housetraining your new puppy

Getting down to business - hopefully outside

Potty time, like real estate, is all about location, location, location. So it’s up to you to teach the newest member of your family where it’s appropriate to go potty. While accidents will happen, with time, patience, and consistency, plus one of our time-tested, puppy-approved methods, your pup will eagerly squat or lift right where you’ve trained them to go.

Vector graphic animation of potty training your pup

Crate training

Dogs are den animals - they instinctively love a nice, soft, safe and secure place to curl up and call their own. And once they have this space, they’ll almost never have an accident inside it, which is what makes crate training an effective housebreaking technique. Beyond that, once they’re comfortable in their safe haven, they’ll be far less anxious and scared when they’re crated for any other reason — like at the vet, or the groomer, or on long car trips.

Choose a crate size and type that is just snug enough for your pup to be cozy, but roomy enough that they can still turn around comfortably. See more about crate training

Vector graphic of a routine clock timer

Understanding crating times

Brand new puppers 6 – 8 weeks old should never be crated for more than 4 hours at a time—they just can’t hold it that long! You can very gradually lengthen their crating time as they grow, up to a maximum of 8 hours when they’re older.

A crate is a great training tool, but always remember what your puppy needs most is your love, affection, and attention.

Consistent spot training

With this method, you train your puppy to be comfortable going potty in a litter box or a potty spot that you set up in your home or outside. If your pup is a smaller breed and won’t have much access to outdoors, like in an apartment, then paper or box training may be the way to go.

A puppy sniffing a piece of cloth laid on the floor

Dealing with puppy “accidents”

They’re called “accidents” for a reason! They happen, it’s ok, no need to get frustrated. Just clean them up as quickly as possible and use an enzymatic cleaner to remove odor. If you catch your pup mid-tinkle, scoop ‘em up and immediately take them to the spot where they’re supposed to go. (You may even want to leave a tiny bit of waste in their spot to help your puppy understand that this is where they do their business.)

If you find a misplaced poop or pee, do not discipline your pup. They will not understand what they’re being scolded for, and it will hurt the trust you’re trying to build. You may actually want to keep an eye on those poops, in case they indicate a health issue.

How Banfield can help

Because behavior changes can have so many causes, your veterinary team will work with you to try to determine what may be bothering your pet and to find the best solution. Please make an appointment if you have a concern. If something is wrong, the sooner we can help your puppy, the better.

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