House training: the ultimate guide!

House training - a pic of a lab puppy sleeping near a model home


Probably the highest priority thing every owner has on their list of things to do is house training their dog or puppy.

Teaching a dog not to toilet in the home, or if they must then to do it in a very specific planned out place, is extremely important for every owner, for very obvious reasons.

A dog that toilets anywhere they please creates an unpleasant mess, an even worse odor and is very unhygienic!

So are you expecting a new puppy and learning how to house train them before they come in to your home?

Or maybe you already have one that keeps on peeing on your carpets and you’re looking for advice on how to stop this?

Or perhaps you have an older dog that still makes the occasional mistake around the house, or a male that’s reached adolescence and has started ‘marking’ your furniture and you just don’t know what to do?

Whatever your situation, if it’s related to house training a dog or puppy, either starting from scratch or trying to fix a problem in a previously house trained dog, you have certainly come to the right place!

Contents & Quick Navigation

Video: The ultimate potty training guide

  • 5 Conclusion
  • There’s More Than One Way To House Train A Dog Or Puppy

    There are many ways to go about house training and a quick Google search will turn up many techniques. However, some are outdated and are harmful to the relationship between you and your dog.

    This guide will teach you modern, humane, positive based techniques to house training that make you work with your dogs natural instincts and tendencies and will actually strengthen the relationship between you. There will be no shouting or nose rubbing here!

    Before we start, please know that your dog or puppy can only learn the house training habits you decide upon and train them to do. Whether outside or inside, in a specific spot, on pads, newspaper or in a litter tray, whatever you train them to do, that’s what they will learn.

    And this guide will discuss all possibilities and help you train your pooches toilet habits, whatever it is you decide for them.

    This Is A Multi-Part, Complete And Detailed Guide To House Training

    I’ve planned this guide to be as detailed and complete as I could make it, so it can be used from start to finish as a comprehensive guide, but also as a reference for people seeking a specific piece of advice.

    It’s designed to help you teach your puppy acceptable toilet behavior right from the start, help prevent your puppy ever developing bad toilet habits in the first place or to solve any problems that an older dog may already have or lapsed into.

    This house training guide will give you all the facts, tips, tricks and techniques you could possibly need to make the house training process as pain-free, quick and effective as possible.

    Because the techniques to house training are universal, and from the questions I receive I know owners of many breeds read this site, this guide isn’t exclusively for house training Labrador Puppies. Everything written applies to any dog of any breed, they can all be house trained the same.

    So here’s how I’ve organized this guide and how you can use it.

    How To Use This Guide

    If you are a ‘first time house trainer‘, follow this guide from start to finish taking in every article along the way and it will teach you everything you need to know to successfully house train your puppy or adult dog.

    By reading this entire guide you will pick up all the tips and techniques you possibly can, learn the subject inside out and can enjoy the peace of mind complete knowledge of the process and subsequent speedy success will bring.

    However, each article is listed below with a description of the contents so if you already have some knowledge, have a specific area you need to research or a particular problem you’re trying to solve, by all means skip right to the article that best suits your needs.

    This guide can be used as a reference to dip in and out of. For many people there may be no need to read the entire guide.

    The Ultimate Guide To House Training:

    In order to cover the subject fully and provide all the information I think is truly needed, the guide has had to be quite long.

    So to make it more manageable and easier to find specific pieces of information, I’ve broken the guide down into 11 distinct parts that each cover specific related topics.

    The parts are linked to and listed with their contents below:

    House Training: Basic Need To Know Facts Before Starting

    This article discusses background information and answers many questions you may be asking before you even start your house training journey:

    • What is house training?
    • Choosing to allow your dog to toilet inside, outside…or both.
    • What different house training methods are there?
    • How long will house training take?
    • How long can a puppy be expected to control their bowel and bladder?
    • How many times does a puppy need to toilet at night?
    • When and how often does a puppy need to go to toilet?
    • Health reasons could be the cause of accidents and maybe not bad behavior

    Click here to learn the basic facts you should know before starting.

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    House Training: The Mindset And Approach You Must Take

    This article discusses the general attitude you need to take and how to prepare yourself for the house training process.

    It also covers how your puppy or dog views the process and what skills and attitude they bring with them:

    • How it used to be done and why it’s wrong.
    • The role you have to play as the trainer for your puppy
    • Working with your puppy’s natural instincts and patterns to find success
    • Why you shouldn’t allow your puppy full run of the house.
    • Why a mix of confinement and supervision is essential
    • What to do when puppy makes a mistake, how to deal with ‘accidents’
    • How you tackle house training shapes your entire future relationship with your dog

    Click here to learn the mindset and approach you need to take for success.

    House Training Products, Supplies And Equipment You will Need

    When house training there are a few items of equipment you’ll need to get yourself, your new friend and the home environment ready and to make the process go as smoothly…and cleanly…as possible:

    Not all items are needed for all methods of house training though and that is covered within this article that also provides a check-list of essential products and equipment you will need. Such as:

    • A leash and collar
    • A suitable crate
    • A puppy play pen and pet barriers
    • A plastic tarpaulin sheet
    • Puppy pads and a holder (or perhaps a litter tray)
    • Dog poop bags and a pooper scooper
    • House training treats to use as rewards
    • Cleaning products (and learn which ones to avoid!)

    Click here to learn about the products and tools you need for house training.

    Accidents Happen: How To Remove Pet Stains And Odors

    This article describes how to remove pet stains and odors thoroughly, why it’s vitally important to your house training progress that you do and the attitude you should take toward your puppy for any accidents that do happen.

    Topics covered in this article are:

    • 6 common reasons why accidents happen
    • Solving the 6 common causes to avoid accidents in the first place
    • How you should react to your puppy’s accidents
    • How you should view every accident as an opportunity to learn
    • Why cleaning pet stains and odors thoroughly is so important
    • Why you need to avoid certain cleaners
    • Which cleaners you should choose
    • How a UV torch can find urine stains you might miss with the naked eye
    • Step by step instructions for how to remove pet stains and odors thoroughly

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    Click here to learn how to THOROUGHLY remove pet stains and odors

    House Training: Feeding Choices Make A Massive Difference

    This article discusses how the decisions you make on the quality of food you feed your puppy, as well as the times at which you feed them has a dramatic effect on the house training process. Topics covered in this article are:

    • How the quality of food you feed has a massive impact
    • How your puppy’s diet can influence time taken to learn bowel control
    • How if you feed to a schedule, they will eliminate to a schedule
    • Why you should NEVER ‘free feed’
    • How to change food brands if you need to…without upsetting your puppy’s tummy.
    • Advice on water provision, which can affect house training

    Click here for advice on the best feeding habits for house training success

    How To Use A Crate To House Train A Puppy

    This article discusses how a crate is an extremely useful tool to use during the process of house training, and how it can dramatically speed up the path to success. Topics covered in this article are:

    • How does a crate help in the house training process?
    • What natural canine instincts and behaviors does a crate take advantage of for success?
    • How a crate teaches a puppy bladder and bowel control.
    • The benefits of confinement when you cannot supervise your puppy.
    • The things you shouldn’t do and how NOT to use a crate when house training.
    • Preparing the crate for house training success.
    • Is crate training cruel?

    Click here to learn how to use a crate to house train a puppy, and how and why it is so useful and effective.

    NOTE: Please see the following articles for how to choose the right crate, crate training a puppy and crate training an adult dog before attempting to use a crate.

    House Training WITHOUT A Crate: Constant Supervision

    Some people either do not want to, or due to their dog’s personality or history simply cannot use a crate during house training. In this case, there are other methods, one of which is ‘Constant Supervision’ house training.

    This article discusses:

    • The definition of ‘Constant Supervision House Training.’
    • How the method works and what a trainer is required to do.
    • What equipment this method requires.
    • Who the method is best suited to.
    • How hard or easy the method is when compared to others.

    Click here to read the details of the constant supervision house training method.

    Paper Training And How To Paper Train A Puppy Or Dog In 6 Easy Steps

    This article discusses the house training method of paper training.

    It’s a very commonly used and fairly easy technique that in certain situations is simply unavoidable and must be used, but it isn’t always the best way to house train a puppy if you can avoid it.

    The topics covered in this article are:

    • What is paper training?
    • Who should use the method and why.
    • How it’s a good fall back plan that almost everybody should use at some point.
    • What products and tools you will need to train this method.
    • How to paper train your puppy in 6 easy to follow steps.
    • How paper training is a comparatively easy method to reach success.
    • The many disadvantages to the method and why you should concentrate on other methods, using paper training as a fall back..

    Click here to learn how to paper train your puppy or dog.

    Umbilical Cord House Training: What Is It? How Does It Work?

    If you don’t ever want to confine your puppy, but would find constant supervision too difficult, umbilical cord house training is the method for you. Although it can also be used alongside all other methods to create a truly powerful house training program indeed.

    In this article we cover:

    • What is umbilical cord house training?
    • What makes it so effective?
    • What equipment will you need?
    • How difficult or easy is the method when compared to others?
    • What are the potential downsides?
    • Who is the method most suited to?
    • A step by step guide to the basics.

    Click here to learn all about umbilical cord house training.

    How To House Train A Puppy

    This article takes your hand and walks you step by step through the process of house training your puppy, from humble beginnings right through to complete success with a dog that pottys only when and where you want them to:

    Video: Teaching Your Dog to Target

    • Why limiting the size of a puppy’s world is essential at first.
    • Establishing a feeding and elimination schedule.
    • The times of day your puppy will likely need to toilet.
    • Learning from your puppy the signals they’re ‘about to go’.
    • What to consider when picking a toilet area, either inside, outside…or both.
    • House training step by step.
    • What to do with your puppy when at their bathroom spot.
    • What to do with your puppy between toilet visits.
    • What to do during the night.
    • What to do with puppies under 3 months old.
    • What not to do and things you should avoid.
    • Adding cues: Teaching your dog to eliminate on command.

    And much more besides! I really put my heart and soul into this guide, taking weeks to put it together and it came out at a whopping 14,000 words! I’m pleased with the result and am sure it will help many people and their puppies.

    Click here for one of the most detailed and complete guides on How To House Train A Puppy.

    How To House Train An Adult Dog – And Solving Common Issues

    This article describes how to house train an adult dog, whether newly adopted with an unknown history or your own adult dog who has suddenly and inexplicably started to make mistakes, this is the article for you. The article covers:

    • Is there a difference between training a puppy and an adult dog?
    • How to investigate the possible reasons for your dog toileting in the home.
    • Medical issues, dietary issues, environmental reasons and behavioral issues leading to mistakes.
    • How to treat the common issues leading to inappropriate toilet habits.
    • Much more besides!

    Click here for help and guidance on House Training An Adult Dog – And Solving Common Issues.


    A lot of people see house training as a very hard thing to do. And a few that go into the process with no guidance or knowledge ultimately end up failing.

    And it’s a sad fact that many dogs abandoned to shelters end up there due to owners not being able to cope with a dog that toilets in their home.

    But it shouldn’t be this way.

    When you know what your pet needs to do, what’s required of you and how you can work with a dogs natural instincts and tendencies, the process is actually quite easy.

    The thing to understand is that a house trained pet is simply one who can control their natural urges and then toilet when and where you want them to with your help and directions. And this just takes a little time, effort, patience and knowledge of how to guide them is all.

    This guide teaches you just that.

    Read the information, absorb it, act on it and soon you and your dog will be living cleanly in your home and their toilet habits will be exactly as you planned.

    Good luck and here’s to your success!

    Credit where it’s due

    When writing this guide, there are a few resources I used for reference and if you’d like to do some further reading, I have linked to these resources below:

    From ‘’ – How to Potty Train a Puppy the Easy Way

    From ‘CanisMajor’ – A guide to “happy housetraining”

    From ‘’ – Housetraining

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