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Anna, Dog Expert, Biologist
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11513
Experience:  35 years training & showing dogs. Written articles for Dog Fancy, Dogs, Dog World.
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My puppy is basically paper trained how do I get him to go

Resolved Question:

My puppy is basically paper trained how do I get him to go outside? He was like that when I got him.
Submitted: 7 years ago via PetPlace.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.

I believe that you have two different concerns with your puppy. Many dogs will urinate when they get excited, whether there is paper there or not. When you first come home, don't act happy to see your puyppy. Just come in matter-of-factly, don't talk to him or pet him right away. Calmly pick him up and take him outside, then play with him and be cheerful with him out there. As a general guideline, you can figure that your puppy can wait one hour per month of age, so if he's four months old, you can't expect him to wait any more than four hours. If you're gone too long, he may not be able to wait any longer.

As for transitioning him from using paper to going outside, here is an effective way to do that. Start by moving his papers closer to the door each day. If the papers are now ten feet from the door, move them to only 9 feet. Within a week, the papers should be right next to the door. Then put them under the door itself, so the papers are half inside and half outside. After he has used the papers successfully in that spot for a few days, move them almost outside. Leave just an inch or so inside. At that point the puppy should let you know by barking or scratching at the door that he wants his papers. Immediately let him out and reward him. Continue moving the papers farther from the house until they are in the area where you want him to urinate. At that point, you can start decreasing the number of papers. Use half of a sheet instead of a whole one. Then cut back to 1/4, and so on, until the papers have been eliminated. Be sure to reward your puppy every step of the way. When you first eliminate the papers, it may help to use one of the products that encourage dogs to urinate. You can buy them in pet stores, and they are poured or sprayed on the ground. That may help your puppy get the idea.

If your puppy is less than four months old, he may not yet have developed the bladder control to be completely housebroken. Many dogs continue to have a few accidents until they're much older than that, so patience is important. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. Good luck with the transition.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Moving the papers to the door will not work. There is an indoor outdoor sunroom outside the back door with wood floors. If he messes us the wood floors my husband will have a coronary.


Do I leave him in his crate all the time except to go out. please help.

Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
How old is your puppy?

What door do you expect him to exit from when you take him outside? Do you have do walk through the sunroom to get outdoors?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Yes. Right now he has a crate and a dog run. When I put on his leash inside the kitchen he will walk outside with me, but that is only after naps. We are constantly taking him out.

What is those products you put on the grass to try to make him go outside?

4 months old

Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
Under these circumstances, it may be best to forget he was ever paper-trained. Get rid of the papers, and start from scratch, as if he has no idea what housebreaking is. Puppies don't really have the bladder and bowel control to be potty-trained until they're 3 to 4 months old, so if he's not that old, don't expect to get good results until then. Start keeping him in his crate. After each meal, every nap, and every couple of hours throughout the day, take him outside. Tell him to go potty and praise him and give treats when he does. It's also very important that your puppy have out-of-crate time. Right after he has gone potty outdoors is the best time to do that. If he starts to go while in the house, say a firm no, and then pick the puppy up and take him outside. If you catch a puppy while they're going, the no and picking them up often makes them stop. They then finish outdoors, and you would praise them for that. There are other ways to successfully housetrain puppies. The information at this site will explain them to you, and you can choose what will work best for you:

Most pet stores carry the products you can put on the ground to encourage urination. Here is an online source, and the site also explains how the spray works:

There is also a product called "Piddle Pads" which you can place on the ground. They are infused with a scent to encourage urination. The site above carries them, but they, too, are available in most larger pet stores.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of patience and using rewards. I've had dogs who weren't completely housebroken until they were well over a year old. They did have to stay in their crates when I was gone to avoid accidents, but eventually, every one of them was perfectly housebroken and would 'go potty' immediately when told to. I've had others who were reliably housebroken by the age of four months. Every puppy is different. Terriers often do take a little longer to house train, but, of course, there are exceptions to that, too.

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