How I House Trained My Golden Retriever Puppy

For decades, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people have been unexpectedly stepping in wet, cold puddles of dog urine, as a result of not understanding what it really takes to house train a puppy.

I'm So Sorry!

It’s frustrating as hell, ruins your socks, and stains your carpet.  But it doesn’t have to be that way any longer.  All you need is the right dog training information, a string, and a little bell, and your dog won’t mess on your floor ever again.

I house trained my golden retriever puppy below to ring a bell to go potty at 11 weeks!

Hundreds of dog training experts are teaching techniques like how to use crates to build bladder strength, and increase the length of time between eliminations; grinding your dog’s face in his poo to teach him it’s not OK, or methods even as intricate as getting a dog to go in a kitty litter box.  And while all these techniques can work, they all have one major flaw…

… they all rely on your dog to hold his bladder for hours on end, until you finally remember that you should let him outside to go potty.  This is fighting an uphill battle with your dog, because it is infinitely easier to teach an animal to DO something than it is to teach an animal to NOT do something.

Meaning that if we could find a way for our dog to tell us he has to go to the bathroom, that would be much easier than training him to NOT go to the bathroom

Here’s a few more examples to show you what I mean…

My Golden Bauer

My Golden Bauer

It’s much easier to teach your dog to sit when meeting a stranger than to NOT jump up on them.  It’s much easier to teach your dog to chew on one of his toys, than it is to NOT chew on your furniture.

This is because we can reward a dog for doing a behavior we want, but we can only PUNISH a dog for doing a behavior we don’t want.  And when push comes to shove, a dog will obviously be more willing to work for praise, treats and rewards, then be scared into submission with more aggressive tactics.

So let’s take this philosophy and show you how I trained my brand new 11 week old Golden Retriever puppy to tell us EVERY time he needed to go potty, by ringing a little bell I hung from a string on our back door.

Here’s why this dog potty training technique is so effective…

Obviously an eleven week old puppy hasn’t fully developed his bladder strength yet, and he was needing to relieve himself every couple of hours.  And if I wasn’t there when my puppy was ready to go… we ended up with a puddle on our floor.

So I thought to myself, “I don’t want to just sit here watching my puppies every move, just waiting for him to look like he needs to go outside.  Why don’t I train him to tell me?”

And that’s exactly what I did.  First I got some of our puppy’s favorite treats and kept them in a bowl by the door, so I could have easy access to them when I needed them.

Then I tied a little jingle bell from our Christmas tree, to a long string and tied it to the handle of our door, so it was easily in reach of my pups nose.  This made it so that every time I opened the door the bell would jingle, and I’d let my puppy outside.

Then I took it one step further.  I spent a few days closely watching my puppy in our house (you could do this in a weekend).  I’d watch for any signs that he was going to go potty.  Signs like sniffing the ground and pacing; like he’s looking for a good spot to let it go.puppy-sniffing

When I saw my puppy doing this I’d immediately and gently distract him, rush him to the door, open the door and send him outside… of course this causes the bell to ring which is important as it starts to get the dog used to the fact that when the bell rings he goes outside.

Because the dog already had to go potty, as soon as he got outside he’d immediately go.  I’d then toss him a treat and give him lots of praise.  This taught the dog that he gets rewarded with a treat for going potty outside.  And in my pups little doggy brain he very quickly started to realize that if he wanted one of those tasty treats, he had to go potty outside… and that that was the ONLY way to get one of his favorite treats.

After I’d spent a whole day doing this I adjusted my strategy on the second day of puppy potty training.  Instead of just opening the door for my pup when it looked like he had to go, when I took him to the back door I made him bump into the bell with his nose before I opened the door for him.

And after a full day of bumping into that bell with his nose he was trained that if he just bumps that bell with his nose, I’ll come open the door for him to go outside and go potty — and of course that earns him a treat!

This ends up being a HUGE blessing for me because I can be anywhere in the house and if my dog has to go to the bathroom I can hear him ring that bell.  And because new puppies can’t hold their bladders for very long, it was the perfect way to show him that there was a perfectly ok way for him to ask to go outside.

Otherwise I’d never now when he wanted out, and even if he held it for as long as he could, if I wasn’t there to let him out because I was in the other room watching TV, or not paying attention, he would have had another accident and it would have taken 3-5 times more time to house train my dog.

So remember, you’ll have much more success with house training your dog if you focus on training him to DO something that’s taking you closer to your house training goals, than it is to just get mad at him every time he has an accident

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  1. andrea says:

    i can not get my 7 month old beagle to stop peeing in my house HELP!!!!!!!


    viloshan Reply:

    After you give him some food,after drinking water,morning,evening and night you must take him outside then he will pee when you do this for about 1 week.after a week when he won’ts to pee he will go near the door and you need to open the door this is how i trained my golden retriever puppy


  2. Lisa says:

    How do I incorporate a doggy door for a small puppy??


  3. Amy says:

    I have tryed every method that I have used while training other puppies, and my 5 1/2 month old boxer puppy still goes in the house.I really feel like I am at a loss. He has a crate which he pees in and when he’s not in the crate he pees on the floor. Earlier today I even found poo on the floor. I dont want to hit my puppy, but simple vocal commands dont work with him. I really dont know what to do, except for maybe getting rid of the puppy. Please help!


  4. Arundi Jayasekara says:

    I think that I’ll need some advice to potty train my one year old friend.Sometimes I am not even sure whether she is potty trained or not.I praise her and offer her treats whenever I discover that she has used the proper place.I can’t understand why she tends to use the concrete instead.(She is an outdoor dog)She also gets confused when I clean the patch of yard which is her toilet.I corrected her several times and she began to use the proper place, but not for long.
    Another problem is pooping on the long.The back yard is seperated for her to sleep and play.But we take her to the lawn to play.In many instances,she did her job there without going to the proper place.
    What should I do? Her eating habits are so irregular,so it is hard to watch her all the time.


    Minette Reply:

    You have to make a commitment to watch her, the more often she has accidents the harder the problem will be to break it is as simple as that.

    There are all kinds of potty training articles for you to research if you look on the left hand side of the page and search potty training.


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