One of the first priorities for the new puppy owner is teaching the dog where he should and should not do his business. You can usually housebreak a puppy in a few days to a few weeks, provided you have the time to give to the task.

Housebreaking Tips:

Take your new puppy home on a long weekend or holiday. This way people can be with him a lot, easing the loneliness he is bound to feel having left his litter mates behind. Lots of attention also makes the housebreaking easier and quicker. An important thing to remember is that puppies generally do not have complete control until they are about six months old, though they will get better and better at it!

Keep your puppy confined to a safe, cleanable area to avoid the disappointment of ruined carpets, except for the time just after he has gone to the loo (a tiled or linoleum covered floor is best). Keep him in sight, even then, so he doesn’t get into mischief. He does not know the rules yet! The kitchen is a good place to keep the puppy, so he can be included in the family life straight from the start. Never scold a new puppy for having an accident. It’s your fault for not watching him! It takes time to learn the new rules. After a few weeks training, you can let out a firm “NO” if you catch him in the act inside the house.

There are two excellent ways of housebreaking dogs, crate training and paper training. If someone can check in frequently during the day after the first few days, or better still stay at home for about a week, crate training is the best choice. If you must be absent all day, paper training is the best, because puppies simply cannot hold their bladders for more than two to three hours at a time. Though if the crate is big enough, you might have bedding at one end and paper at the other.

Crate Training:

I have heard people say “We dont cage, we care”. A statement like this is absolute nonsense. The animal is perfectly happy and above all perfectly safe when he is in his crate. After all its his own space - somewhere he can go to escape the rough and tumble and just relax. Dogs are den animals, and enjoy having a cosy, safe place to sleep and rest. Dogs are also clean animals, and they do not like to soil their beds. Use this natural instinct to help your puppy develop bladder and bowel control through crate training. When the puppy gets used to his crate, you can keep him in it for gradually increasing periods, up to about two hours at a time.

The crate should not be too large or he may soil in the farthest corner from his sleeping spot. If the crate is big, put a small cardboard box in it. The crate should be just large enough for puppy to turn around and lie down comfortable in. Unless you intend leaving him for longer periods of time to keep him safe.

Soon after getting your puppy home, get him used to his crate. Put a nice treat or something he likes to play with inside the door and have him go and fetch it from inside. Say something, like In your crate or Bed or “Kennel. Praise him and give him a treat for going in. Repeat many times, so that going into the crate is associated with something pleasant. Then try closing the door, without locking it, a few times as you continue to put a treat or toy inside first. Soon you will be able to lock the door for just a few seconds. Then open it, but dont make a big fuss when he comes out. Gradually extend the time until the dog is comfortable staying inside for about two hours. Then you can put him in his crate for a few hours at a time, when you have to go out or just dont want him underfoot. If he cries or whimpers, dont open the door until he stays quiet for a minute or two. Dogs are quick learners. Dont teach him that by crying he can get his way! Never let him out while he is crying!

Your new puppy needs lots of rest. He can take several short naps each day in his new den. You can leave something comfortable like a blanket or towel, and a favourite toy inside to make it feel like home. When he wakes up take him outside immediately. When you cannot watch the puppy, he should be confined either to his crate or a safe play area. Dont lock him in his crate too often though. Try to spend a lot of time with your Tibetan Terrier, he will reward you for it.

After waking, after each meal, or drink, and several times during the night say something to the puppy like, do you have to go outside?” and take him out to the spot where you would like him to go. (Eventually, when you say the phrase, he will show you by running to the door if he needs to go.)

When outside, wait until he starts going to the loo, then while hes in the process, say something like Do it! or Go to the loo or Do your business” and give him lots of praise. It may take a while, but after some months he will have an irresistible urge to go to the loo whenever you say the command word. This can be very useful when you are on a trip with your dog and you make a pit stop on a freezing night. Be ever watchful and take him out often for the first week, even if youre just a little suspicious. Wait with him each time you take him outside until you’re certain hes really empty before you let him back in the house! This may take a long time for a new puppy, but the fewer accidents he has indoors, the quicker the housebreaking job will go.

Typical Housebreaking Schedule for the First Weeks:

As long as the puppy is being watched, he can stay out of his crate. Do not let him have the run of the house!

First thing: Get up, take pup outside.  Feed pup, take him outside.  Play with pup, OK to let him rest in crate.

Mid-morning: Release pup from crate, take him outside.  Play with pup, OK to let him rest in crate.

Noon: Release pup from crate, take him outside.  Feed pup, take him outside.  OK to let him rest in crate for a little while.

Mid-afternoon: Release pup from crate, take him outside.  Play with pup, OK to let him rest in crate.

Tea-time: Release pup from crate, take him outside.  Feed pup, take him outside.  Let pup play in kitchen.

Mid-evening: Take pup outside, play with him.  OK to let him rest in his crate for a little while.

Bed-time: Take pup outside.  Crate pup in your bedroom or the kitchen for the night.

Initially you will definitely need to get up a few times in the middle of the night to take him out during the first month.

Paper Training:

There are many accepted ways to paper train a puppy. One approach is to cover the entire floor in the puppys area with newspaper. The puddles and messages may be quite random at first, but soon the puppy will choose one area far from food and bed to make his “spot. Put several dirty papers on the spot” to give it a strong scent so the puppy will be attracted there. Unlike the star-ship Enterprise dogs prefer to go where they have gone before!

As your Tibetan Terrier begins to use his spot” more and more, you can gradually lessen the paper-covered area until it is fairly small. Then move it nearer the door and eventually outside.

Always remember patience and understanding achieve much more than bullying or shouting ever could.


© Siddhartha Tibetan Terriers Ireland