Dog Owners Facing House Training Challenges

White puppy

House training and chewing challenges can bring any abrupt end to that honeymoon period between pets and their new owners. See what advice the Dog Expert has for one visitor.

House Training and Chewing Challenges


We have a Toy Poodle, and he is always chewing up papers and other things lying around the house. We want to house train him to use a puppy pad, but he chews that up too. How do we house train him without letting him chew up everything and go to the bathroom everywhere?

~~ Monique

Expert Reply

Hi Monique,

Right now, you are facing two of the biggest training issues all dog owners face: chewing and potty training. I'm assuming that since you're facing both of these problems right now that your dog is still a puppy.

Honestly, these are completely separate issues, so you're going to need to address them as such. First, let's talk about the chewing. You're going to have to do a bit of dog proofing around your home. This means picking up any item you don't want your dog to have and safely storing it out of his reach. You can also spray your furniture legs and electrical wires with Bitter Apple spray to discourage random chewing. Make sure you do have some appropriate chew toys within reach for your dog.

Now for the potty training. Obviously, the puppy pad is too much of a chewing temptation, so I suggest you switch to outside training. You have to be very diligent about taking your dog outside every half our or so during waking hours over the first couple of days, and you may need to temporarily reduce his freedom to roam the house. Use a single word command such as "Potty", and reward your dog with praise when he goes outside as he should. If he doesn't comply with your command after a reasonable time, go back inside in silence. There is no reward or attention for not complying.

If you catch your dog circling in the house, tell him "NO", pick him up immediately and take him outside. Give him the command to "Potty", and hopefully he will comply. This is the routine you must follow consistently in order to house train your dog.

Thank you for your question, and I hope you're able to work out these challenging training issues successfully.

~~ Kelly

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Dog Owners Facing House Training Challenges