How to housebreak your dog

Oh, the dear puppies – they are just cute as sugar! And also, if a mishap happens that puts the apartment under water (and yes, that will most likely happen), the dog should be careful!), you can not really be angry with them. One should also not. However, sooner or later the puppy must learn that the apartment is not a place to pee.

Many are a bit overwhelmed with this situation – which I can well understand. But until now, almost every dog has been housebroken. I’ll tell you how to get your dog housebroken.

How long does it take to housebreak a dog?

Most dogs can’t control their bladder and bowels until they are about four months old. So it can take some time to housebreak the dog. How long, you can not say so general, because it always depends on the dog and his personal history.

Most of the time it only takes a few weeks to housebreak your dog. However, the dog may still do it in the house every now and then up to a year of age. This is usually for psychological reasons: For example, if the acclimation was very exciting or he was confronted with unforeseen events – or if the owner simply did not come home in time enough.

Just keep in mind that your dog will never go inside to annoy you!

If a dog becomes housebroken on its own?

There are many dog owners who tell me that their puppy was clean from the beginning and never left a puddle in the apartment. This can be the case, but it is the exception rather than the rule. If you have a dog like this, congratulations! Otherwise, my tips will help you, which I will reveal in a moment&

Tips: How to housebreak your puppy

I would now like to give you some concrete tips on how to get your puppy housebroken (faster). With me and Balou this worked wonderfully and I am sure, with a little patience this will also work great with your puppy!

Tip no. 1: Go out every two hours

Your puppy needs to go outside a little more often than an adult dog. This is quite normal, especially since carpets with a strong suction effect have an incredible fascination for the little ones.

It helps to get ahead of your puppy by taking him outside every two hours. Especially after eating, drinking, sleeping or playing, puppies often have to empty their bowels.

A sign that your puppy’s bladder is full is when he starts walking in circles and sniffing the ground – then you should take him outside as soon as possible. Then just pick him up and carry him to the place where you want him to get loose.

Tip no. 2: Let your puppy sleep near you

Especially the nights are still a big challenge in the beginning. While we usually snooze blissfully for eight hours (or at least we should), it is a bit more difficult for puppies to suppress their urge to urinate for such a long period of time.

Therefore my tip: let your puppy spend the nights near you at first! You can either put his basket in the bedroom or you can move him into the living room for the first few nights. So you get better when he has to go at night. If you see a pattern, you can even set an alarm to get ahead of him.

Tip no. 3: Establish a fixed release place

Make it as easy as possible for your puppy in the beginning and set up a fixed release place for him near your home. This can be, for example, a corner in the garden or a dirt path next to your apartment.

He will soon associate the place with loosening and learn that he should do his business there. Always put him down in the same place and wait until he gets loose.

Tip no. 4: Introduce a "release word."

You can also teach your dog to do his business on your command. If you always give your dog a certain solution word (e.g. "urinate") before he pees, you can help him to get housebroken. B. "Make fine"), he will eventually associate this with the action.

This is especially practical before long car trips, because your dog can empty himself in advance and you can drive more relaxed.

By the way, you can also use a clicker instead of a solution word!

Tip no. 5: Praise a lot!

I am a fan of positive reinforcement – and I have found that dogs feel the same way. Therefore, please do not forget to praise your dog for his exemplary behavior when he does his business outside!

The important thing here is to praise him in a calm voice so he knows he’s done everything right – no loud cheers, please, even if you feel like it! Otherwise the dog could interrupt his business or even get scared.

You can also offer him a treat if you want to give extra positive reinforcement. Just make sure to include calories in his daily ration so your puppy doesn’t grow too fast!

Tip no. 6: "Pipimat" for high living floors

Not all of us are lucky enough to just open the door and already be outdoors. Some also live in cities and higher floors. The chance that the puppy can defecate outdoors is of course a little less.

However, there is a solution for this too: You can set up a tub with a flat edge for your dog, for example, which you line with newspaper. You can place these near your front door or the balcony door.

But be careful: Please warn the neighbors, so that there is no neighborhood dispute!

What to do if a mishap happens?

I like to compare a puppy with a baby: You would never be angry with your baby if it does not wet its diaper, but something goes wrong. Just wipe it away and don’t comment on it much. And this is exactly the attitude you should have when your dog urinates on the floor.

Unfortunately, I often see dog owners punishing their puppies verbally or even physically when such a mishap happens to them. I am not a big fan of punishment anyway – and I vehemently reject physical ones anyway! – but especially in the puppy age you can trigger a lot of things with the still so small dog.

If you scold your puppy or even punish him, he may not know what you are punishing him for, or become insecure because you are being arbitrarily nasty to him – everything is still new to him and he doesn’t know not to urinate on the carpet.

Therefore: Please do not punish!


Housetraining a puppy is certainly not the best part of dog training, but it’s not that bad! Mostly the matter is over in a few weeks and you will be incredibly proud of yourself and your little one afterwards. Perseverance pays off!

If you follow my tips, it should also go very quickly, I’m sure of it! Always stay patient and appreciative with your dog, then you will surely get him housebroken quickly.

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