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6 Super Simple House Training Tips You Need to Know

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Accidents in the house are an inevitable occurrence when you get a dog. Especially if that dog is a young puppy.

I’m pretty sure all pup parents have been ready to pull their hair out over this problem at some point.

How to Stop a Dog From Peeing In The House

When my dog Toby was a puppy, I remember waking up at 5 a.m. to take him outside, quickly running downstairs to get my winter coat (because it was below zero that winter), and turning around to see Toby in the act. Talk about frustrating.

As disheartening as it can be, there are ways to make the process a whole lot easier. These simple tips and tricks will help figure out how to stop a dog from going to the bathroom in the house and turn your dog from piddler to potty trained in no time.

1. Take your dog outside frequently

The best, most simple solution to the problem of your dog going to the bathroom inside is to take them out more frequently. The more opportunities they have to go outside, the less they’ll relieve themselves in the house.

Because of their itty bitty bladders, young and small-sized dogs have to go out more often, so be extra diligent if your dog falls into this category.

This repetition is good because they’ll start to correlate going outside with going to the bathroom.

Preferably, if you can, create a consistent schedule as soon as possible. And always bring them to the same spot. This will reinforce the expectations of what they’re supposed to do.

If you find your dog is continuing to have accidents, try to take them out every 30 minutes. Even if they don’t go to the bathroom every time, they’ll start to understand that this is the time and place to go potty.

2. Watch for signs

A great way to nip the behavior in the bud is by watching for telltale signs your dog has to go to the bathroom.

Signs include:

  • Restlessness
  • Sniffing
  • Circling (in which you should make a break for it and grab them asap, it’s go time!)
  • A sudden bolt toward the corner or another room
  • Whining at the door (this is kind of a given, but I had to include it!)

If your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors, take them outside right away. Even if you’re in doubt, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Another tip is to say a verbal cue, like “outside!”, as soon as you see these signs. This will teach your pup that if they have the urge to go, this means it’s time to go outside.

3. Create a smaller space

Letting your dog roam the house before they are fully house-trained is a recipe for disaster.

For starters, there’s a greater chance they’ll sneak off to where you can’t see them.

Secondly, dogs don’t like to soil their own dens. When they’re in smaller quarters, this signals that this is their space, and they’ll be less likely to take a tinkle or number two there.

Keeping your dog in a crate at night or when you’re away is always recommended, at least until you can count on them not to have accidents.

And if you’re just hanging out in the house, it’s still a good idea to limit the space they have access to.

We used baby gates with Toby to block off areas of the house, and it worked wonders. The best part is they are super simple to put up and take down, allowing you to create smaller spaces anytime you need.

4. Clean up accidents quickly

When your dog goes poop or potty in the house, be sure to clean it up right away with a cleaning solution that gets rid of the scent. If a dog smells an old mess, they’ll think of that as a bathroom spot, and you certainly don’t want that.

I can’t speak highly enough of Nature’s Miracle, a deep cleaning solution designed specifically for pet urine. It worked wonders when Toby was potty training.

All you have to do is wipe away the mess, apply Nature’s Miracle, wait five minutes, and then wipe away everything with a cloth.

5. Reward good behavior

Dogs learn best from positive reinforcement training, so if your pup goes to the bathroom outside in the right spot, give them a treat! They’ll soon understand that going to the bathroom outside is a good thing.

Positive reinforcement isn’t just for potty training, though. It’s an excellent tool for teaching your dog how to sit, lie down, stay, and other essential behaviors.

6. Be patient and consistent

When potty training your pup, patience and consistency is key. As frustrated as you may get, resist the urge to yell at your dog. This will only scare them, and they won’t understand why you’re mad. 

Instead, keep your tone pleasant and positive.

At some points, potty training may seem overly exhausting, but stick with it. Dogs need consistent training and repetition until something really sinks in.

If you continue to train and train, but it’s just not sinking in, or your dog is house-trained and suddenly starts having accidents again, we recommend seeing a veterinarian.

They can check and see if there are any medical conditions causing problems or recommend a specialized approach for your dog’s situation.

Check out more articles about: Training


  1. Elsa Douglss

    My Missy Lou is a 5yr old Chihuahua, who I rescued a yr ago. While firework we’re going off she pottied in the hallway. There is a potty pad down, but she chose the carpet. Any other time she goes outside. Was it just the popping & loud noises. This am she walked great, and pottied while out. She was a mill dog for 4 yrs, then I got her 7-14-16. What do you suggest in the winter months, she dislikes the snow. She stands, and holds up her foot. Will not walk, period. I need help, she’s my sweet loving dog, but I need her to potty outside @ all times. She has had accidents, but I want her to use the yard, not my carpet.

  2. Barbara

    I used puppy shoes and a t shirt on my boxer she was the same way once in the snow her show cane off she stood there with her foot up till I put it back on kisses were next lol

  3. Rhonda Moore

    We have a new Rotweiler puppy. I take him out and three out of five times, he will potty. We get back in the house he will repeat what he did outside! What’s Even WORSE, he eats his own poop!! We have a vet appt Wednesday and I’m hoping he will have some answers and solutions.
    Does anyone here know what to do?

  4. Kyle Larson

    For winter months you can try getting some dog boots or using musher’s secret (a wax to prevent their feet from getting cold as quickly). Another option for indoors is trying a grass pee pad and see if they take to that better.

  5. Renee Biasi

    I on pp am getting a 7 week old Female Husky puppy in 2 1/2 weeks. I would like more information on puppies.

  6. Ashlyn McCoy

    Do you guys have any info about how to train your puppy to do tricks?

  7. Twila

    I have a dog a friend gave me but was not house broken I take him outside to do his business but 15min after coming inhe pees or poops what can I do with him to correct this problem

  8. JJ

    Always use rewards for positive behavior….never scold

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