One of the most effective and quickest ways of housebreaking puppies is through the proper use of crate training.
We know that some of you will be resistant to the idea of training your new puppy using a crate, but when used appropriately it is a quick and totally humane way to get your puppy to understand that they are going to make you much happier if they go to the bathroom out of doors. They do not instinctually know where to go to the bathroom.
One of the things that puppies do know is that they don't like to be close to their urine and defecation. A crate helps take advantage of this and teaches them to hold off going until you take them outdoors to go in the place you choose.
In our opinion, paper training is not a good method. if you live in a high rise building and have a balcony, there are boxes that you can plant with grass and other systems that simulate a outdoor environment that is not too far away and can be quite helpful.
Although a crate is not designed to be a permanent place to keep your puppy for the long-term, many crate-trained puppies learn to enjoy their crate and will seek it out even when you don't require crating.
Some Tips for Housebreaking Puppies:
- Take vacation time to housebreak your new puppy
- Carefully monitor food and water intake
- Out-of-crate sessions need to be 100% monitored by you
- Do not keep a new puppy in their crate for more than two hours at a time without interaction with you outside their crate
- Reward lavishly when they go to the bathroom outside
- Do not punish mistakes
- Ignore whining, and praise quiet behavior in crate
- At night, it is best to keep the crate out of earshot, but set an alarm and walk your puppy twice during the night
Video Training About Housebreaking Puppies
Below are some links to two great videos, explaining how crate training works for housebreaking puppies, what to look for in a crate, getting the proper sized crate and appropriate lengths of time to keep your puppy in a crate.
The videos are from Dr. Matthew Wheaton, DVM, of the Alicia Pet Care Center of Mission Viejo, California. His video series on crate training puppies is in two parts and imparts some very useful recommendations on housebreaking puppies.