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Sat. by appointment only
31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009
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651-222-0885 Twin Cities
To successfully house train a
healthy, happy puppy, your efforts must be consistent and
constant. If your puppy is eight weeks or older, a careful
regimented training program can produce results in as little
as one week’s time. Follow these guidelines, and remember
the key factors in house training are consistency, patience
and positive reinforcement.
• Paper training or puppy pads do not train the puppy to go
outdoors. It reinforces the behavior of urinating and
defecating in your house. You should accompany the puppy
outside from the very beginning.
• Try to be as consistent as possible. Starting the first
week, take them outside (every 30 minutes from 6am to 11pm).
At 10 weeks of age, increase the length of time to 45
minutes between potty breaks. At 4 months, increase the time
up to 1 - 2 hours.
• Always use the same door and take the puppy to the same
location that you would like them to use. We recommend
hanging a bell from the door handle. Each time you go out,
ring the bells as you ask your puppy, “Do you want to go
potty outside?” Consistently use the same command, “Go
potty”. This procedure teaches them to go to this door and
ring the bells to go outside. When they do “go potty”,
immediately respond with praise and a treat. If they do not
go, take them back into the house and do not treat them.
• To control the predictability of potty breaks out side, we
recommend feeding a puppy four times per day (six, ten, two,
and six) until four months, three times per day until eight
months and twice daily for adults. It is important to feed
quality food such as Innova or Natural Balance. Due to the
lack of filler, puppies utilize more of what they eat, pass
less stool, and ultimately the clean up is less work for
owners. All food and water should be put away after six pm.
• Puppies are more likely to urinate and defecate after they
sleep, play, eat or drink. It is important to take them out
as soon as they wake up (first thing in the morning and
after naps), also 15 to 20 minutes before and after each
meal. It is up to the owner to watch their puppy for signs
(whining, sniffing the floor, or circling) and escort them
outside. Puppies have 30 seconds to tell you they must go
now, or they may have an accident.
• The more accidents they have in the house, the more the
behavior is reinforced, and the more difficult it is to
train them to go outside.
• The more they eliminate outside and receive positive
reinforcement (verbal praise and treats), the more likely
they are to continue going outside.
• We recommend limiting each outside trip (to a few minutes)
during the house training process. After 2 to 3 weeks of
successful training, they can spend more fun time to play
outside. They should associate being outside with the house
• When you are in the house, confine your puppy to the room
you are in so you can watch them and take them outside every
half hour until bedtime. If you miss their subtle cues and
catch them in the act, distract them by clapping your hands
and command “no” in a firm voice, pick them up and take them
outside. If they finish outside, verbally praise and treat
• If the puppy has an accident in the house and you did not
notice it until later, you lost the opportunity to correct
the behavior. Do not physically punish them or rub their
nose in it. They can not associate the punishment with a
past behavior and they may be fearful to come to you in the
• If you are away from home or are unable to watch your
puppy, it is necessary to crate them. If possible, puppies
up to 6 months of age should be let out of the crate and
taken out side every four hours. Never use the crate for
punishment. It is important to be in a positive mood when
you place them into the crate. Immediately treat them when
they enter the crate and provide them with toys to chew on
as well as educational toys to entertain them.
• During the evening, crate your puppy. If an appropriate
size crate is used, most puppies and dogs prefer not to soil
their sleeping area. Eight hours is the maximum length of
time that they should be left unattended.
• Do not scold a puppy that has a loose stool or diarrhea.
Be patient and continue the house training process. If you
are concerned- call CVS.
We firmly believe and highly recommend positive
reinforcement for the appropriate behaviors. If you are
experiencing house training issues –please contact CVS.