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When you bring home a new puppy, a mess is guaranteed to follow. Tamar has a three-step approach to potty training your pooch. "Really, what housebreaking is about is teaching her how to hold it and then teaching her how to let you know that she needs to go out," Tamar says. "It just takes repetition."

Step 1: Set up a cozy crate. Tamar says to keep your puppy in a crate for part of the day. "After three times of being in her own mess she's going to say 'Ew' and she's going to hold it," Tamar says.

Step 2: Set up a schedule. Every two hours, let your puppy out. "You give him water right before you take him outside," Tamar says. "And then when he's going to go to the bathroom, say, 'Do your business. Go potty.' Whatever you choose to call it." As your puppy gets more used to the pattern, Tamar recommends increasing free time outside of the crate.

Step 3: Teach your dog to let you know when it's time to go out. One way to do so, Tamar says, is to teach them to ring a bell. Hold the bell in your hand, and reward the dog if they touch it with their paw or nose. Every time your dog rings the bell, immediately take them outside. "It's kind of like Pavlov. You ring the bell, they start salivating," Tamar says. "We teach her, you ring the bell, you're going to be let out."
FROM: Loving Our Dogs
Published on January 01, 2006