How can I housebreak my small breed puppy?

We have an 8wk old small breed mix (poodle,yorkie and daschund) and I need some pointers on how to house train him. I periodically take him out and he usually will go and I reward him with treats but sometimes we will sit outside for a while and he waits til I bring him in to go in the house. I take him out the front door every time so he knows that’s where he's supposed to go but I am becoming very frustrated, we've had him for 2 wks now. Also, what is the appropriate discipline for when he does go in the house? We have a crate that he sleeps in at night and he's pretty good at night but I've discovered he will just get up and go in his crate and not make a peep.

Thank you,

Cecilee in Davenport FL

 

Cecilee,

I know how frustrating it can be to housebreak a puppy!  I just went through this myself with my puppy, Chilly.

The most common mistakes people make when trying to housebreak their puppy is not taking them outside frequently enough, and using a crate that is too big for successful housebreaking.

First, because your pup is so young, he does not have the bladder control to “hold it” for long.  You should be taking the puppy out to eliminate no less than every two hours. Also, as soon as you take him out of the crate, as soon as he eats and always before you put him in the crate.

As for the crate, it should be big enough for him to stand up and turn around in.  Because you say he is eliminating in his crate without alerting you that he has to go, it sounds like the crate is too large for him. Dogs will not eliminate in their “den” if they have to sit or lay right next to it.

Good job using the front door only for potty time. That is a great signal for him that this means business!  Also, don’t allow him back in the house until he has eliminated (whenever possible). Otherwise, he’ll learn that he doesn’t have to go outside, he can just do it later inside.

Best of luck!

Kristen_Buck-60x60

Written by:
Kristen Levine

April 25, 2010

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