House Training

House training general rules:

  • Puppies can hold their bladders about 1 hour for every month of life during the day time. Up to a max of 5 hours by 6 months old.  They hold it longer overnight.
  • Training only happens when you are present. Confinement areas and crates are ways to keep the puppy safe and minimize the cleanup of accidents until you can continue the training process.
  • The object of house training is to get the puppy to the right place (outside) at the right time (when they should go)
  • Puppies generally must toilet after sleeping, eating, playing. They may start to sniff, circle or look distracted when nature starts to call.

Puppies between 8 and 10 weeks: Should only be in close confinement (crate) for about 60 minutes at a time during the daytime.  If puppy needs to be alone longer, use an ex pen or small puppy proofed space that is easy to clean.  Put the crate in it with the door open, an appropriate toilet area like newsprint and some safe chew toys.

Sample Schedule for 12-week-old puppy:

6 am: puppy wakes up, carry outside to toilet area. Stay with puppy.  Praise and reward when she poops/pees. Note doings in Puppy tracker. Link to PT house training

6:30 am: Breakfast: Note amount of food provided, quantity and amount consumed on puppy tracker. Take a photo of bag, packaging, or preparation if the food is new. This is a handy reference if the puppy has a reaction to the food. 

7:00 am Take puppy back out to toilet area. (This may need to be a bit closer to end of eating. Depends on the puppy) Stay with puppy.  Praise and reward when she poops/pees. Note doings in Puppy tracker. 

If puppy toilets outside: Make time to play with puppy while outside.  Toss a toy, have pup chase you.  Play for a least 5 minutes. Then give pup quiet time to sniff and explore for another five minutes.

If puppy does not toilet outside: give her 5 minutes. Bring her back in and put her in her crate of 15 minutes. Repeat above after 15 minutes.  We want to get her to the right place at the right time.  We don’t want to stand outside if she doesn’t have to go yet.

When toileting has happened and outside play, bring puppy in.  She can have about 30 minutes supervised time with you in the kitchen.

After 30 minutes, into her crate for 1 hour or her confinement area. Note rest time in puppy tracker.

9:00 am: Repeat toilet routine. Note in puppy tracker.  

10:00 am: Puppy nap time in crate (90 minutes) Note in puppy tracker 

11:30 am: puppy wakes up, carry outside to toilet area. Stay with puppy.  Praise and reward when she poops/pees. Note doings in Puppy tracker.

Noon Lunch: Note amount of food provided, quantity and amount consumed on puppy tracker. 

12:30 pm: Take puppy back out to toilet area. (This may need to be a bit closer to end of eating. Depends on the puppy) Stay with puppy.  Praise and reward when she poops/pees. Note doings in Puppy tracker. 

If puppy toilets outside: Make time to play with puppy while outside.  Toss a toy, have pup chase you.  Play for a least 5 minutes. Then give pup quiet time to sniff and explore another five minutes.

When toileting has happened and outside play, bring puppy in.  She can have about 30 minutes supervised time with you in the kitchen.

After 30 minutes, into her crate for 1 hour. Note rest time in puppy tracker. 

2:00 pm: Repeat toilet routine. Note in puppy tracker.  Practice some training. Note in puppy tracker. 

2:30 pm: Take puppy for a walk around the neighbourhood if she has had 2 sets of vaccinations. Note in puppy tracker if she is nervous or anything that strikes you. Note any toilet doings as well. Link to PT socialization

3:30 pm: Take to back yard toilet if she didn’t go on the walk.

4:00 pm: If she toileted, put her in her confinement area with a chew toy or kong. If she did not toilet, into her crate with chew toy or kong.

5:00 pm: Repeat toilet routine. Note in puppy tracker.  

5:15 pm: Dinner: Note amount of food provided, quantity and amount consumed on puppy tracker. 

5:30 pm: Take puppy back out to toilet area. (This may need to be a bit closer to end of eating. Depends on the puppy) Stay with puppy.  Praise and reward when she poops/pees. Note doings in Puppy tracker. 

If puppy toilets outside: Make time to play with puppy while outside.  Toss a toy, have pup chase you.  Play for a least 5 minutes. Then give pup quiet time to sniff and explore another five minutes.

When toileting has happened and outside play, bring puppy in.  She can have 30 minutes supervised time with you.

Give her option to have a drink of water then pick up water dish until morning.  If you feel she is thirsty, she may have a bit of water from your finger tip but not full access to bowl.

6:30 pm: Into her crate for at least an hour quiet time while you have dinner. Note rest time in puppy tracker. 

7:30 pm: Repeat toilet routine.  Could also take her for another walk around your neighbourhood or visit a park. Note any socialization observations in puppy tracker. 

8:00 pm: Quiet time at home under very close supervision.  If close supervision not possible, put puppy in her confinement area with toys. Get her outside if she starts to circle, sniff or look distracted.

Best to take her outside every hour during the evening. Note any doings in puppy tracker. This will allow you to figure out her preferred biological routine and update the schedule to meet her physical needs.  This saves you unnecessary trips outside. 

11:00pm: last trip outside then into crate for overnight. Link to PT housetraining and PT sleeping

Overnight:

This can be a tricky time.  We want puppy to learn to “hold” there needs overnight. A very young puppy may need to go out sometime in the night. You will learn the difference between a lonely whine and an urgent need. It is best to have the crate in your bedroom so you can learn the difference and act accordingly. Plus, if a puppy wakes in the night and can hear your breathing and smell your presence, they are less likely to vocalize.

This should happen once in the night!  Not repeatedly.  Keep any night time outings brief.  No fun and no play time. If puppy wakes at 5 am and you don’t want to start your routine yet, take her for a quick out then back in her crate for an hour.

Post to our blog if you want help with your specific puppy need.