House training a dog does not need to be a daunting task. In a perfect world, dogs would transition into homes with zero accidents. In reality, many of them do not have home experience and just do not know what to do right away. The older a dog is, the longer that it can hold its bladder, but as humans we still need to do our part to get the ball rolling.
The best thing dog owners can do for house training is to get their dog accustomed to a set schedule. This means eating at around the same time every day and getting out for potty breaks every few hours. First thing in the morning, after breakfast, in the afternoon, after dinner, and before bed are usually good goals to aim for, though of course it does not hurt to let a dog out more often in the beginning. If a dog is at young puppy age, they can only hold their bladder for a few hours and need to go out accordingly. It is best not to wait more than two or three hours when trying to house train a puppy. Aim to ask for assistance when planning on being gone for more than a few hours.
When away or unable to supervise, it is wise to contain a dog to a crate or small, easy to clean space such as a bathroom or laundry room. You can also utilize baby gates to block off areas. Dogs typically try not to use
the bathroom where they sleep, so if the crate is not too large it can be a valuable tool in house training.
If getting a puppy, they do make crates with dividers that can “grow” with the dog. The key is to prevent the accident before it happens, as scolding a dog later is ineffective.
If a dog does start to go to the bathroom in the house while humans are present, the dog should be brought outside to its designated potty area. Yelling or punishing a dog may make it afraid to go to the bathroom in front of humans, which could further complicate the training process.
Try to clean up the area as much as possible using odor eliminators so the dog does not think that it can go to the bathroom there again. If there is a spot that cannot seem to be properly cleaned, it may be helpful to block it off
or cover it. Neutering male dogs does decrease their tendency to mark.
If house training seems to be taking an extended amount of time or a dog is going to the bathroom inappropriately, there may be a medical condition that needs to be addressed. This is also true in-house trained dogs that start leaking or having accidents. Supervision and getting on a tight schedule are the most important factors in setting you and your dog up for success
when house training.