We promise that your hard work will pay off. Eventually his schedule will be based on your schedule. You’ll take him out at times that are convenient to your work hours or your daily plans. But in the early stages of housebreaking, the schedule must be based on his needs and the length of time his little body can reasonably be expected to wait between potty trips.


Each day should begin the same way. When the alarm clock goes off, get yourself out of bed and get your puppy out of the crate. Immediately head outside to let the puppy do his business. Immediately means immediately. Don’t stop to make coffee, use the potty yourself or post those amazing new puppy photos to social media. All that can wait 5-10 minutes.

Overnight, keep the crate in or near your bedroom so you can hear any whimpers or whines letting you know your friend can’t wait til morning to go out. When your puppy is very small, it’s a good idea to actually pick him up out of his crate and carry him outside. Carrying him will discourages a stop to pee on the floor before getting to the door.


Once your puppy (and you) have used the potty, it’s time for breakfast. Try to serve it at the same time each day. Keeping the timing consistent conditions him to regular elimination and eventually you’ll be able set your watch by his potty time.

Most puppies eat three to four meals a day while they’re growing and they’ll have to pee and poop after each meal.

For younger dogs, wait about 20 minutes after a meal to take him outside to potty. The younger the puppy, the sooner you should take him out after a meal. As your puppy gets older, he’ll be able to hold it longer each day. 


Think of naps as mini versions of the morning routine. Make sure that when your puppy is sleeping either in his crate or even on the floor while you’re watching TV in the evening, that you take him outside the moment he wakes up.

Your puppy will also need to potty right after playtime. The play stimulates the digestive tract and gives him the urge to go.

Keep an eye out for other signs that your dog needs to potty; sniffing the floor or carpet, wandering around the house (especially in rooms far away from the family,) turning in circles and whimpering. If you see any of these signs, the potty launch sequence has started. Take him out immediately!


What? You need to go out and make a living to put food on the floor for your pup? How selfish! Of course you can leave the house. Just remember to plan ahead.

To figure out how long your puppy can stay in his crate without fear of an accident, use the month plus one rule. Take the age of your puppy in months, add one and that’s the maximum number of hours that your puppy should be able to comfortably hold it between potty breaks.

So if your puppy is three months-old, you’d take 3, add 1 and get 4 hours as the maximum limit he can stay in his crate without fear of an accident.


When it comes to bedtime, just like taking your puppy out is the first thing you should do when you get out of bed, taking him out is the last thing you should do before you get into bed.


Find a spot that will become the “potty spot” and always, take him to the same spot. As you approach the spot, give a voice command or signal like, “Go potty” or “Do your business” then wait for the results. Praising your pup for good results and giving him a small treat reinforces his good behavior.

Many owners have great results by placing a bell on the handle of the door they use to go potty. By ringing the bell as you exit, you can train your puppy to ring it himself every time he needs to go out.

If there are accidents indoors, don’t punish your puppy. Simply clean up the mess and ignore him. If you catch him in the act, say “Go outside” and pick him up to finish his business outside.


The good habits you build into your puppy will pay off with a lifetime of good behavior!


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