House Breaking Dogs

Often, first time dog owners view house breaking dogs as a rather daunting task.  The truth is, however, that most dogs can be trained fairly easily as long as proper training methods are used. 

Below is a simple, step by step guide for house breaking a dog.

Purchase Puppy Training Pads

Place puppy training pads in the area of the house where you prefer your dog to go to the bathroom until he is trained.  These pads can be purchased at any pet supply store and are much better for the job than newspaper.  

Anytime you see your dog about to urinate on the floor, gently pick him up and place him on the pad.  If he defecates, move the fecal matter onto the pad so he will begin to associate the pad with going to the bathroom.


Give your dog praise and a little treat any time that he goes to the bathroom on the pad.  Be consistent in offering these rewards when house breaking dogs.

Move the Pad

Once he regularly uses the pad, you can begin to move the pad closer and closer to the door.  Continue to offer rewards when he uses the pad. 

Move the Pad Outside

Next, you will move the pad outside.  You will need to let the dog out often. This is especially true if you are training a puppy as they have to go to the bathroom more often.  Once the pad is moved outside, be sure to gently lead your dog to the pad, so he will know it’s there.

Remove the Pad

The next step in house breaking dog is to remove the pad.  By this time, the dog should be used to having to look outside for the pad, so when he needs to do his business, he will head for the door.

Crating When You’re Away

Dogs will not go to the bathroom in the place that they sleep.  By crating your dog while you’re away, he will be much more likely to wait for your return to use the bathroom.  As soon as you get home, you should let the dog outside and then reward him for doing his business outside of the house. Be sure that the crate is not too large.  If it is, the dog will simply go the bathroom at one end and sleep at the other end.

The whole process for house breaking dog can take several weeks, so it is important to be patient.  Many pet owners slow down the process of housebreaking by using improper or ineffective training methods.

Here are a few things NOT to do.


Punishments, such as rubbing your dog’s nose in his mistake, yelling and hitting are not going to help you in house breaking a dog. Rewarding good behavior is much more effective than punishing “bad” behavior. 

Leave Dog Alone for an Extended Period

This is especially true if you do not crate your dog.  You’ve got to try and be able to be home as much as possible while training. Obviously, most people can’t take several weeks off of work, but if you can swing by home to let him out on your lunch break, or hire a dog sitter or neighbor to let him out during the day, this will help move along your house breaking dog program much faster. 

Not Being Consistent

You want your dog to get on some type of a routine, so the time to establish that routine is while you are house breaking your dog.  Let him outside at the same times every day, so that his body will become accustomed to using the bathrooms at those times.

Keep in mind that accidents will likely occur from time to time.  When this happens, just clean it up and move on.  If, however, once your dog has been trained the accidents become frequent, you may want to visit your vet to rule out any medical problem.  If that isn’t the cause, you may have to repeat some of the earlier training. Learn more here House Breaking Dogs.

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