This revolutionary approach to training focuses on clear communication, positive reinforcement, and building a strong bond between dog and owner. By embracing this method, you can simplify the training process and achieve remarkable results with your furry friend.


The Piloting Method takes into account the unique needs and behaviors of each dog, allowing for a customized approach. Whether you're dealing with a new puppy with housebreaking issues or a dog with frustrating behavior problems, the Piloting Method can help. By working closely with the experienced trainers at Darwin Dogs, you can identify the root causes of your dog's behavior and create a personalized training plan to address them.

One of the reasons the Piloting Method is so effective is its emphasis on consistency and structure. Dogs thrive on routine and predictability, and this method provides them with the stability they need to feel secure and confident. By establishing clear boundaries and consistent rules, you can simplify the training process and reduce anxiety and unwanted behaviors.


Simplifying dog training with the Piloting Method is not only effective but also enjoyable. Say goodbye to the frustration and overwhelming feelings that often come with training a dog. With the lifetime guidance and support of Darwin Dogs, you can simplify the training process and enjoy a happier, better-behaved dog. Embrace the Piloting Method today and experience the positive impact it can have on your relationship with your furry friend.


many dogs lying down together

Learn more about our Piloting method of dog and puppy training here.



Find out more about our private in home 30 Day Best Dog Ever and 30 Day Best Puppy Ever training packages here.



Have questions about our puppy training or dog training?



border collie dog staying

Kerry Stack

Darwin Dogs

Dog Training and Puppy Training

Located in Cleveland, Ohio



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