House training your labrador puppy


House training your Labrador puppy requires a lot of effort in the first few weeks.

But this effort pays off in the long run.

It isn’t so very long ago that people recommended techniques for house training a puppy.

Like rubbing a puppy’s nose in his mess or smacking him with a rolled up newspaper to get him clean in the house.

Thankfully we now know better than this.

Modern positive training methods bring fast and permanent improvements in Labrador behaviour and you won’t need to use any harsh methods to house train your labrador puppy

The key to successfully housetraining a puppy

The key to successful and rapid housetraining is avoiding mistakes.

Labradors are creatures of habit,  and if a place is an unfamiliar place to wee,  then the dog will not want to wee there.

It is not unusual for example,  for dogs to refuse to wee whilst on a leash,  simply because they never  have,  or to refuse to wee in the garden,  simply because they never have.

This can cause problems for the owner that has broken his leg and really needs the dog to wee in the garden,  or the owner whose dog has been injured and is only allowed to exercise on a lead.

Because habit is so important to dogs,  house training is easily achieved simply by avoiding mistakes.   If the dog has never pooped on your carpet by the time he is three months old,  the chances are he never will.

Avoiding housetraining accidents

The way to avoid mistakes is to take your labrador  puppy outside to empty himself extremely frequently.  Initially this might be every half hour,  plus every time he wakes from a nap,  plus every time he has finished a meal,  plus every time he has finished a game or been excited for some reason.

This means a very great many trips outside.  But it works.

Just make a fuss of him when he ‘goes’ in the right place,  and ignore any mistakes.  As the days go by you can begin to stretch out the gaps between trips outside,  but slow and sure wins the race.  Any attempt to hurry this process is likely to result in accidents,  and accidents encourage more accidents.

Remember that pups have very small bladders and very little control over them.  When they need to go,  they need to go now!   This is why your best line of attack is to pre-empt them with plenty of trips outside.

Teaching a ‘Wee’ on command word

Each time your puppy empties himself in your chosen spot you can use a special word  or words (I use ‘hurry up’  said in a jolly and upbeat way)  after a few weeks you will find that when you say this word,  your puppy will start to feel the urge to empty himself.  The word has become associated in his mind with the act of going to the toilet.

In a couple of months or so,  many puppies will have learned to ‘wee’ on command through this simple technique.

Clearing up accidents

Of course mistakes will occasionally happen,  it can’t be helped,  but repeated mistakes will set back your training considerably because pups like to wee where they have weed before.    If you are not careful it can be a downward spiral.

Once a puppy has had an accident on the floor you need to remove all trace of it.  And this is difficult bearing in mind your puppy’s extraordinary sense of smell so you will need to be thorough and diligent in this.

You can buy special cleaners for this purpose which do not contain any substances which might attract a puppy to repeat the accident in the same place.

Using the crate

Crates can be very useful during the house training a puppy process provided they are used wisely.   A labrador puppy has a natural disinclination to wee or poop in his bed.   Putting him in a small confined space is like a ‘den’ to him.  And the puppy will not want to wee in his puppy crate.

So provided that you do not leave him there until his bladder cannot contain any more liquid, this is a great opportunity for you.

You can pop the puppy in his crate whilst you are busy for twenty minutes or so.  Then,  when you bring him out, you can take him straight to his designated toilet area,  say your magic word ‘hurry up’  and hey presto he will relieve himself.

Put your labrador puppy in his crate to sleep at night and he will be far more likely to stay clean and dry,  providing you follow the guidelines below

What about at night?

Puppies vary in how long they can last at night without a wee.  Many pups are nine or ten weeks old before they can last all night (say around midnight  until 6 or  7 am) without a wee.  Some  pups are even older and a few pups can last six or seven hours from around eight weeks old.

What you need to accept is that this is not something you can control.  The puppy has the bladder he has, and you cannot influence that.   What you can do is make it easy for him to be clean,  by taking him outside to his toilet area very early in the morning,  and even in the middle of the night ,  if that is what he needs.

To be on the safe side with a new eight week old pup, we recommend you set your alarm for 2am or 3am (depending on when you go to bed)  and take your puppy to his outdoor toilet area.   Don’t make a fuss of him, be very boring.  Just wait for him to do a wee,  tell him what a clever boy he is, and pop him back into the crate.  He may protest a little in the hopes of some more interesting company, but should soon settle back down to sleep.

Repeat this for the first few nights,  but gradually push forward your trips in the small hours until he is going six hours or so without a wee.

Once he get to around ten weeks old you may be able to stretch this out to seven hours,  though  some pups will need another two or three weeks to get to this point.

Many young  dogs will not be able to last more than seven hours until they are six months or so.

You will get there soon

House training a puppy is one of those areas where the more effort you put in earlier on,  the greater your chances of an easy journey in the long run.   You will get there soon,  so enjoy your puppy and try not to worry too much about house training.

You can find more articles about house training here:

More help and information

Happy Puppy jacket imageIf you enjoy Pippa’s articles, you will love her new book: The Happy Puppy Handbook published in 2014.

Now available in most countries, the handbook is already a bestseller in the UK.

You can buy from Amazon using the links below. If you do, the labrador site will receive a small commission which is greatly appreciated and won’t affect the cost to you!


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Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. She is the founder of the Labrador Site and a regular contributor. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs.


  1. It’s been a while since we had a puppy in the house so this article was an excellent read in anticipation of picking up our puppy in a couple of weeks. My alarm clock will be set ! :)

  2. This article if very helpful, but I am a little confused, my puppy is 8 weeks old and has had its 1st vacination, the 2nd is not due until a few weeks time, I am under the impression that puppies should not go outside untill after the 2nd vaccination. Should I still take her out in the garden for toilet training, as the article implies, bearing in mind the high number of urban foxes around.

    • Hi Linda
      Most puppy owners do put their puppies outside to toilet from the start, partly because it makes housetraining easier, and partly because your puppy will miss out on some important experiences by not being allowed to run around outdoors.
      Worries about infections from foxes are very common and it is a good idea to discuss your concerns with your vet. I suspect the risk is very small, but that would be no comfort if your puppy were to contract parvovirus. Your vet will be able to tell you whether there have been any outbreaks of parvo in your area, and recommend the best course of action.

  3. Ive got a 5 month old black labrador dog and he is weeing during the night when we are in bed. He goes out the garden for a wee before i go to bed and ive cleaned the floor with all kinds of cleaning products to disgise the smell but he still goes back to the same place all time. Can you suggeset anything else i can do to stop my dog from having accidents during the night ?

  4. Hi Pippa, I enjoyed your e-book How To Win At Dog Training and Total Recall is on its way to China. I’m very excited about the book!
    I’ve got a 9 week old chocolate lab named Sebastian, and he is absolutely adorable! He’s been staying in our living room for 2 weeks now. My boyfriend has trained him to wee and poop at the balcony. I think our pup has done pretty well for that until my boyfriend moved his “den” to the balcony today. Now he’s doing wee and poop on our carpet in the living room. He’s done it on the carpet before when he first arrived but ever since my boyfriend trained him he rarely made any mistakes. I’m not sure if he’s confused or just simply not fully trained yet? We do have a crate and use it quite often, without a routine though. He seems perfectly fine staying and sleeping in it but he will never go into it on his own. I used “box” as the cue word and had his favoutite treats in my hand as well. The luring didn’t work out well. He simply sat there staring at me and wouldn’t move to the crate even though I put several treats in it.
    I know all pups bite. When he bites too hard we always say a loud “NO”, then immediately try to put a chewing toy in his mouth. Sometimes it works but most of the time it doesn’t. He’s just more interested in us than his toys. We have even heard him growl for 2 or 3 times when we tried to stop him chewing our trousers. He absolutely loves to chew our trousers. Maybe he thinks it’s a game to play or something?

    • Hi Eva, you are right in thinking your puppy is not house-trained yet. It will be several months until he is reliable in the house and at 9 weeks old he still has very little control. Your job is to take his to his toilet area very frequently and wait there with him until he ‘goes’.

      Try not to move his ‘den’ around as he will find this very confusing. Have a look at this article: Housetraining without tears

      Don’t worry about the puppy being more interested in you than his toys, this is a good thing. Most dogs do not play much with toys on their own. Growling during play is also normal but is a sign that your puppy is getting over-excited. So just end the game when he does this.
      Good luck with your training, and enjoy your puppy!

  5. Hi Pippa,

    What a great article – I get my 7 wk old puppy on the 17th december – and cant wait to try these training methods out.

  6. My 7week old lab puppy has been with us for a week now and she won’t stop crying at night she won’t even sleep in her bed. I really don’t know what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  7. yes i like your comments my dog just chews everything insight she is getting good at going out sometimes i have got up and taken her out at three oclock in the morning but for the last two nights it has been 7oclock which is good because i get up at that time for work she keeps trying to bite my son and shes keep on ripping wall paper but she is only playing but we love her to bits

  8. Hey Pippa,
    Me and my boyfriend have recently bought a lab home 2 days, she’s beautiful and extremely active. I think way too active for any puppy! Lol, anyway the problem would be quite a common one. Shes teething and bites almost anything that comes her way. I stay with my family, he stays alone and she has kept him up all nights cause shes way too active. She takes little naps for 20 to 25 minutes and is up and going again!
    This is her 3rd day and she was sleeping for quite some time in the evening and has completely gone way too overboard, shes too pepped and too happy.
    I wanted to ask firstly, is there any way to make her sleeping times and playing times a routine? Shes barely 48 days now.
    Secondly i also wanted to know, we have a guniea pig in the house and hes rarely caged, Ive had him since a year now. She attacks him, although very playfully it scares the life out of my little pig. How to calm her down for them
    to stay in harmony?

    Thank you so much! Also all your articles are all helpful, your all over the internet about labradors! You’ve helped a lot a lot of owners :)

    • Hi Sheena and welcome to the labrador site :)

      It is a really good idea to get the puppy into a routine. That includes teaching her that night times are for sleeping. Your boyfriend will need to let her know that no-one is willing to play with her at night. He may need to let her out for a wee during the night for the next few weeks, but should be very calm and distant whilst he does this. There are a number of articles on this page that will help him.

      Your puppy will not have the self restraint to be trusted with small pets for some time, and you need to put your guinea pig out of harm’s way whilst the puppy is around. When she is more mature, you will probably be able to teach her not to touch the guinea pig if you want to.


  9. Heya!
    Thank you for the welcome. I’ll go through the page :)
    I’m personally quite new to puppies and dog training, honestly I know nothing about them! :)
    We’ve been getting a lot of opinions from people and they all vary immensely.
    I just got off the phone, and my friend says you should follow the ‘leader of the pack’ technique apparently show your dog that your the leader and don’t let her be the leader and all of those things. My heart melts, and i absolutely can not train or command. Shes just a little puppy!
    Anyway cutting it short, any tips on this theory? If it does exist =))

    Regards and cheers,

    • Hi Sheena,
      Theories in dog training have changed quite a lot in the last few years.
      Twenty years ago ‘leader of the pack’ theories were widespread. Nowadays, not so much :)

      Recent studies have shown that most dogs don’t actually place much value on dominance or status, and that groups of dogs do not actually form packs with hierarchies at all. In fact, even our understanding of wolves have now changed in this respect.

      The facts are that you do not need to be ‘dominant’ or a ‘pack leader’ to train a dog. You just need to control the resources available to your dog and to allocate rewards in an effective and appropriate way.

      Enjoy your puppy. And don’t worry, she is not planning to take over the world, or even your kitchen. There are lots of articles in the training section to help you. And there is a busy and friendly forum you can join to get help and support from other labrador owners.

  10. Hi, we have an 11month old female black lab. We have had her from 13 weeks old we trained her really well, but we moved house yesterday and despite being around her most of the time all she does is cry, she wont sit down and she is going to the toilet inside instead of when we take her out! I dont know what to do because it seems like all our hard work is going to waste! :(
    Thankyou, Melissa.

    • Hi Melissa, it isn’t uncommon for housetraining to regress after a stressful event like moving house. Just start over, as if she were small, taking her out frequently and rewarding every wee. She will soon settle back in to her routine. Pippa

    • Hi.. I have an 8 month old lab who is firstly fun and a great addition to the family.. However, I cannot get him to ONLY go to the bathroom outside.. I’d say he’s having accidents but at this point.. He definetly know where he should be urinating/ defecating at… Not so sure what to do any more…. Any help is appreciated and I think I’ve either read or tried everything so far…

  11. Hello Pippa,

    Since the past 2 days our puppy has been acting very very aggressive and is biting us really hard and not playfully. We’re literally feeling helpless and scared. How should we calm her down?
    Also we left her alone yesterday because of some work we had, and we were out for around 6 to 7 hours. We’ve never left her alone for so long. Is it because of that?
    She bites everything that comes in her way very angrily.
    Please help! :(

    • Hi Sheena,
      I’m afraid young puppies do bite very hard, and can seem quite fierce when they are playing. Your puppy is too young (7 or 8 weeks?) to be showing signs of aggression. It might not seem like play, but it is. Here is an article about how to cope Labrador puppies biting!


  12. Hi! Regarding crate training – if you bring the puppy out to the pee spot and he doesn’t pee, do you put him back in the crate? Also, how many times does an average puppy poop a day? And how long is appropriate to stand and wait at the pee spot for a pee or poop? Sorry for all the potty related questions! Thank you!

    • Hi Margaret,
      If the puppy doesn’t want to pee, put him back in the crate for fifteen minutes and try again. Give him five minutes or so to sniff around in his poop place before taking him back in.
      You will get better at judging when he is ready to ‘go’.

      There is no ‘average’ no of poops I’m afraid, it depends on the puppy, what he is fed on, how many meals he gets, and so on. But it is perfectly normal for a puppy to poop several times a day.

  13. We are getting a 10 month old. She was potty trained and then due to her own’s job moved outside for the last several months. How hard will it be to retrain her. Do I start from scratch. She has been well cared for but the owner was gone 10-12 hours a day and felt leaving the dog in the yard was better than inside all day without relief. She is leash trained and sits on command. thanks

    • Hi there, it is best to start from scratch. You have the advantage that this dog will have much greater bladder control than a puppy, and has a previous history of being clean indoors. Many kennel dogs learn very quickly, but let her out very frequently to begin with and don’t make her wait too long overnight (say six hours max for the first couple nights). Early mornings is often the most ‘risky’ time for accidents.
      Good luck

  14. Hi Pippa,
    first of all thank you very much for this website, I have been reading it since a while as preparation for getting our black male lab in a couple of weeks from now, he will be almost 10 weeks old…however we are really puzzled about “where”to potty train him. We live in a country where there are a lot of unvaccinated dogs and other animals… and garbage in the surroundings so I am wondering whether we should place his “den” inside the house…do you think it would be safe to potty train him outside before he receives the rabies vaccination? do you think it would be safe to potty train him outside when he is older?

    Also, if you think the best is to have his “den” inside, should we use like a plastic container or something like that?

    Thanks so much in advance for your advices!

    • Hi Jym,
      By den, I presume you mean ‘toilet area’ rather than sleeping area? I don’t normally recommend indoor ‘potty’ training as the dog then has to be taught to use outdoors later on. However, my advice applies to dogs in the UK and I really don’t feel that it is appropriate for me to advise you on the safety of putting an unvaccinated puppy down outdoors, in other parts of the world. The best person to advise you will be your veterinary surgeon who will have the local knowledge to evaluate the risk.
      If you have to housetrain your puppy indoors for his own safety, then you can use ‘puppy pads’ especially designed for the purpose, or the old fashioned method of newspaper. You can try putting puppy pads in a container of some sort, or in a pen reserved for the purpose if you want to, but many people simply put the pads close to the back door, and then move them outside during the transitional stage later.

  15. Hi
    Wonder if you can help please with house training – our Chocolate lab is 14weeks and despite our best efforts is still not fully house trained . We take her outside frequently, watch for her cues and don’t make a fuss when she has ‘accidents’ in the house but she still goes to the toilet and varions parts of the house at different times of the day. I can’t find a pattern of why she’s doing it and at a loss with what we’re doing wrong !!

    Any advice would be great and much appreciated !!

    Thanks. Jane

    • Hi Jane,
      Try not to worry, 14 weeks is still very young. What most people do wrong is overestimate how long the puppy can last, and allow the puppy too much freedom. The key with housetraining is to find baseline at which the puppy can cope. Decide how long she can last without a wee at a minimum and knock a few minutes off. This is your starting point. Now make sure you let her out at the interval you have determined. Set an alarm to remind you. Restrict her to one small area of the house and crate her when she is not being supervised or when she fails to ‘wee’ on her trip outdoors.
      Have a look at Housetraining without tears and think about joining The Forums for help and support.

      Best wishes

  16. hi i m from india
    i ve a black labrador(female).
    she is very calm and cute.
    my question is that she never barks when an outsiders enters the gate.
    so please tell me how to train her.
    she is 1 year 4 months old and she got her first heat today.
    it would be helpful if you guide me.

    • Hi Rohini
      I don’t teach dogs to bark at people. In fact I spend a lot of time teaching dogs to be quiet. So I’m afraid I cannot help you.

  17. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  18. Hi There,

    I brought my eight week old Lab home last night and she was doing excellent all day even with her crate

    At about 10 last night she went to her crate on her own and then fell asleep so I thought ok this is good I will close it and we will go to bed. I awoke at 2 to use the bathroom myself went to check on her and she was just looking at me so I thought perhaps I will take her out for a pee I did and she peed instantly but she was very playful but i ignored it so I brought her back in her crate closed the door and she had a mental break down.

    I let her there for 4 hours crying against my better judgment as I thought ok she’s going to stop for 5 mins and I can go and get her and praise her for being quiet. After 4 house of non stop whining I thought I can’t leave her there longer the poor thing needs to pee. When I went to get her she did not pee but she had pooped. I feel terrible and now I don’t know what to do please help have I ruined her for crate training now??

    • Hi Robyn, no you haven’t ruined anything. She is small and scared because her world has been turned upside down. She will settle and feel safe in a few days. If you are worried about her being upset you can have her next to your bed in a box for the next couple of nights. Your house will seem a lot less strange to her in a day or two when she has become accustomed to it. Alternatively, you can continue to leave her in her crate each night and she will get used to sleeping alone over the next few days.


  19. Hi
    Was just looking at your advice here and have a problem that I hope you can help with. My 5 month old Labrador pup has got in the habit of peeing in her bed. We have an older basset hound too and the two of them are close already, they tend to always sit & sleep together on a bed in the utility room or on a large been bag in the sitting room. The problem is even is she has been out all day she runs in to pee on either of these. I have machine washed them to rid of the smells. Used sprays and detergents but she keeps doing it in these beds and Mac our other dog ends up with a wet bed too. Whats hould I be doing? thanks

    • Hi Jo,
      Puppies that are allowed free access to the garden are sometime slow to learn where is the right place to pee. You need to get a routine going whereby she is taken out, does a wee straight away, is allowed in for a while, then closely supervised until time for the next wee. That way, you know that when you bring her inside, she has an empty bladder. You may have more success now, if you completely change where she sleeps and what she sleeps in, to break the association of peeing in her bed.

  20. Hi,
    I have a 3.5 months old lab who we got around 15 days ago. We are facing a lot of issues to potty train him. His previous owners used to keep him in balcony of their house and he used to poop and pee in their toilet. They use to take him out for a walk in the evenings only and not for potty. Now since he is with us we have been trying to potty train him but we have failed. He poops and pees in the balcony where we keep him because we have had lot of accidents in the house. Despite of our cleaning the traces with hardest of chemicals, he still poops and pees there. We take him out immediately as we feed him (thrice a day) however he only sniffs and plays and very often we have to stop him from eating strays’ poop. We are really stressed. Kindly advise.

    • Hi Shikha, the answer to house training problems always lies in more frequent visits to the outdoor toilet area, and closer supervision (or short periods of confinement) in between visits to the toilet area. Three times a day is not sufficient for a three month old puppy. He may need to go out as often as every hour in order to get a good toilet habit going.

  21. Hi Pippa,
    I have a 4 months old golden lab and it has been over a month since I am trying to potty train him. I feed him 4 times a day and take him out immediately and also 2 more time (total 6 times) but he never pees or poops outside and the moment he is in he relieves himself. In fact he pees and poops in every room of the house and no matter how much I try to erase the accident with utmost powerful cleansers he still does the thing there. Of all the 6 trips outside there has never been a single incident of success when he relieved himself but immediately does it when he is brought inside the house. My wife and I are both working (in different shifts) and the maximum time he is alone is 3-4 hours. We want to play with him inside the house too (we do that in the park everday) but are unable to do so because he pees and poops everywhere around. Please help.

    • Hi Arjun, check out the article above, you are not taking your puppy out often enough. When you do go outside, you need to stay with him until he pees or poops. He hasn’t learnt yet that this is where you want him to do it. Many four month puppies cannot last 4 hours without a wee.
      There are links to several more articles on house training on this page

  22. hi, i have a 1.5 month old lab and i am confused about making the spot for him. should it be outside the house or in the front courtyard( we dont have a garden). i am using a puppy pad for the purpose and somehow its useful. also my lab follows me wherever i go, even if i am busy on a call strolling, he’ll follow me for every round. its looks funny but its not good for house training as he relieves himself wherever he is. how can i stop him from following me. and where shall i keep his crate? inside the house or in the front courtyard? and will the habits inculcated now be permanent esp the housetraining:(.. plz help.

  23. Hi Pippa

    Your website is great and I have read it a lot in order to prepare for our new puppy’s arrival this weekend. She is a bitch and will be 9 weeks old.

    As when we get her she will not have been vaccinated (the first injection is booked for next Tuesday), we will need her to wee/poo indoors until after that injection. How is best to do this, and then progress to outdoors once the injection has taken place? We are intending on using newspaper. We were going to put some newspaper in her crate and some by the back door and encourage her to go there. Is this a good idea and how can we encourage her to use the newspaper?

    Regarding the crating, we would like her to sleep downstairs as she will not be allowed to go upstairs. We have a 6 year old and want to keep her and the dog separate at night, otherwise neither will sleep and our daughter has her toys in her room (which the pup may chew!).

    We are going to make her crate as homely as possible and encourage her to go in it as much as possible on those first few days, with the hope that we can get her to go to toilet before bed, then perhaps once during the night and once early morning. I gather if she howls she is to stay in the crate until she goes quiet – then we will make a fuss of her and let her out if still awake?

    Any advice you can give would be most appreciated. We are very excited and trying to ensure we are as ready for the challenge as possible!


    • Hi there, glad you like the website :) Check out this article for my thoughts on the vaccination/socialisation/safety issue. I don’t recommend using newspaper at all, and would definitely not encourage a puppy to wee in its crate. By doing so, you lose the major benefit of the crate which is to assist in easy house training. Check out the other housetraining and crate articles in this link and do join our forums lots of new puppy owners there!

  24. We have a 6 month old black lab that we’ve been having continuous problems with. Some weeks she is great and doesn’t go in the house, other days or weeks it’s multiple times a night. We used to crate her over night, but have stopped because she was crying, barking, and shaking the crate all night.
    Is it best to move the crate to a place we just can’t hear it and let her cry herself out? Or is there a way to train her to stop going over night? She’s generally pretty good during the day, with just the occasional accident. (she never “asks” to go out, but we take her out every 2 hours)

  25. good day pippa.i have a female lab she is on her one week since stud,why she loose her appetite ?what can i do?is it ok if i give her a chicken with bones at this time of her prenatal?thank you very much…

  26. good day female black lab have a white chest but her parents are purebred it possible that her liter are all pure color lab when the times come of her pregnancy?thank you

  27. Hi, I just got a lab puppy for the first time is around 9 weeks old and I’ve been reading a lot on this site but I already made some mistakes, he pooped in his crate and 2 times in my room, I took him outside when he barked at 2 am and he wouldn’t poo, the moment he was in he did… and he just won’t poo outside ever, even when I wait an hour with him, he just won’t, I am afraid he already got used to pooping inside. This is just my second day with him so I might be overdramatizing but I don’t want this to continue, I think he was used to poo inside his den in the pet store where he was. Any advice? Other than that he is lovely haha. Thanks.

    • Hi there, you need to keep your puppy in a fairly restricted part of the house to begin with, and teach him to be clean there before giving him access to other rooms. Puppies sometimes poop in a crate that is too big, but in the first day or two, accidents are very common. You just need to be very vigilant and take him outside after every meal or game, whenever he wakes from a nap, and at half hour intervals in between, until he has got the hang of it.

  28. Hi, we have a 3 month old puppy and he won’t signal when he needs to go out to the loo. He never barks and he never whines. If you leave the door open then he will go straight out but if its shut he just goes inside. Is there any way we can teach him a signal to tell us he needs to go because he will not bark. Thanks.

  29. please help me I got a lab 7 weeks old now hes 8 weeks old I cant seem to get him to understand no potting in house no matter how many times I take him out to pottie he still comes in and tries to pottie again I make sure he goes before I bring him in if theres any one that can help me please I also have a crate that I put him in

    • Hi Melanie, if your puppy is relieving himself outside, and then again when he comes back in, you are not taking him outside often enough. Some small puppies need to wee very frequently. Checkout Best wishes, Pippa

  30. Thank you so much for your website. It has been very very helpful. We have an 9 week old female lab. She is a very quick learner. Lately, we take her outside to potty and she goes potty outside. When we walk back inside she immediately goes potty again (always #1). We do not ever scold her accidents (or give her any attention regarding them), but have we in some way inadvertently “praised” her for going in the house? We are wondering why she is not fully emptying her bladder when she goes potty outside. Thanks for the advice!

    • Hi Meredith,

      It could be simple coincidence that she is going again after going outside, some puppies wee very frequently when they are feeling lively, and going outside probably excites her. Try taking her outside again after ten minutes or so indoors.
      And try not to worry, she is just a baby and her bladder control will improve rapidly over the next few weeks.


  31. I forgot to mention, we take her out frequently and it seems like the only time she goes in the house is right after we come back inside from going outside.

  32. Thanks for the great article! I have a chocolate lab that is 11 weeks old. We picked her up 3 weeks ago, and started on house training. We use crate for the night time and day when I am at work, and kids at school. She does great, knows that she should go outside to do what she has to do, and even asked to go outside to bathroom several times (barking by the door, or walking towards the door and stopping to look back at me to see if I am following). However, she still does mess up at home( she pees on the floor quite often). What should I do when she messes up at home? Is firm “NO” acceptable to correct her, or should the accidents be ignored completely? I realize that it usually takes longer to completely house train the puppy, so accidents are expected. I am just not sure how to treat them? Thank you!

    • Hi Julia, this article explains why punishment is not helpful in the housetraining process. If your pup is having regular accidents, shorten up the gaps between toilet breaks, and then use short periods in the crate to lengthen them out again.

      • Hi Pippa,
        Thanks for reply. I am sorry I didn’t explain situation better. She gets rewarded every time she goes to the bathroom outside (she gets small treats and a lot of praise), and she understands the concept of what she is asked to do. She doesn’t mess up in the crate; and she spends a lot of time outside. But it seems to me that when she is taken inside the house ( not in the crate), she feels she needs to go to the bathroom on the floor frequently…Sometimes I am not fast enough to bring her to the door…Or I don’t see it coming… ( she is taken out after each nap, each playtime, and each meal, and many times in between). I read a lot of information, but confused about how to treat accidents; some articles say let her know its wrong by saying no, some say ignore her accidents. So which one should I do?

        • Hi Julia, just ignore the accidents. Saying ‘no’ has no meaning for an 11 week old pup unless it is associated with punishment, however mild. And punishment is not appropriate in housetraining. So hang on in there. You are doing the right thing. This phase will soon be over :)
          Best wishes,

  33. Hi
    I have read through these articles with the greatest interest and am very impressed with the amount of advice been given
    My question is, we have just got a 10 week old chocolate Labrador. I’ve successfully, through your advice, conquered a few things and would like to know how to go about getting my dog on a lead without her chewing on it. We’re not out and about yet as she’s not had her second jabs yet but thought I would try a lead in the garden. She sits to command and sits and waits for her meals.
    Thanks for any advice

  34. Hi! Very helpful article.. I just bought a puppy yesterday and it has already pooped twice in my garden and weed once there as well.
    The owner said he is potty trained on the newspaper.. How do i make sure that he empties himself on the newspaper and not in the garden? I know its too soon to expect him to learn it all but i guess i need to reinforce what he learnt back at home with his siblings and mother. Need a bit of help with how I can reinforce the habits!

    Thanking in advance


  35. I have an 8 1/2 week old golden lab (bitch) and her poo is really loose. She can have a normal poo once a day but the rest are really loose. She is a very happy puppy and really playful. She always eats her food and drinks plenty. I have her on the same food as the lady that bred her. Is this normal for her age? Or is a trip to the vets needed? Many thanks :)

  36. Hello, I loved reading all your advise… can I ask would most of it apply to ny 10 week old husky… weve had him from 8 weeks and crate him at night and while im at work. I work ten mins away so comes home at lunch time to let him out to wee and poop. But it does mean he is alone for maybe three hours at a time twice a day mon to friday. It makes it worse as he hasnt had his second injection yet… booked for monday and even then I cant walk him for another week. So I feel bad as I know at the minute he hasnt got much of a life… my question is do you have any tips for training the dog to let you know when he has to go… my pup wont go in his crate so that is a great tool. But when playing even if he has just been for a wee 10 mins earlier he might wander to go and have a poo in the house.

    Also sometimes he wilk settle in his crate. I get up around 3 or 4 am to take him out for a wee. Dont play with him just say good boy and back in the crate but thenbits like hes wide awake and gowls like mad to be out for over an hour. Am I doing right by ignoring this behaviour. I go back to sleep u til seven ish I dont go back and praise when hes quiet… is that my issue… ?

    Im also taking him to puppy classes in two weeks… the trainer said really it should have been earlier for him but I wouldnt take him until he was vaccinated so hope its not too late!

    Thank u and I hope you can apply some of your excellent knowledge of labs to my boy.

  37. I just got my dog rocky 2 days ago, and he came from a kill shelter with 5 other litter mats, all he knows how to do is to go potty in his crate we put it outside and he won’t use it. This morning I took him out and he was standing right beside me and peed I told him what a good boy he was and then my husband took him for a walk but he didn’t go. Then my son took him outside later that night and he pooped, so I don’t really know what to do we are going to start training classes with him soon, but I worry about his poor little bladder. I do take him out and we are out there for like 10 to15 mins but nothing happens, and when I take him out he is not on a leash. I think tonight I might go get the tray and bring it in just so I know he will go. I don’t really know what else to do so help please. Thanks Kim oh by the way he is not quite 5 months yet

  38. Hello,
    First I want to say thank you for the advice :) I just got a 7 week old puppy and he has been doing alright with the house training so far has had a couple accidents here and there and I have made sure to clean them properly. My problem is that I work overnight shifts that are 10 hours long I stay by myself so no one can take him out while I’m not home. I’ve brought him over to a friends house the last couple nights because I didn’t have a crate yet but now that I do will it mess up the training if I leave him in there while I go to work? How can I train him during these shift hours? Any help is appreciated :) thanks

  39. Dear Pippa- Our puppy Henry just turned 8 weeks old. We got him 1 week ago. We have been following your advice- taking him outside as much as possible, rewarding him for going outside and not punishing him for accidents inside. He wakes us up crying at least once a night and we take him out to pee. However, he does also constantly go in the house. We assumed it was because he was young and it would take some time. We put down some wee pads but he avoids them. Instead, he pees all over the apartment, and also in his crate, on the couch and in our other dog’s bed. And now, he refuses to pee outside but pees as soon as we get back in the house. Any specific advice on how to break this habit, and general house training in general, would be appreciated. Thanks.

  40. Hi Pippa,
    I have a 7 weeks puppy. I’m starting his potty training. My backyard is mostly paved but there is a small area with lawn and I would like my puppy to use that area as a toilett as I can’t take him outside for a walk because he is not fully vaccinated yet. He’s pooping and wee-ing everywhere in the backyard but the lawn. How could I teach him to do its things on the lawn? I would appreciate all the help you could give me. Thanks!

  41. Good morning.
    I already have a 2 year old male black lab and a 1 year old cavapoo. Both well behaved and housetrained. I did use the Crate for my boy, but didn’t with the little dog as she did everything with him and it wasn’t long before she was completely housetrained.
    I now have a beautiful 10 1/2 week old Labradoodle (hope that’s ok to be posting on this site!). She is clean in the day – I frequently let her in the garden with the other dogs. We got her at 9 weeks and only had a few wee’s in the day on day 1 and 2. At night however, all 3 dogs are kept in the kitchen (big bed and sheets, none of them crated). Her last outing to do her business is around 11. She is quiet in the night, all of the dogs have settled well together. Now, I get up at 6 to let them out. I’m only doing this as the puppy would need it as my other dogs will go a lot longer. Most mornings, we have one poo (always in the same spot!) and sometimes one wee – although sometimes no wee’s at all. I let them out and clean up. I don’t mind cleaning it up – but would you suggest I get up earlier and pre-empt the fact she’ll need to go? My hesitation is disturbing all the dogs and then them not settling and waking rest of household up. My ideal schedule when she is old enough is to get up at 6, take them for a walk…hence why 6 is the time I’ve started to get up.
    I don’t get mad at her for messing in the house at night as I know she’s a baby – I just ignore it. Should I persevere into the schedule I hope to keep? Will she eventually just stop messing? I last feed her at 6.30 and take water up at 7 (I make sure she has access to lots of water in the day)
    Hard to know what to do because of having 3 of them.

  42. Hi Pippa. I have a similar issue to Kerry. Our lab is now 16 weeks and does brilliantly keeping clean during the day. At night though, she usually produces a poo and a wee for us, always is similar spots. She is restricted to the kitchen, has her last food at 5.30 and is last let out at about 11pm. We are down in the morning by 6:30/7:00. Are we expecting too much control too soon? We are thinking of crating her because we have had a handful of nights when she has remained clean – so we know she CAN do it. Advice gratefully received. Thanks.

      • We just got a female lab 7/8 weeks old. What a great puppy.she is fine during the day on going potty out side , has her spots she likes. However at night we have a crate and she pooping in it 3/4 times a night. Somewhat loose, we take her out before bed , her last meal is around 5/6 at night and she will wine to go out but only after she’s poops . No pee ever. it’s a small crate. very frustrated and need help. She goes after every nap like a clock during the day ,even uses the doggy door to go out then back in. Night time help?

  43. Hi Pippa,
    I have a 12 week old male Lab. He is wonderful and learning basic commands quickly. The main issue is potty training. We have been very diligent in his training. Many trips outside. Crate training. Every 3 hours at night and every 2 hours or so in the daytime. The problem is, he seems to have no issue peeing in his crate and laying in it. We will take him out, he potties, then he will be in his crate 15 minutes later, chewing on his toy and just pee while laying there. I am just not sure how to address this behavior. We immediately take him out. No fuss. No scolding. And then clean the crate with vinegar and put him back in. Is this common and how do we defeat this behavior? Thanks in advance


    • Hi Matthew, two hours is much too long for many 8 and 9 week old puppies to last, so if you have been using this routine from the beginning, he may have got into the habit of peeing in his crate. The other thing to consider is the size of the crate. How big is your pup’s crate? Pippa

      • OK. he is 15 weeks now. we still have him on a steady schedule of every couple of hours to potty. his crate is sized down to keep him confined, but he still pees in his crate and doesn’t seem to mind being in it. he has never pooped in his crate, but we can take him out, he pees, bring him in and he pees again with no warning within 15 minutes……Help.

  44. I have lovely male 9 wk old lab. He wee outside every time we go out and I do this very regularly but he does little weed indoors 4 minutes after we come in. Is he just very little and I should keep pressing on?

  45. Hi Pippa,
    We have a 17 week old female black lab, and its the dreaded toilet training. We will take her out at regular intervals, after food and after sleeping. She may go wee outside then come in and wee again within minutes. I haven’t heard of this crating training and not sure I fully understand it. Her toileting is causing real problems. Can you please give me some advise. When we take her out she is on a lead as our garden is not enclosed. But she does wee when ww take her out.

  46. Hi pippa,

    We got a 6 weeks old lab (will be 7 this coming sunday). Even though I take him outside he still comes inside and wee’s and poops. He is also chewing everything … even though I give him his toys he takes more interest in mine. I see his also starting to dig … his sounding already like a naughty puppy. Please help!!?

    • Hi imilda, he sounds like a very normal puppy, and he is really very young to be away from his mum. You’ll need to be patient. Put your things where he can’t reach them, just like you would with a toddler. And all puppies chew, it is normal. You need to put baby gates across rooms with your best furniture, and distract him with toys. With the housetraining, follow the instructions in the articles in the puppy care section. Ignore accidents and take him outside more often. He will get more control over his bladder as he gets bigger. Pippa

  47. I aquired a 14 week old lab from a friend who didn’t bother trying to house break her.I’m finding it difficult to completely break her from peeing in the front room of our house. I let her out constantly but it seems she would rather play while she’s outside than use the bathroom most times.

  48. Our 7 week old puppy pees and poops in her crate! She doesn’t find it hard to go when she wants to! We let her out quite frequently, but she still just wees when she wants to! Any advice?

  49. Hi. I have a 13 week old black lab and I have a few worries and wondering if you could help. Firstly she is quite good if I open the back door she will go out and do her busines but and when she wants she will do stand by the back door. When finished she will bark to come in but I can not get her to make a noise to tell me when she wants to go out. I just have to follow her round constantly. Secondly her poop is rather soft and some times almost liquid she has a constant diet but I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. She settles wonderful on a night and has most of her basic comands learnt by positive rewards. I’m just not sure and I’m getting a lot of different advice. She is fully wormed cos they thought that could be the cause even treated her for tape worm. Any help would be gteat thank uou xx

    • Hi Mary, it sounds as if your puppy is doing pretty well. Small pups need a lot of supervision and plenty of opportunity to go out. I would not ever encourage a dog to make a noise when they want to go out, as it could easily escalate. Just let her out at regular intervals, and supervise or crate her for a few minutes when you bring her back in, if she does not oblige.
      For the upset tummies a vet check would be a good idea, but a common cause is meals that are too big. Try dividing her daily food ration into more smaller portions. Pippa

  50. Thank you for all these great articles……..I am just going to give my board exams and then will buy a pup.
    I just wanted to know pre-handed how to treat and train a lab pup.Your articles have done it right!!!
    Thank You………!!!!

  51. Great article. It has been quite a while since I have had to train a pup. It was a very good refresher to read. I am really looking forward to our new family member.

    Thanks again for the very good read!!

  52. yo pippa,
    my puppy is about 7-8 weeks old , i have been feeding him with cerelac for these few weeks , should i continue with cerelac or give him some other food? few days ago he was trieng to eat his paw and was unable to walk properly , doctor said it was due to lack of calcium in the food , what should i give him to eat ? royal canin, pedigree , drools or something else?

  53. hey i have 3 month black lab puppy and he does not go out side the house.. i try hard but he stays in the house , please guide me what shall i do ? Please

  54. I have a lab puppy of eight week old I am feeding him on Royal cannon three times a day and each time about 60 gms, is it O, we have started giving some rice with curd also. Is it alright? and he goes to toilet each time we take him outside, is it OK?

    • Hi Krishna, there is no need to feed rice or curd. Royal Canin should be a balanced diet for your puppy. And yes, it is normal for puppies to go to the toilet several times a day. Provided he does not have diarhorrea, you don’t need to worry about frequency. Pippa

  55. Hii, pippa
    Your site is very useful I have a 3 months old labrador puppy and he has habit to bite everyone what should I do for control that habit. Please reply, I am waiting…..

  56. Hi,
    i m from india,gujarat
    i have 3 months old blackfemale labrador “Lucy”.
    she is going toilet during she she is always in wet condition so she get infection in there vagina. so help me hoow can i slove this problem

  57. Pippa,
    Just found this website. Wonderful advice! I wish I had found it sooner. Perhaps you have some ideas for us – we have a sweet loving 7 month old Chocolate. Her temperament is extraordinary and we are all in love with her. However, we brought her home this winter during the Polar Vortex – and with all the ice, power outages, and snow, I’m afraid we were not able to be as consistent as we would have liked with housetraining. As a matter of fact, during the worst of the ice storms, we would have to carry her up and down icy stairs outside every 1/2 hour or so, and often we just couldn’t get outside safely, so she had no choice but to relieve herself on a pad by the mudroom door. By Spring, she was reliable most of the time, and now scratches at the mudroom door when she has to do out. However, occasionally, about once a week or so, and usually when there is a towel or anything soft on the floor, she relieves herself on it. We’ve had to pull up all the rugs. She knows how to tell us she has to go out, and she does that most of the time. We also have her on a regular schedule. How do we break her of the this habit?

    • She is still very young Diana, you should be able to break her of this habit now. Keep the rugs out of her way for a month or so, then gradually reintroduce them when you know she has an empty bladder and won’t be left for long. Don’t put them down at night for another month or so, and you will probably find she is ok by the autumn. Make sure the rugs have absolutely no trace of wee on them, or she will use them again. Good luck, Pippa

      • Thank you for the reassurance – it is very comforting. We were so concerned that this might be irreversible. This plan will work fine – we don’t need rugs on the floor until the winter!

  58. I have a 3mos old mixed labrador girl named Piji. Unfortunately, I wasn’t knowledgeable before about how to potty train a pup, I stumbled upon this just now. She was with us when she was still 1 and a half old and was accustomed to doing her “stuff” on a certain area inside our house, near the door. I wasn’t able to potty train her, since I’m always at work and she’s always with my mom who’s a bit old to take her outside. Is there any chance that she can break these habits, it really gets annoying sometimes. And any advice for us who has work? Thanks a lot for this! :)

  59. Hello! We just rescued a beautiful 12 wk old chocolate lab. She is wonderful! And too smart for her own good! lol we take her out regularly to go potty but I’ve been finding that she is squatting and looking at me pretending to pee, then a bit later actually peeing in the house. I’ve bent down and looked and there is no pee coming out but she still looks for praise and to come inside. We are just not sure what to do with this at all! Any suggestions???

  60. Hi there, we have just got a 14 week old black lab and we tried putting her in a crate at night whilst also coming every 2-3 hours to let her out for the toilet. She both wee’d and pooed in the crate and was in a big mess so we immediately stopped putting her in the crate at night after one night of this as to do so seems to be very cruel and it broke my heart seeing her in the mess she was, so i just cannot put her in the crate again.

    We instead just keep her in the kitchen but she still wee’s and poo’s at night inside, even with going to her every couple of hours. She also cries for about half an hour when we leave her for the first time at night and then for about 10 mins after each visit to her during the night. We make sure she goes the toilet before bed as well but we still have accidents during the night. During the day she is very good, we take her out and she goes toilet and even takes herself outside to toilet sometimes.

    It’s just the night where we have this problem.

    We have had her for 1 week, with great improvement during the day, but not at night.

    Any help and advice would be a big help, many thanks, from a worried owner.

  61. my lab is three months now and when we give him water he does not drink it. he puts his hands inside, splash water out and rest on the spilled water. what should i do?

  62. Pippa,

    I have a 2 month old Black Labrador, which has become extremely well behaved over the last few days. Only problem is we had him at 8 weeks and didn’t want to run the risk of letting him outside and him catching Parvo, so paper trained him (which he picked up extremely fast) problem is now he wont wee or No. 2 outside, however persistent we are at taking him out, in the garden or walks he wont go and will relieve himself inside straight away on the floor, at this age should he still be contained to just one room e.g. the kitchen where his crate is? Also what would be the best way to “drum” into him that he can only wee outside!

    Read all your posts and they are great i must add!

    Look forward to your response.!


  63. Hi pippa, really enjoyed your article. I have an 8 week old lab, he wees everywhere. He doesn’t have a chosen spot and I cant put him in his crate because he screaches like mad and iam concerened with disturbing the neighbours at night. He hasnt haf his vacs yet so iam concerened about him spending to much time in the garden. Could you please help

    • Hi there what I would suggest is crating your dog during a day for short intervals during the day and gradually increasing the amount of time left never put your dog in crate as a punishment. Possibly you could also have a chew toy what the dog ONLY gets when in the crate that way it becomes good because they only get the toy when crated. Also taking the dog out the crate when showing negative behaviour accidentally trains the dog to think if I miss behaved I get taken out. If big enough you could try feeding the dog in crate then straight out for toilet that way the dogs happily going in the crate for feeding maybe 2,3,4 times a day.

  64. Please help! We have a 5-month old chocolate lab. She can hold her bladder and bowels all night and if she needs to go out she will get someone up to take her. However, she still piddles on the floor during the day. Is this normal for her age? Thank you.

  65. Hi All…I have a 7 Months Lab pup and I have managed to train him with the “Potty” word….it works for me whether he is peeing or doing the big job….and the word “Bath” makes him go retrieve his towel!!….lol!!!!

  66. I recently got a 10 week old pup and when ever I take him outside he doesnt do his business instead he does it inside his crate any tips?

  67. I have an almost 9 week old lab pup (Bucky), recently I lost a dog due to Parvo so the vet recommended me not to take Bucky outside due to parvo being in the area. Bucky was starting to get use to going wee outside but now that we are alert of our area having parvo I want to keep Bucky inside until he’s completed his boooster shots for parvo. How can I train him to wee in doggy pads indoor?

  68. I got my pup when he was only 5 weeks. I started feeding him small portions of meals 4 times a day! He would start howling for food if I was even 10 mins late! He also started making noise at midnight! I had to give him food to quiet him down! After repeating this for fews days ! I increased his diet to 3 times a day! So far he seems satisfied ! However now after eating he wants to play! If I leave him with the food! He will come back to my door and howl till I get up ! I just can’t ignore it ! As I can’t sleep and I am worried about my neighbours ! I really want to stop this! Suggest Please

  69. Hi, I have a female black lab who is 2 months old. I have to take her out every 15 minutes or she wee’s in the house. Even taking her out every 15 minutes she will still have an accident in the house. She can stay in her crate for a few hours without weeing. Any information would be helpful.

    thank you, moe

  70. I just got a lab puppy but she is eight months old. Read the info about house breaking and would the info apply to an 8 month old? She was raised in a kennel and this is the first tin=me she has been in a house. I have had her for 5 days and I feel we are out side more then in the house. Winter is cold in northern Pa. Thank you.Bob Blum

  71. Our Maggie is a 13 week old female lab. I have finally figured out why she is peeing in the house as well as outside…. It’s because after she finishes peeing I tell her she’s ‘such a good girl, such a good girl’… But I don’t reserve that phrase for just outside…. I mindlessly use it inside as well. So she things every time I say ‘ such a good girl’, it’s time to pee… Regardless of where were at! It’s a slow process…esp to train my own mouth!!
    I am trying to change the phrase to go potty

  72. hello,
    I have a 7 week Labrador retriever, when i first got her she would scratch the door or cry to let us know when she had to weewee, but my question is can i leave her in her cage for 8 hours, i have to work and i’m skeptical about leaving her free in the house, or outside without someone watching her.

  73. Hi I have a 6 week old female black lab we have had for a week. We got her early because her mom wouldn’t feed her and she was already weaning to (wet and mashed up) dog food. I was under the impression she was too young to crate train at night and she has been soiling in her crate at night time. She is fine during the day. My question is, is it too late to night time crate train her since shes been going potty in it at night for the last week. ( I clean out the crate every morning and take her out twice before bed (9pm) twice through the night and in the morning (7am). Her crate is a large crate so if I make it smaller with a crate divider will she whine and let me know when she has to go to the bathroom? How often should a 6 week old lab be taken out at night? I want to do the best for my pup. Thank you.

  74. I commented earlier about my 6 week old lab female and my comment is gone. I’m not sure if it needs to be accepted to be posted and that’s why I can’t see it or if it need to be reposted.

  75. Hello, we have an 8 week old chocolate lab that we brought home at 7 weeks. He had his first vet check and is very healthy. We are working on crate training him. His crate is large but I am using the divider that came with it to make it the appropriate size for him. He is doing great peeing outside, has only had one accident in the house, which was completely my fault, I was distracted at the moment. Our problem is that he has taken to pooping in his crate. Even if he has just gone outside, as soon as he goes into his crate for the night or during the day he poops. I know that it is almost immediate because I have been trying to catch him in the act so I’ve been going in a few minutes after I put him in the crate and I’m always too late. I change the bedding immediately and clean the crate, but I’m afraid he is building a bad habit that we will be fighting forever. Any suggestions you have for us would be appreciated. Thank you so much!

  76. Hey! I had bought an new Lab male puppy.. He is about 35 days.. He chew all things that he see.. And chews my leg and toe.. He chew all things.. And important that I feed him drools and Curd Nd Buttermilk and rice.. I give drools with Curd and Buttermilk.. He only eats Curd.. He didn’t drink water.. When I give him water he only smells not drink.. Now what to do.. Please help me.

  77. I have a 9 month old Lab. He is fully house trained, that is he does does all his poos and wees outside in our garden. He is very clever and easy to train, but I now have a problem. His pees are getting bigger and slowly and surely ruining the lawn. I would like him to wee in the soil, flower beds. I would appreciate any tips on getting to move to this new spot in the garden to do his business. He is very clever, so I’m sure with the right advice I would be able to get him to do this and retain the perfect lawn we used to have. Thank you!

  78. I have a slightly different problem. We adopted our lab (6 months old) from the humane society. She and her brother were there for quite sometime. Being in the pound, she has never been housebroken and allowed to poop wherever. Now we have had her for about a week with some progress but she seems to pee a lot. How often should we continue to take her out doors so she will do her stuff out there and not in the house. Some days are rough.

    • Housetraining an older dog can take a while, so you’ll need to be patient, but the best approach is to treat the dog just like a small puppy. So find a baseline that you know she can cope with, whether it is every half hour, or every two hours, and take her out that often, waiting with her to make sure she is ’empty’. Repeat throughout the day and only increase the gaps between bathroom breaks when she has been successful for a week or so on the previous gaps. I recently housetrained a dog that had been in kennels for seven years. She was pretty good after a couple of months, but it took around six months for the accidents to stop altogether. As your dog is younger, it hopefully won’t take so long. :)

  79. Hi Pippa,

    We just picked up our 8 week old lab two days ago. I have read your articles on here and bought your book. Our pup is doing ok with toilet training, she hasn’t messed in her crate and has gone outside most of the time. However, when we try taking her out at regular 30 min intervals she won’t go. As you suggested we closely supervise her indoors for 10 mins then try again, we have done this up to 3/4 times and she still won’t go then will often go in the house almost immediately. When we have her supervised in the garden for long periods of time she has tended to go 1-2.5 hours between wees. Should I be increasing the intervals to suit what she does or stick to the suggested 30mins?

    Also, we are closely supervising her in the kitchen (where her crate is) to avoid in house accidents. However, as we have been so close to her since she’s been home she does not cope with being left alone when for a few minutes. I wonder how we deal with this so she doesn’t have an accident but doesn’t get stressed.

    Thanks in advance

  80. Hi Pippa,

    I have read your site and bought your happy puppy handbook and have found them very helpful. We picked up our 8 week old puppy two days ago and so far she has been doing fairly well. She hasn’t messed in her crate at night and has settled well into it. We have been following your advice to take her out every 30 minutes and left her for up to 10 mins. However, she often does not go to the toilet. We have brought her in and closely supervised her for 10 mins then tried again, repeating the process up to 3/4 times with very limited success. She has sometimes weed straight after being brought in. When we were in the garden with her all day she seemed to go between 1-2.5 hours between wees. I wondered whether we should be extending the gaps between toilet trips so that she is motivated to go rather than having lots of failed attempts?

    Also, since we have been supervising her so closely in the kitchen or garden since we got her to avoid any accidents, she gets upset quickly when we leave her, even just to go to the loo. Do you have advice for the best balance between ensuring we prevent accidents but also having some space between us so she does not always expect us to be around?

    Thanks in advance,


  81. Hi Pippa,
    I have a beautiful chocolate lab (who I love very much!) and she is just coming up 17 weeks old. She is house trained during the day and has free access to the garden during the day. She has her last feed at 4-5pm and last drink 7-8pm and bed between 10-11pm but I leave her crate open and put paper down at the back door. She will still have a poo and pee overnight on her paper but would like to begin training to be clean overnight. Is she still a little young to expect her to be clean or would introducing a locked crate at night be the best option. She is happy to be in her crate with a closed door as this is the method I use if I am out of the house although this is usually an hour or so at most. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and your website is so informative it is my go to place for tips!
    Many thanks

    • Hi Becky,if the crate is small enough, shutting it last thing at night will probably help her wait that little bit longer. I would get up very early for the first few nights to get the habit of waiting going well. Good luck

  82. my dog is 2month old and she is doing poop at my drawing room whenever she want to do toilet or poop she used to go to my drawing room.
    and im to tensed what should I do for this
    please someone help me.