Content Reviewed by an Essentials PetCare Veterinarian

House training a puppy or newly adopted dog can be a very frustrating time.  However, with the right steps and a little patience, you’ll be able to get your new family member trained in no time!  Below are some helpful tips for house training.   

  1. The first step is to establish a normal routine with your dog.  Setting a schedule for regular feeding times, play times, and sleeping can allow for regular elimination times as well and help your dog learn the routine as quickly as possible. 
  1. Next, set up a crate for your dog to sleep in and stay in, while you’re away from home.  Dogs are den animals and feel safest when they have a small, comfortable area to rest in.  You’ll want to make sure the crate is large enough for them to stand and turn around in but not large enough to sleep on one end and eliminate on the other.  Dogs will naturally want to keep their den environment clean, so using the crate can be a tremendous help in teaching proper bathroom behaviors.  In addition to training, a crate will also keep your pet protected when you aren’t home to supervise. 
  1. Plan to take your dog outside to eliminate at established times.  These times should include when they first get up in the morning, 15-20 minutes after each meal, after play times, and when you first come home from being away.  As a rule of thumb, your dog should be taken outside about every two hours while you are at home with them to provide ample opportunity for them to learn to go in the right place. 
  1. When taking your dog outside, place a leash on them while still inside the house then actively walk them out.  If dogs or puppies are allowed into the yard on their own, they will often become distracted and fail to take the opportunity to use the bathroom.  Walk them to the same designated area each time.  This adds to an established routine and makes them associate this area with eliminating. 
  1. When your dog eliminates outside, give them lots of praise!  Acting excited may feel funny to you, but it lets them know that they’ve done what they are supposed to do and provides positive reinforcement.  You can also give them a small treat or piece of kibble as a reward but be sure not to over-supplement with too many calories throughout the day! 

Essential Tip: Accidents and other changes in a housetrained pet’s bathroom habits could indicate a medical issue. Our Urinary Package includes a veterinary exam, diagnostics, treatment recommendations, and a written prescription, if necessary, for $80. 


*Prices subject to change. See current prices: 


·       American College of Veterinary Behaviorists: House training and Crate training 

·       The Humane Society of the United States