House training

House training is a VERY important skill that every puppy should ideally master by the time they are 4 to 6 months old.

For some reason, in my opinion, quite a number of little dogs, especially little white ones & Yorkshire Terriers, seem to have a challenge with this task. I tend to think it’s because their owners think they are just so cute that they cut the puppy too much slack early on and by the time the owner gets serious about house training the puppy has a well established “go potty in the house” behavior.

A couple of helpful tips for successful house training:

• Your puppy needs to have a crate/cage, just big enough so that they can stand up and turn around without difficulty.

• The puppy should be confined in the crate when the owner(s) can’t actively supervise the puppy’s behavior.

• The puppy should be taken out to go potty (on leash) EVERY time he’s let out of the crate. On leash is important because you’ll know for sure whether your puppy has eliminated or not. Take your puppy out to the same area each time. Give him 2 to 3 minutes to do his business. As he completes a pee or poop use your marker (see earlier post) and give him a several treats. It’s important to wait until he’s done because the marker might stop the behavior! If your puppy does not go during the allotted time, bring him back into the house and put him back in his crate. you can take him out again when it’s convenient for you (perhaps after you have breakfast or take your shower).

When your puppy has had success and is “empty” you can take him for a walk, play in the yard or give him some free (but supervised) time in the house.

Keep in mind your puppy can only hold his eliminations for about as many hours as he is months old (up to a max of 6 -8) and that it takes time and self-control training to reach these goals. As you are house training you will probably want to take your puppy out every couple of hours, or more frequently if he’s been active. Activity creates pee & poop.

You should not expect a puppy to be fully/reliably house trained until they are 4 to 6 months of age. So be diligent in supervising your puppy.

If you get stuck and aren’t having great success I suggest you keep a journal where you log what goes into your puppy (food & water) and when and what comes out of your puppy. All puppies who are fed on a schedule will develop their own rhythms — which will help you predict when they may have to go out.

If after all of this you are still having issues consult your veterinarian as there may be a medical issue contributing to the problem.

Good luck!


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