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  • Overnight, crate in an appropriate size crate. A crate that is too big may leave enough room for a "potty area" and defeats the purpose. Make a point of getting up throughout the night for young puppies.
  • Upon waking, immediately take your dog outside. Carry them out if necessary. When they go to the bathroom, reward with special treats, then have a small play session. Some dogs learn quickly that it they "hold it," they get more time outside. Then they go in the house. Avoid this with the play session. Return into the house with supervised free time.

  • If you work, take the puppy out before going to work, and then crate during working hours. However, make a point of returning home for bathroom breaks. If this in not possible, ask a friend to help, or hire a service to help temporarily. The expense is worth the time, frustration and money spent in rehabilitation. You will likely save money on cleaning and repairs down the road too. If you are home, take your puppy outside as needed throughout the day, especially after eating or drinking.

  • Take your dog out whenever you take them out of their crate.

  • Supervise throughout the evening and give breaks as necessary. Give one final break before bedtime.

  • If you are still having problems, speak to your veterinarian. Some medical conditions, such as a bladder infection may interfere with bladder control.


  • Schedule regular meals. Do not free feed. This allows you to easily predict bathroom needs. Don't schedule meals immediately before leaving for work, or just before going to bed. Leave time for digestion and elimination. Most puppies need to go about an hour after eating.
  • Supervise and watch for signs your pup needs to go.
  • Give a method in which a puppy can communicate their need to go outside. Awesome Dogs recommends using a bell on your door. By teaching your dog to ring a bell when they need to go, you often avoid accidents at the door, barking, whining and scratching behaviours.
  • Reward success like crazy - if your neighbours think you are nuts, you are probably on the right track!
  • Don't go right back into the house after a successful bathroom break, go for a walk, or have a play session. If you hurry back inside, most dogs learn quicly to hold it as long as possible to prolong their walks.
  • If an accident happens, interrupt but don't punish. Pick the puppy up and hurry them outside to finish. Puppies that are scolded often learn to hide when they have accidents, or even go as far as eating their waste.
  • Feed in your dog's crate. Dogs are very reluctant to eliminate where they eat and sleep.
  • Clean accidents with a cleaner designed to break down the components of dog urine with enzymes. Many household cleaners mask odours, or use ammonia. This keeps dogs coming back.
  • Feed through out your house, especially at accident sites. Dogs do not like to urinate where they eat, so feed them everywhere.
  • Treat while your dog is in the act of going. If they are done, it's too late.
  • Don't paper train, unless you plan to use paper for life. Although possible to change to the great outdoors, it's often difficult.

To Crate or Not to Crate

Many arguments exist to support crating, just as there are many reasons not to crate. The key argument, and a valid one, is that crating a dog for extended periods may not be humane to your dog. However, as with all debates, the truth often lies somewhere in the middle.

I think, crating a dog for extended times, especially as they grow into adults is just not fair. That said, crate training has many benefits is done correctly and in moderation. Puppies are kept safe when owners are unable to supervise. A crate trained dog may feel less stressed if they need to spend time in a medical clinic, as they are already familiar to a "caged" environment. Lastly, a crate trained dog is often easier to travel with. If needed, a dog can be confined without unnecessary stress.

So, if your goal is to crate train temporarily, you are probably on the right track. Take the time to teach your new puppy how to behave. If you are unsure how to do this, take the time to consult a professional behaviour consultant who can steer you in the right direction before problems escalate. This way you can safely give your dog the freedom it deserves.


Remember to be patient. Some dogs do not develop bladder control until sixteen weeks of age. If you have ruled out medical conditions, see a qualified behaviour consultant who may address other issues, such as submissive urination or give more specific advice. A qualified trainer is also able to help with more intricate training ideas such as teaching your dog to ring a bell. A qualified consultant takes into consideration your lifestyle and works with you to develop effective and humane solutions.

If your dog has an accident, chalk it up to experience and promise yourself to supervise more closely next time.

Special Note:

Senior dogs also have special needs. Often bladder control decreases as dogs mature. Make sure you give your senior dog the care they need.

Awesome dogs is here for all your training and behaviour needs. We offer puppy class, including bite prevention. Obedience in group or private sessions is a must for every dog. Behaviour problems? Call for information on getting an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan.

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