How to Housetrain Your Dog

Learn housetraining 101 and get the basics of housetraining puppies, step by step.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
5-minute read
Episode #96

Many trainers suggest a clap or other sharp noise to interrupt a puppy who’s just getting ready to go. The idea is that then you bring her outside to finish up, and reward her when she does. I’m not wild about this tactic. For a sensitive pup, interruption may bump right up against startlement and fear. Don’t try this tactic at all with a puppy or dog whom you already know to be timid. And if you do use it and your puppy seems at all scared, abandon the experiment.

Anyway, housetraining goes faster if you keep mistakes to a minimum. Grit your teeth, drag yourself out of bed, don’t tell yourself it’s just a few minutes till the commercial break, and watch that pup!

You can find a more detailed guide to housetraining in the Notes section of my Facebook page. Post comments and questions there, or email me at dogtrainer@quickanddirtytips.com. I read all your comments and questions, and I may use them as the basis for future articles. You can also follow me on Twitter, where I’m Dogalini. Happy housetraining!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).