Housetraining / Crate Training

Three hardcore rules apply to any puppy, especially from 1 – 4 or 5 months:


Your dog is in its crate


Your dog is outside going potty


Your dog stays leashed to someone in the house so you can watch them

These options give your dog very little room to fail. The kennel teaches the puppy to hold their bladder. Dogs inherently won’t soil their “den.” Like potty training children, most children don’t like feeling “wet” if they wear underwear. Puppies are quick to seize an opportunity to potty without being caught and reappear before you even notice they left. I know how hard it is to have the puppy attached to you all the time, so please use the kennel to give you and the puppy breaks.

Making sure they stay connected to you accomplishes two things.

A good rule of thumb, puppies can usually hold their bladder one hour per month in age plus one!

For example, a 2-month-old puppy can go about every 2-3 hours, or a 4-month-old puppy can hold it 4-5 hours. When you first get your puppy, take them out every 30 min or every hour to be on the safe side.

Make sure you potty break as SOON as they get up from a nap, within 15-30 min from when they eat, and during play sessions when they suddenly stop! Puppies forget to go potty, and these are the prime times that MOST puppies struggle the most to hold it. Smaller breeds can be difficult, purely because their bladders are smaller. So that expectations are clear, most puppies aren’t truly housetrained until 6-8 months, although many puppies “get it” before that!

Can you train a dog to ring a bell or signal to go out to potty outside? Yes absolutely! We teach a cue to touch and start with our hand first, then add in the bells. You do have to be careful because although the bells are great when they are young and learning, they can quickly become a way to “ask” to go outside even if they don’t have to potty and want to play. We can work through that too!

Please crate train your puppy. Not only will it help avoid isolation distress, but this is particularly important with the excessive number of dogs we see with separation anxiety after COVID. It is MUCH easier to prevent this than to treat it!

We can help with both of these challenges as they can be difficult for new puppy owners.