When you get a puppy, there is a lot to process in the beginning. For example, he has to learn how to be housebroken. We are happy to help you with your first upbringing! Puppies are just like children: every puppy is different and one is house-trained faster than the other, often depending on what has already been done with the breeder. Our trick? Be patient: even if it's difficult that your dog isn't potty-trained within a week. Don't worry. Unless your puppy isn't housebroken after six months, then you can start to worry.

Potty-training your puppy

Making sure your puppy is potty-trained, meaning he pees and defecates where you want him to from now on, is mainly a matter of looking closely and learning to recognize the signs that your dog needs to do something. The better you pay attention, the faster your puppy will be potty-trained! You can often tell from your pup's behavior - they are going for a stroll, or stand neatly at the door - whether he needs to do something.

The most important rule in potty-training is that your puppy should always go outside for a while after eating, playing and sleeping. Does he urinate or poop outside? Reward that with your voice ('handsome dog!') and name what your puppy is doing ('that's good, that's pee/poop'). This way your dog will learn the link between your words and his actions, and you can teach him to pee on command!

Do you want to go outside with your puppy when he wakes up at night and starts squeaking? Make sure you don’t play with him or walk very far. Just take the puppy outside for a while, then take him inside again, turn off the lights and go back to sleep. But don’t ignore your puppy’s signals! You will notice that there’s a difference between a 'I don't feel like sleeping and want to get out' beep and a 'I really need to pee' beep. Teach him to communicate!

Did you know?

Good breeders start very early with potty-training. If your puppy comes from a breeder who has worked on this, you definitely have a head start! Will your puppy stay unclean? It’s important to rule out a possible medical cause together with the vet, such as cystitis. Don't despair: some dogs are as good as house-trained at eight weeks, but with others it can take six months. Is your puppy unexpectedly urinating or defecating in the wrong place? Don't get angry and don't punish him! This is often counterproductive. The only thing your dog learns from this is that you are a very unkind person and that from now on it is very unwise to do anything in front of you. From now on, he will do it secretly in a place where you don't see it.

Clean up any accidents without too much fuss and grumbling. Negative attention is attention too, and you don't want your puppy to discover that if he pees in the middle of the room all the time, he gets a lot of attention! Clean up his needs quietly, preferably out of your puppy's sight.

What you should do

Make sure you have a place outside where you can quickly find a puddle or pile. Let your puppy pee and reward this act with a "good", pat on the back, stroke or something nice. Regularly, give your puppy the opportunity to relieve himself. Nothing is as annoying as having to go to the toilet, but not being able to!

Please note

Does your dog pee and/or defecate a lot in the house? Always rule out a medical cause first. Your dog could have a bladder infection, for example. And keep a diary where you write down how much your puppy urinates in the house. That way, you can track his progress.

Need help?

Do you need help with potty-training your puppy? The experts of the Prins CareTeam may have tricks for you that you might not have thought of yet.

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Annerike from the CareTeam

Questions about your pet's behaviour? The CareTeam loves to help you with free advice!