House Training Your Puppy

House Training Your Puppy

Here are some general methods to housebreaking your puppy.  Housetraining means that you are training your puppy to urinate/defecate outdoors. Remember that your Dane wants to please you and will try its hardest to do just that.  Your puppy will learn faster if you use positive praise and affection.   When you are unable to be home (or unable to pay 100% attention to the pup) never give your puppy full access of the house before they are one year of age.  They are still too immature at this time of their life.  Confining them while you are away or busy (in room with child safety gate) is the safe choice as well as the best and easiest way to housetrain.  Remember, a puppy requires constant attention. The key to successful housebreaking is consistency; preventing "accidents" is key. Once a puppy soils the carpeting, it becomes much more difficult to train them out of that behavior. Here's a good rule of thumb to consider: a puppy can hold his bladder just one hour for every month they've been alive.  For instance, a 3-month-old puppy will need to empty his bladder every three hours! 

- Feeding times need to be scheduled after 12 weeks of age.
- Accept that there WILL be accidents, your puppy’s body is still immature.  Reward him/her when he/she goes outside with lots of praise, and ignore the accidents.   This attitude will speed up his learning. 

1)   If you want you can put the puppy on a schedule after 12 weeks of age. You can feed it at a certain time every day. Take it outdoors to urinate/defecate at the same times each day.   First thing in the morning, before feeding it or even feeding yourself, let it out to urinate/defecate.   Then, after you feed it in the AM, let the puppy out to urinate/defecate again.   Repeat this after each feeding and watering each day.   Praise it once it has done it's business outside!  You puppy will learn much quicker with positive praise. 

For a general gauge to go by: Puppies from 8 weeks to three months of age should be fed 4 times a day, puppies 3 months of age to 6 months of age should be fed three times daily.   When the dog reaches 6 months of age to 1 year of age, they should be fed twice daily.   Then, when the puppy is over one year old, they can be fed either once or twice daily.

Give the puppy water every 3 to 4 hours, which is about four to five times a day.   After it drinks, take the puppy outside to urinate/defecate (this means you will be bringing the puppy outdoors about 5 to 6 times each day). 

2)   Be sure that your puppy is given a proper diet. Before bringing your puppy home from the breeder, ask the breeder what they have been feeding the puppy and continue feeding the same feed (same brand and flavor, if applicable) as well as the same amount.   If you wish to change feeds, be sure to do so gradually by adding a little bit of the new feed with the old each day (this change should be made over period of 7-10 days).   Avoid giving your dog table scraps.

3)   The last water given to the puppy should be around 7:30PM, and yet another trip outdoors to urinate/defecate.   Then, the last time to take it outside in order to urinate/defecate should be around 11:00PM. (This last trip outside is up to you - whatever time you normally turn in for the night, just keep it at the same time over the weekend as well) 

4)   At first, you must choose one type of housebreaking. Either you train your puppy to urinate
*outdoors, or you paper train your puppy.   This is where the puppy urinates/defecates indoors in a predetermined area, such as on a hard floor upon newspapers or puppy pads. You must choose one, NOT both! This avoids confusion.  You might want to paper train a puppy and then when it's around 10 weeks of age, train it to potty outside only.   The transition should not be difficult for a young Dane this age. 
You can teach your puppy to go in one area of your yard by leaving some of it's stool there for it to catch scent of and always taking it to that area when it's time to potty.  Be sure to praise your puppy like it just won the Gold Medal when it does potty where it should.

5)   The young puppy needs some area of confinement - it shouldn’t have complete run of the house, especially prior to housebreaking and during the housebreaking process!   Confinement can be within the kitchen or a bathroom since both usually have hard floor and don't have wires or tempting remote controls laying around!   Also, using a child safety gate helps keep the puppy from running about the house and soiling other rooms.   It also serves to save it from other dangers around the home as well. Personally I train our puppies to use a doggy door and also crate training.

With crate training I, since I'm a breeder, have different size wire kennels, however, I suggest to my customers to go through the "kennel buying experience ONCE.... it's MUCH cheaper that way!  We buy our Dane size kennels by Midwest Homes for Pets.  The are actually large enough for two medium sized Danes or one 200 pound male, Model/Series:  1154U     to order online or do a search on eBay and you might be able to find a deal on one like we did a few times!

6)   Get rid of odor from accidents with a neutralizer so that there will not be any trace of scent for the dog to return to.   If dogs can smell previously soiled areas, they are likely to return to that area and soil it again. Products such as Nature’s Miracle do this job perfectly. 

7)   If you ever catch your puppy in the act of urinating/defecating where you don’t want them to, do not yell at them!   This will scare them; scaring an animal actually MAKES them urinate/defecate out of fright.   What you should do if you catch your puppy starting to urinate/defecate is to startle them into stopping.   What you want to do is simply give a firm "NO" and bring them outside right away, saying "good dog" once they urinate/defecate outdoors
in their designated area.   

8)   Housetraining your new puppy should only take a few weeks or so, depending on their age.   Not only will you have a home that is cleaner, you are instilling self esteem in your dog by teaching him a particular behavior that pleases you greatly.

9)   Many people train their puppy to ring a bell.  Once of our customers wrote a short article on her web site about doing this.

* I personally like using a confined area with a doggy door.  I start training all my puppies at 6 weeks of age to use a doggy door.  I have a partition allowing them just enough room to sleep, forcing them to go outside to play and potty.



I enclosed the patio off the master bedroom and added central air and heat to make it the birthing room and puppy training room.  Mom is great about teaching them to go up the steps and outside to potty!


I can also use this area to put them in if someone drops in or if they've been bad which still allows them inside with A.C.

I purchase my MaxiSeal Behemoth (15 3/4" x 32") doggy doors from  and highly recommend spending the extra money and getting the DUAL flap doors.  On windy/rainy/cold days, the dual flaps work great at keeping the weather out!   to see how well our Danes love their doggy door!

AND these training spots make good places for TIME OUT when someone's been a bad puppy!  Lizzy, pictured above on the blanket was the innocent by-stander.... it was Brandi (R.I.P.), who ran outside when she saw mommy coming, that did this mess.  She got mad because I had closed them out of the den the night before because Brandi had started sleeping on the couch and this was what I woke up to!  Thank goodness she'd gotten into the trash can at my desk and not taken anything off the desk that mattered!

Here's another good link on house training.


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