Housebreaking a Puppy, Housebreaking Puppies, Housebreaking a Dog


In this section housebreaking a puppy has never been easier or faster with our collection of the best free puppy training tips to stop your dog or puppy having accidents in the House.

We will discuss a variety of house training methods including bell training and pad training.

Each of the below techniques will work extremely well with any young or older puppy (you can even use the techniques on adult dogs too). As long as you remain consistent, fair and consistently reinforce positive behavior you can’t fail.
Just so you know puppy housebreaking is simply training your puppy to potty in the area that you have chosen.

You can achieve this through a variety of different training methods – including:

  1. Puppy Crate Training
  2. Puppy Pad Training
  3. Puppy Potty Training
  4. Or for an adult dog try our section on Potty Training a dog

House training is another name for housebreaking just so you don’t get confused!

Due to the many different methods used, we have split this page into different areas of housebreaking.

Puppy Pad Training

Pad training is another method of housebreaking a puppy that is popular with some dog owners and trainers but not so popular with others.

The reason for this is that some trainers feel that if you start training your puppy to potty in the House whether it is on a pad or not – how can you expect your puppy to change from toileting in a designated area and then being trained to potty outside.

The basic idea behind puppy pad training is to use some training pads that you can purchase from a good pet store that have been treated with a chemical stimulant (which stimulates a puppy’s bladder.)

You should then place the pads in a designated area where your puppy can use them to potty on.

After a period of time when your puppy is regularly using them you should start moving them closer to outside – until they are eventually completely outside.

Below we have given a guide to this puppy housebreaking method.

    1. Start by actually showing the training pads to your puppy so they know exactly where to potty.Although most pads have been treated with a hormone to stimulate your puppy to want to potty – if your puppy doesn’t know where the pads are located you may start to find accidents.
  • Try following a potty training regime – we have provided a useful toileting time-table in our section on potty training a dog.
  • Just because you are using puppy training pads you should still take your puppy outside for regular toileting breaks.
  • Introduce your puppy to the training pads by placing him on the pads and then repeat the ‘Go Potty’ training cue that you learned in our section on puppy potty training.
  • If you catch your puppy having an accident – say ‘No’ and then pick him up and place him on the pads repeating the cue ‘Go Potty.’
  • You can use a crate at the same time as you are pad training as you will then be able to closely supervise your puppy and it will help avoid any accidents.
  • When your puppy is regularly using the pads – start moving the pads closer to the door – until the pads are completely outside.
  • Keep the pads outside and every-time he goes to use them repeat the ‘Go Potty’ cue.
  • Expect your puppy to have accidents – don’t reprimand your puppy unless you actually catch him ion the act – he won’t understand if you reprimand him five minutes after the accident.
  • Always reward your puppy when you see him using the pads. This way your puppy will want to use the pads as he knows it makes you happy and he gets a reward.

Using a Dog Bell to Potty Train a Puppy.

Puppy Bell Training

Housebreaking a puppy using bells has become quite a popular puppy house training technique as it is training your puppy to tell you when he wants to potty outside.

The basic idea behind housebreaking a puppy or dog with bells is to train a puppy to ring a bell that you have placed near the outside door so he can tell you that he wants to potty.

Below we have given a brief guide to bell training.

    1. Purchase a bell and attach it to a ribbon so that it is long enough for your puppy to be able to reach.
  • Choose the door that you have been using to let your puppy out to potty. This will make it easier for your puppy to associate the bell and going outside.
  • Choose a training cue that you will use to train your puppy how to ring the bell. ‘Toilet Time’ or ‘Outside’ – choose a cue that you will remember and make sure that you and the family use the same cue.
  • Attach a leash to your puppy and keep a couple of treats in your hand.
  • Walk your dog to the door and gently take your puppy’s paw and use it to ring the bell. At the same time as you ring the bell say your cue ‘Toilet Time’ or ‘Outside’ cue.
  • After you have rung the bell immediately open the door and take your puppy outside.
  • Watch your puppy and when he is looking like he is about to do his business – use your ‘Go Potty’ cue.
  • After your puppy has done his business give him lots of praise and a nice treat as a reward.

For a detailed explanation of toileting your puppy check out our section on puppy potty training.

Common Bell Training Problems Cured.

My Puppy is Scared of his Bell?

Some puppies are quite sensitive about noises so a bell ringing may make your puppy quite nervous. There is no point in forcing your puppy to ring his bell if it is making him frightened as this will only make the problem much worst.

The best way to conquer this problem is to leave the bell hanging from the door and to let it ring on its own every-time you open the door and leave the House.

If the bell is too noisy it maybe worth getting a smaller bell that isn’t quite so noisy. If you are still having problems try taking your puppy to puppy training classes as this will help boost your puppy’s confidence.

Remember if your puppy really can’t get used to his bell, there are other options just as effective as bell training.

I have trained my Puppy to use his bell but all he does when he gets outside is play?

You should congratulate yourself on housebreaking a puppy and actually getting him to use his bell – so well done!

Your puppy has figured out that every-time he rings the bell he gets to play outside.

The next time your puppy rings the bell – immediately attach a leash to your puppy and then take him outside.

Use your ‘Go Potty’ training cue and reward him with lots of praise and a treat when he has done his business. You can now let him off and give him some play-time – but only if he has done his business.

If your puppy fails to potty – take him straight back inside and keep him inside for a few minutes – you could even put him in his crate.

Your puppy will start to realize that if he toilets outside not only will he get some play-time but he will also get a treat and some praise.