Set Realistic Goals

All puppies under 4 months of age have small bladders and can not be expected to hold their urine longer than 3-4 hours during the day or 6 or so hours at night. Someone must be available to let the dogs out once every 3 hours. Housebreaking occurs gradually over a period of time using consistent schedules and methods. Even if it is done 100% correctly on your part it sill takes time and mistakes happen.


Plan on being available to walk your puppy at lunch time or hire a service to do so. An 8 hour day is not possible for a dog under 8 months.

What You Need:

A crate, large enough to allow your puppy to lie down comfortably, and turn around easily. You may need to use a divider however if it is more than twice the pup's length.
A 6 foot leash.
A buckle collar.
Cleaning and deodorizing products.

Setting Up Your Schedule

Puppies urinate frequently and predictably. They go after waking up, after eating, after playing, and when they get excited. Always take your puppy out to the same place, the same time, and following his meals. When you take them out it is helpful if you give your pup a word or phrase to associate with elimination. After they go, calmly praise them for going in the proper area.

It is important to allow your puppy to earn space in your home. Only allow him in a new room after he has gone to the bathroom outside. Do not overextend his limits. He needs to gradually work up to extended freedom in the home. Do not wait until your puppy is 6 months old to show him your living space, he will not consider this part of his "den" and may not respect it. Good manners are taught young.

Within 10-30 minutes after you feed your pup he will have to relieve himself. All your walks do not need to be long. The first walk in the morning is just to relieve himself then bring him back in for breakfast in the crate.

Pull up all food and water by 7pm (depending on your schedule, climate, etc.). Your puppy needs to go to bed on an empty stomach and bladder. An ice cube instead of a whole bowl of water is helpful.... It gives them liquid in the bowl gradually and/or is a fun snack.

Feed your pup in his crate for now. This does several things, it enables him to eat with more peace of mind knowing he's in his own space, and it makes the crate a more enjoyable place to spend time in.

Giving your puppy dinner by 5pm allows him to digest and urinate prior to bedtime. If he seems hungry later a biscuit around 7 is ok.

Example of Puppy Schedule
6am - Bring out to elimination area
6:10 - Breakfast in crate
6:30 - Longer Walk
Play time
Socialize to kitchen
11am - Bring out to elimination area
11:15 - Feed in crate
11:30 - Walk
12:00 - Crate
3pm - Walk
5pm - Bring out to elimination area
5:10 - Feed in crate
5:30 - Walk
Play, kitchen time
7-8pm - Bring out to elimination area
Optional play and kitchen time
10-11pm - Bring out to elimination area
Crate for night

(Pups under 4 months can not always be expected to make through the night. If they bark or whine in the middle of the night, they must be let out to relieve themselves and then returned to their crate).

Housebreaking Do's and Don'ts

Do's Don'ts
Be realistic with your puppies training, this is a process that takes time. Don't think if all is done right your pup will be 100% trained in 3 weeks.
Expect accidents. Clean them up and carry on. If you catch the pup going, lift him up and bring him to his elimination area. Don't ever hit, yell at, or run your pup's nose in it. This will lead to a fearful and untrusting pet.
Praise calmly for going outside. Do not talk much or distract pup so as he forgets what he is supposed to do.
Feed on schedule - limit water. Do not feed pup on demand or give water after 7pm.
Take pup to same areas they have gone outside. Don't allow free play until you see him relieve himself.
Do escort your pup outside. Don't assume they're doing their business alone.
Do say word or phrase to associate with going. Don't talk or distract them from doing what they are there for.
Allow earned free time in your home after going outside. Start with kitchen. Don't bring pup into your living room for the first time at 6 months of age; 5-10 minutes in your living space after he has been out is great.
Use a treat to lure pup into his crate. Never punish or yell at your puppy while he is in his crate. Don't let him out if he has just been put in and is barking and fussing.
Love your puppy, he is just learning. Don't give up, don't get mad, and don't take it personally.

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