How to Housebreak a Puppy in 5 Days
You can housebreak a puppy in 5 days – and yes, we mean you. Yes, you read that right, in this article I’m going to tell you how to housebreak a puppy in 5 days!
If you’ve got a dog who…
– Knowingly lets it loose all over your floor while looking straight at you defiantly,
– Likes to hide his “accidents” from you in other rooms of your home,
– Or waits until you leave the room to pee on your floor,
And you’d like to put an end to it in as little as 5 days…
Then I’ve got good news for you!
In this article I’m going to share with you how avoiding three critical and unfortunately common mistakes – or Potty Training Pitfalls – and adopting a simple trick allowed me to potty train my 11 week old puppy in just 5 days.
That’s right, I am going to tell you how to housebreak a puppy in 5 days – Sound too good to be true? In all actuality, what most people don’t know is that teaching your puppy where to go to the bathroom is one of the easiest problems to fix with your new best friend. It’s true that potty training a puppy or adult dog for that matter requires patience, commitment and lots of consistency, but if you avoid these three pitfalls, teaching your puppy becomes a WHOLE lot easier…
But first you must realize the reason WHY your efforts at potty training have failed in the first place – or the Potty Training Pitfalls.
Potty Training Pitfall #1:
Ruining The ‘Nest Soiling’ Instinct
Let me let you in on a little secret… The fastest way to potty train a puppy is to FIRST use its “Genetically Hard Wired Instincts” to not soil its nest, to your own advantage.
And so we’re clear about what I mean by “Nest”. From the moment a puppy is born its mother is teaching it that the NEST is the place where it eats & sleeps.
And one of the first rules Mama Dog starts to teach her pups is NO peeing or pooping in the family nest – That’s Disgusting! So as long as you didn’t buy your puppy from a puppy mill or un-reputable breeder, the puppy you bring home comes pre-programmed with this belief:
Potty Where I Eat & Sleep = Bad
Potty Anywhere Else = Good
Now this is really where the first misconception comes in.
Because you and your dog do NOT share the same definition of INSIDE & OUTSIDE.
Your Dog’s Definition of Inside “His Nest” vs. Outside
Un-potty trained dogs often have a VERY small version of “Their Nest” like maybe just a few spots in your home, like their bed, or a couch. Each dog is a little different, and some dogs, like the larger working dog breeds, are generally among the easiest when potty training a puppy, versus dogs with a little spunk like the Shih Tzu (think: dynamite comes in small packages). But the principal stays the same.
Your dog thinks of his Nesting place, where he does NOT pee, as a MUCH smaller space than you realize. Because most of us humans think of OUTSIDE our “Nest” like this…
Your Version Of Inside “Your Nest” vs. Outside
Starting to see why you and your dog aren’t coming to an agreement on where he should be eliminating? Can you see how when your dog maybe soaks the carpet right next to his bed he LITERALLY thinks he’s going where he’s supposed to? Because from his perspective… he DID leave his nest to go pee.
So your dog THINKS he’s just been good…
…And you’re contemplating your decision to bring home that little ball of fur! So the question then becomes, how do you teach your dog the difference between what YOU think of as “Your Nest” (your entire home) and what your dog thinks it is (that spot next to his bed)?
Luckily there’s a proven process for how to trick your dog into thinking certain rooms of your home are like NESTS… and when you do this right, it triggers your dogs instinct to not pee or poo in those rooms.
Click here for a FREE program on how to trigger this instinct in your dog.
What if you live in a big city or another area that doesn’t have easy access to the outdoors?
Do those puppy pads you see in the store work? Check out this article to see out if using puppy pads to potty train a puppy is right for you:
Potty Training Pitfall #2
You have two options when your dog has an accident:
- You Can Punish His Accidents
- Or you can use the 3rd tip I’ll cover in a minute
Sadly though, most people choose the punishment route, or worse take them to a shelter. If you catch your puppy going potty in the house don’t freak out! Simply, and calmly say “no” or “ehh!” and scoop your puppy out and take him outside. If you throw a fit and scare your puppy he associates YOU with something bad, not having an accident or going potty in the house.
From your puppy’s point of view… he has to go potty (right?) so he doesn’t understand why you get so upset at something that is so natural for him to do and something he needs to do. By yelling you are teaching him to avoid going potty “in front of you” you are not potty training him!
This is why so many dogs sneak out of the room to urinate or defecate, not because they are ashamed or they know it is wrong to potty inside… it is because they have been taught not to go potty in front of you (which makes this process so much harder!).
According to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, pet problems are the most common reason that owners rehome their pet, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs. Pet problems were defined as problematic behaviors the biggest complaint being housebreaking issues, aggressive behaviors, they grew larger than expected, or health problems the owner couldn’t handle. Almost ALL of these issues can easily be solved through proper training. So if you’re tempted to punish Rover, let me tell you what will happen.
There your dog sits. He’s just relieved himself all over your carpet. But he didn’t do it on his bed so he feels like he’s been a good boy. Then you walk in. You see the puddle, heard somewhere on the internet that maybe said it’s a good idea to ‘rough him up’ a little bit or maybe scold him for peeing in the house.
“They can take it”, you’ve heard.
“That’s how dogs in the wild communicate.” they say.
Yet because your dog thinks he has left his “Nest” to pee, and doesn’t understand it was because he didn’t go OUTDOORS… punishment WON’T work. In fact you’ll actually make the problem worse with that rolled up newspaper. Because what your dog is going to do next time he has to go, is simply do a better job of HIDING his pee from you!
Which means you’ll now be finding soiled stinky carpet splotches in the far reaching corners of your home instead of just in your main living room. In this article from the AKC it says, “Scolding a puppy for soiling your rug, especially after the fact, isn’t going to do anything except make her think you’re a nut. Likewise, some old methods of punishment, like rubbing a dog’s nose in her poop, is so bizarre that it’s hard to imagine how they came to be and if they ever really worked for anyone.
On the other hand, praising a puppy for doing the right thing works best for everything you will do in your life together. Make her think that she is a little canine Einstein every time she performs this simple, natural act. Be effusive in your praise—cheer, clap, throw cookies. Let her know that no other accomplishment, ever—not going to the moon, not splitting the atom, not inventing coffee—has been as important as this pee.”
This opposing approach to punishment is to use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior and TEACH your dog what you want and what your expectations for house training are.
This approach avoids the “bad” or problem behavior all together because you are giving information to your puppy by teaching him what you want and rewarding good behavior and success. B.F. Skinner has shown that positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior or maintaining behavior. This is hands down the best way to begin training your new puppy!
There are many benefits to using positive reinforcement training in all aspects of puppy training, but it is especially useful when potty training because you are trying to avoid the problem of having potty accidents by teaching your puppy where to go potty. Positive reinforcement also builds a strong bond of trust with your puppy. Even outgoing puppies can be scared and nervous when they first enter their new homes.
Although this is an exciting time being away from their mom, former home and litter-mates can be terrifying. Now is the time to begin building a bond of love and trust with your new puppy. Positive reinforcement training has also been shown to be a quicker form of learning, because it gives information on what an owner wants and expects!
So instead of punishing, here’s the trick that helped me discover how to housebreak a puppy in 5 days. It’s a trick almost everyone skips, yet makes all the difference…
Because it teaches your dog a way to warn you before he has to go, eliminating 90% of your dog’s accidents within a week of him learning this behavior….
Potty Training Pitfall #3:
Not Training The ‘I-Gotta-Go’ Bell
If you’ve ever raised children, you know that there comes this glorious day in a parent’s life.
Where you go from having your child wet themselves for the first year or two of their life, to the stage where they finally start giving you some warning while out in public. Where there you are at the shopping mall or something, when they say, “Mommy I gotta go potty”.
And what do you instantly know when you hear those words?
That you have just entered the FINAL COUNTDOWN right? And that you only have a short window of time left to make it to the bathroom or there’s going to be an inconvenient, if not embarrassing mess. Well wouldn’t it be cool if you could train your dog the ‘I Gotta Go’ command? So he could give you a little heads up before he lets ‘er rip?
Of course it would.
Because remember, dogs are just like children when it comes to the amount of time you have before they ask to go outside and when the dam breaks. So if you don’t train your dog HOW to let you know he’s got to go, you are ONLY making your potty training efforts harder on yourself than you have to. Always remember to hustle when your puppy needs to use the bathroom! Grab the leash and take it right outside to its bathroom area.
Heck, you could even let your puppy go without the leash if you are in an enclosed backyard and don’t have enough time. The leash is certainly ideal, though, for when your puppy needs to use the bathroom.
And the “I Gotta Go Bell” is REALLY simple to train.
The way I taught this to my 11 week old Golden Retriever was to simply hang a little Christmas Jingle bell on the door handle that lead outside. And then what I did is I trained him to ring it ONLY when he had the urge to go potty.
Click here if you’d like me to mail you a free copy of my course that shows you how I used this method to potty train my puppy in only 6 days.
Here’s why this bell is Magic:
- I no longer had to “Catch My Dog in the Act” to train him to go outside. Now he tells me!
- Now my dog had a way to communicate his need to go outside. And he could call me from the other side of the house WITHOUT barking. (who wants to train their dog to bark to go outside – super annoying and a whole new problem to solve)
- When my little dog’s bladder was 15 seconds away from bursting, he didn’t have to run all over the house trying to find me to tell me he had to go and have an accident on the stairs or something. This is because he knew that if he rang it, I’d come a runnin’ to help him do his business properly.
Get the house ready for housebreaking. When it comes to housebreaking, “being prepared” doesn’t mean covering your floors in newspaper and rolling up rugs. Instead, it’s important to focus on making sure your pup feels comfortable in her new home.
An unfamiliar place can be frightening and overwhelming, so making a protected, safe environment for your dog with a crate, playpen and/or baby gate is vital. An enclosed area creates a safe place for the puppy to hang out and feel comfortable, but also an area where you can trust them to be when you can’t keep watch. What’s the secret trick that makes potty training a puppy easy? Consistency! It really helps to have a schedule and keep track of everything — not in your head, but on paper, computer or even your phone.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to teaching your pup this new behavior, and organization will be key in the process. You should record frequency, duration of the walk and even the accidents, as it will help identify a pattern. Feeding your pup at the same time each day will help cement their walk schedule. (Keep in mind, they may need to eat two to three times a day.)
I suggest walks within a short time of waking up from a nap, and 10-30 minutes after food, water or any major activity. Be very hawkeyed! Monitor food and water consumption, as what goes in, must come out. I’m not a big proponent of potty pads, as potty pads can actually hinder your dog’s development; it may be unable to differentiate between the potty pads and things like plushy or soft blankets, pillows, rugs, and even cushions if they have the right texture!
The Bottom Line:
So there you have it…
By focusing on:
- Potty Training One Room At A Time
- Tricking my dog’s instincts into treating those rooms like its NEST
- Not punishing his accidents
- And giving my dog an ‘I Gotta Go Bell’ to give me some warning
… I was able to potty train my 11 week old puppy within 5 days to not pee in his first room…
Where he would hold it for a couple hours if left home alone. (his bladder wasn’t quite mature enough to hold it for more than that at just 11 weeks old). Yet after just 5 days of training he would ring his bell to warn me that he was about to burst… Never peeing in that room again for the rest of his life.
To be fair, some dogs are not capable of being potty trained at just 11 weeks and may not be able to get these same results until they reach 16 weeks as their bladders are not yet strong enough to “hold it”. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but remember small dogs, like the Pug or Shih Tzu tend to have big attitudes and may test your patience during training.
“Generally speaking, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age.
So if your puppy is two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Don’t go longer than this between bathroom breaks or they’re guaranteed to have an accident.” (Read more about that here) Yet if you will avoid the above three pitfalls, and teach your dog how to warn you with a bell before he has to go, you can potty train any dog, whether it’s an 11 week old puppy like mine or an older dog who was never potty trained, much faster than you ever thought possible and your dog will love you and trust you forever.
Dog ownership is both exciting and rewarding and it doesn’t have to put your sanity to the test.