House training is one of the most frustrating challenges for pet
owners. Some settle for a less-than-perfect record, dealing with
frequent ‘accidents’ and others avoid purchasing a puppy to skip this
step! House training your dog does not have to be difficult. Have you considered these 5 different ways to house training success?
1. Kennel Training
Kennel training is the old standby when it comes to house training.
Why has it persisted through the years? Quite simply, it works. Kennel
training works on a dog’s instinct not to pee or poop in their bed. If
you can stick with this approach, it will most likely bring you success
- To kennel train, take your puppy outside to do his ‘business’.
a command word or action for both pee and poop and remember to keep
this action consistent (share with all the puppy’s caregivers).
he successfully goes, you should praise him and you can also choose to
give him a treat. Choose a treat he enjoys, and reserve it to be used
for training only. You may then bring him inside the house and he can
have some time outside of the kennel.
- If he does not go, put him back in the kennel and repeat in 15 minutes or half an hour.
the first while, take your puppy out every hour and gradually increase
the time in between until about 2 or 3 hours. Remember, a very young
puppy will not be physically able to ‘hold it’ for as long as an adult
dog and should not be required to.
- If you are able to keep this up, your dog should be mostly trained within a couple of weeks.
dog owners are not consistent with this approach and find it too
restrictive for their tastes. Also, many people are not around the house
all day to let the dog out. There are other options!
2. Bell Training
Bell training is not a true training method in itself, but can
be used in conjunction with kennel training and other approaches as an
aid. A bell works with outside training if your dog does not have free
access to the outdoors by way of a dog door.
- To train your dog on a bell, simply place your dog’s paw on
the bell before taking him outside to do his business. This is most
effective when the bell is not simply hung on the door, but stands
alone. Try a great product like Tell Bell.
dog will associate the ringing of the bell with you opening the door
and him going outside. This method works on the principle that your dog
knows that he is supposed to do his business outside, but cannot
communicate it effectively to you. This solution works incredibly well
with older dogs who are still struggling with house training, but can be
a great way to start out a new puppy, too.
3. Training Pads/Newspaper
Think of this approach as a ‘soft’ kennel training. It includes the
use of aids such as puppy training pads. If kennel training seems too harsh
for you, or you are simply not around enough to monitor your dog going
in and out, try this method.
- When you are not at home, use either a pen or a closed off
room to keep your dog so that he has limited space, but still some
- Place a training pad or newspaper (this works best if
you place some of the dog’s poop or the smell of his pee on it) on the
opposite side of the room as your dog’s kennel and food/water. Many
training pads are specially scented to attract dogs to pee/poop.
you are home or available, follow the “Kennel Training” steps of taking
your dog outside frequently. Gradually, as your dog learns to go
outside, and uses the pad less often, you can take it away.
you can move the pad or newspaper closer to the door until it is
eventually outside where you want your dog to defecate. Gradually remove
4. Litter Training
works well with smaller dogs (who are unable to be outside in extreme
weather conditions) and apartments, with limited access to the outdoors.
Dog litter boxes differ from cat litter boxes as they are larger, open
to the air, and have a recessed side for easy entry. Make sure you
purchase a dog appropriate litter that is newspaper-based, not clay or
crystal, as these can be harmful if ingested.
- Set up your dog’s litter box in an easily accessible area
to start. You can move it slowly as she successfully uses it. Make sure
the box is at least 3 feet away from your dog’s food/water and
bed/kennel to start.
- Some special dog litters like Puppy Go
Potty are specially scented to attract dogs to use them. If not, or to
bolster success rates, place a newspaper or training pad in the box to
- Some dogs are averse to using the litter
itself. You can start by using training pads in the box and gradually
add litter to eventually replace.
5. Artificial Grass
This relatively new solution is related to the litter box. It uses an
artificial grass top which allows wet waste to accumulate in a
reservoir below and solid waste to easily be picked up on top.
Environmentally friendly, hygienic, and convenient, the Pet Loo
receptacles are both washable and replaceable.
- Be sure to place the receptacle in a place where your dog
can easily see it. You can use training pads or sprays to encourage
defecation early on.
- A filled tub of urine can be dumped down the toilet, and the “grass” rinsed off with a hose daily or as needed.
Whatever the method you choose, the most important element is consistency. Positive reinforcement, in the way of praise or treats, goes a long way toward success. Happy training! Please feel free to comment below...