House-Training by Dr. Ian Dunbar!



Whatever you do, this one is a must!


Teaching your puppy to do it’s business in a designated area is an absolute must, planning makes it easy!


This process can be simple if you take the time to set up a puppy area before bringing your new puppy home.  Find a place in your home where you can set up a dog crate and an x-pen. Our recommendations can be found under Puppy Supplies or on Amazon.  The idea is to have a space large enough for you puppy to move around and play but also be contained.    The next step of the plan is to set up an actual schedule of feeding your puppy and taking your puppy outside to eliminate.   Find a place that has easy access for you and that you want your puppy to use as he grows!   So it’s time to take him outside, put a few treats in your pocket and pick your puppy up to carry him to his spot.   Give him time to sniff around and as soon as he squats to go get your treat ready!  Once he is done, “Good Puppy, Pee Pee Outside” and give him his treat!  Pick your puppy up and bring him back inside.  This is not really his time to play outside, but to do his business.


Here at Magnolia Australian Labradoodles we start this process for you when your puppy is just 5 weeks old!  We also send Dr. Ian Dunbar’s potty training pamphlet home with every puppy!  


Housetraining by Dr. Ian Dunbar


Housesoiling is a spatial problem.  Your puppydog has been allowed to eliminate in the wrong place.  Housesoiling quickly becomes a bad habit because dogs develop strong location, substrate, and olfactory preferences for their improvised indoor toilet areas.  to housetrain your puppydog:


first, prevent any more mistakes; and second, teach your puppydog where you would like him to eliminate.


Prevent Mistakes


Mistakes are a disaster since they set a bad precedent and create bad habits, which can be hard to break.  Consequently, you must prevent mistakes at all cost.  Whenever you are not at home, leave your dog in a long-term confinement area, such as a single room indoors with easy-to-clean floors (bathroom, kitchen, or utility room) – this will be your puppydog’s playroom.


provide your dog with fresh water, a number of stuffed chewtoys for entertainment, a comfortable bed in one corner, and a doggy toilet in the corner diagonally opposite from his bed.  Your dog will naturally want to eliminate as far as possible from his bed, and so will soon develop the good habit of using his toilet.


For a doggy toilet, use sheets of newspaper sprinkled with soil, or a litter box filled with a roll of turf, or a concrete paving slab. Thus your dog will develop olfactory and substrate preferences for eliminating on soil, grass, or concrete.


The purpose of longterm confinement is to confine your dogs natural behaviors (including urinating and defecating) to an area that is protected (thus preventing any mistakes around the house when you are not there), and to help your dog quickly develop a strong preference for eliminating on soil, grass, or concrete.


Teach Your Dog to Eliminate in the Right Place


When you are at home, confine your dog to a shortterm confinement area with a number of stuffed chewtoys for entertainment. A portable dog crate makes an ideal doggy den. Alternatively, keep your dog on a short leash fastened to an eyehook in the base board near her bed, or attach the leash to your belt. This way your dog may settle down beside you while you read, work at the computer, or watch television.


Every hour on the hour, say Lets go pee and poop(or some other appropriate toilet instruction), and hurry your dog (on leash) to her toilet (in your yard, or at curbside outside the front door of your house or apartment building). Stand still with your dog on leash and repeat the instruction to GOOD eliminate. Give your dog three minutes to empty herself.


When your dog eliminates, praise her enthusiastically and offer three freezedried liver treats. Most puppies will urinate within two minutes on each trip to a toilet area, and defecate within three minutes on every other trip. Once your dog realizes that she can cash in her urine and feces for tasty treats, she will want to eliminate in her toilet area. Soiling the house just does not have comparable fringe benefits. Moreover, after a dozen or so repetitions, you will have taught your dog to eliminate on command.


If your dog does not eliminate during the allotted threeminute toilet break, put her back inside her crate for another hour.


The purpose of shortterm close confinement is to prevent any mistakes around the house when you are home (but cannot devote undivided attention to your dog) and to predict when your dog needs to eliminate. Temporarily (for no more than an hour at a time) confining a puppydog to a small space (e.g., a dog crate) inhibits elimination, since the dog does not want to soil her sleeping area. Consequently, your dog will want to go immediately upon release from confinement especially since hurrying to the toilet area will jiggle her bladder and bowels. Since you choose when to release your dog, you may choose when your puppy eliminates, and since you can predict when your dog needs to eliminate, you may be there to show her where to go, to reward your dog for going, and to inspect and immediately clean up after your dog.


Never confine a puppy or an unhousetrained adult dog to a crate for longer than an hour. A dog confined too long will be forced to soil her crate, making her extremely difficult to housetrain.


Once your pup is old enough to go on walks, make sure she eliminates (in the yard, or in front of your house) before each walk. If your dog does not go within three minutes, put her back in her crate and try again an hour later. However, if your dog does go, praise and reward her as usual and then say Lets go for a walk.With a nofeces/nowalk policy, you will soon have a very speedy defecator. Moreover, elimination close to home facilitates cleanup and disposal; you will not have to stroll the neighborhood weighed down with a bag of doggie doo.


If you require a more detailed description of housetraining, read our Housetraining booklet (available online from and download BEFORE You Get Your Puppy from To housetrain your dog, you need a dog crate, a number of chewtoys, and some freezedried liver treats. All of these products are available from your local pet store,




Reprinted by with permission of Dr. lan Dunbar and James & Kenneth Publishers


behavior blueprint by Dr. Ian Dunbar