How To House Train A Dog Efficiently

House training is an essential part of owning a dog. It teaches the dog to urinate and defecate outside or in an approved area within the house. This process not only instills good behavior but also helps to build a secure and comfortable environment for your dog.

Understanding the Basics

Before embarking on house training, we should understand some basic principles. Puppies, similar to babies, have small bladders and therefore need to relieve themselves more frequently. Typically, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. So, for example, if your puppy is two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. However, keep in mind that all puppies are individuals and the timing can vary.

Establish a Routine

A routine is pivotal in house training your puppy or dog. Dogs are creatures of habit and establishing a clear and predictable schedule can greatly ease the house training process. Regular feeding times will lead to regular bathroom times. Feed your puppy or dog at the same times each day and provide frequent bathroom breaks.

Confinement and Supervision

Until fully trained, your puppy or dog should always be in sight. If you cannot supervise, your dog should be confined to a small area. This helps to limit the options where your dog can choose to relieve itself and aids with house soiling incidents. Many dog owners find crate training beneficial in house training, as it uses the dog’s natural instinct not to soil in their sleeping area.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the key to successful training. Your dog needs to understand that outside, or the approved area inside, is the right place to go. Immediately after your dog goes in the approved area, enthusiastically reward your dog with praise, treats, or a short play session. This will make your dog excited to repeat the good behavior.

Doggy and the City Site suggests keeping treats nearby and making the reward process enthusiastic but short. Remember, patience and consistency are fundamental for house training.

The ‘No Punishment’ Rule

Accidents will happen, especially in the early stages of training. However, punishing your dog for such accidents is not effective and can, in fact, create anxiety and confusion. Instead, if you catch your dog in the act, interrupt with a quick “no” or “uh-oh” and take it to the approved spot. If you find a mess but didn’t see the act, simply clean it up without making a fuss.

Professional Help

While many pet owners successfully house train their dogs, there can be circumstances where professional help becomes necessary. A professional dog trainer can provide personalized advice and strategies tailored to your dog’s behavior and habits. They can also provide hands-on training and correct potential training mistakes, setting you up for success.


While house training a dog takes time and patience, it’s well worth it in the end. Your reward is a well-adjusted, well-mannered dog who understands and fits into your home’s rules. Remember, it’s a learning process for your dog, so be patient, consistent, and positive. Happy house training!