Dog CareHousetraining Dog

First day of housetraining dog

First Day Housetraining Dog

First day a housetraining dog!  You are bringing home your dog and that calls for a celebration as well as getting everything in place and ready for the new arrival. If possible you need to take the day off! Most importantly—have you got a name for your dog? Make sure that you have a name picked out before you pick up your puppy because training will start right away. Also ensure that you have a dog identification tag, with your dogs name and the contact information.

In this article, we will discuss first day housetraining dog, and in next articles will discuss others days. Read more about  2nd day, 3rd day, 4th day, 5th day, 6th day, and 7th day of housetraining dog.

Have you got the basic amenities ready to first day housetraining dog?

Make sure you run through this checklist:

  • Have you marked out the elimination spot?
  • If the elimination spot is inside the house do you have the baby gates in place?
  • Have you chosen the words to be used as the housetraining command?
  • Is the crate in the right place?
  • Have you made sure there is bedding in the crate to make it comfy for your dog?
  • Have you worked out the diet as in what to feed him, when and at what times?
  • Do you have a couple of doggie toys like rubber bones to chew on?
  • Have you stocked a suitable doggy treat?
  • Do you have the right kind of collar? Pick a collar that is a non-choking type—a harness works great as well (especially for tiny dogs). Do you have a leash?

Designing the Housetraining Dog Drill

Have you made your home safe for the dog?

Make sure that you have tucked away all the wires and covered up all the electric sockets and blocked off the spaces behind the refrigerator. You puppy can try and bite the wires and get stuck in undesirable spaces with
dangerous consequences. Inform your children of the danger of having small bits and pieces of their toys lying around. Tell them that dogs explore the world by chewing things and holding them in their mouth. If they happen to chew on a small piece of plastic, it could accidentally slip down the throat and choke the dog.

Have the trash cans out of reach for you never know what toxic things can end up in your dog’s mouth. Lock the
medicines away and please do not leave chocolate around. Even a very small bit of chocolate can raise the dog’s heartbeat and easily become fatal. Also make sure the garden is safe and that all the dangerous chemicals, fertilizers, paints etc. are locked away.

One More Detail

Let’s assume you are bringing home a puppy and that you are to pick him up at the breeders’ in the morning at around 9 am. This would mean that you would be picking up your dog after his morning meal at 7.30 am and would be at home in time for the mid meal at 11.30 am—so make sure that you have his meal ready before you leave the house.

The Steps for first day a housetraining dog

1- We are in home

When your dog arrives to your home, the first day housetraining dog begins. This is a crucial moment and very important from the point of view of the housetraining dog process as well as your pup’s first view of his new home. More than anything else, this homecoming moment set’s the pace for the next seven days of your dog’s orientation in your world. Here are the main things you need to do:

  1. The moment you reach home the very first thing you need to do is head for the elimination spot. Hold your dog in your arms rather than lead him or her to it. This is because puppies and small dogs have very little control over their bladders and the moment you set them down they are bound to pee!
  2. If you are paper training your dog, make sure that you have a thick layer of newspapers or pee-pads in place and fenced off with a baby gate. Choose the laundry room or part of the kitchen to which the dog can have quick access. Remember that the spot should be enough for the size of the dog—not so big that he can roam around and sometimes cross beyond. You could begin with a large area and then gradually as the dog is inured into the routine you can make the area smaller.
  3. This is also the time you introduce him to the words you have chosen to use as the potty command.
    Suppose you have chosen to use the word ‘Potty Time’, now hold on to your dog, and tell him that
    it’s potty time and take him to the elimination spot.
  4. Once you get to the elimination spot, put your dog down and tell him, ‘potty time’ and repeat the
    words as he does his job. Once he is done, praise him and say ‘good dog’. Give him enthusiastic
    praise so that he knows that he’s done a great thing.


Now bring him inside the home. By first taking your dog to the elimination spot, you have established the beginning of a pattern that is going to be repeated in the same way, everyday until it becomes second nature to your dog. Also, the fact that he has answered the call of nature would make him relaxed and less tense. Your dog is ready to be introduced to the den and the new pack.

2- Introduce your dog to family

The second step on the first day a housetraining dog is introducing your dog or puppy to the family. If your family is as excited as people usually are when a new pet is coming home, they would have lined up a reception committee! But warm as the welcome they want to give, it’s a good idea to be a little toned down in your reception.

Introduce your dog to family

This is because the dog’s nerves might be a little frayed from the separation from his mother and litter mates, the journey in the car and the unfamiliarity of his new surroundings. Loud noises and too many people might scare him and a scared puppy means more involuntary leaks! Keep your family calm and tell them not to crowd the dog. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Hold your dog and allow your family members to pet him. If the children are old enough, teach them how to hold him by supporting the whole length of the dog’s body rather than yank his arms.
  • Talk to your dog and use his name and the family member’s name to introduce him. Talk to your dog as if you would to a human child. Say your dog’s name is Fifi then this is how you would do the introductions—“Fifi, meet Julia”.

3- Give your dog a meal and a drink

The third step on the first day a housetraining dog is providing your dog or puppy with a meal and a drink. Continue with the family members to the area near the crate or if you aren’t using a crate, the fenced off section in the house or apartment, which is to be the dog’s own space.

If you have a puppy at least eight weeks old but less than two months, then he or she would be having five meals, spaced out every four hours. Assuming that you picked up your puppy at 9 am, he would have already had his breakfast at 7.30 am, so the meal you need to serve to him would be the 11.30 am midmorning meal. This would be a delectable bowl with a main meal of at least 1 and a half-ounce of meat (if you are cooking the food) or the equivalent of the vet approved kibble you have bought.

Have a family member put the food into the bowl and have it ready. Now set the dog down and tell him to sit. Don’t force him, just say it once and gently push his rear down. Set the bowl in front of the dog and let him eat.

Let your children, wash the bowl and pour in fresh water for the dog. By involving the family the dog will understand that they too are caregivers and above him in the pack hierarchy. This is very important.

Introduce your dog to family

4- After the meal

The fourth step on the first day a housetraining dog is taking your dog out to the potty spot. Again, carry him or her there if it is long way off because you can expect a call of nature from your dog within 7 to 10 minutes of a meal or a drink of water. Even if the elimination spot is nearby, it’s better you carry him there rather than have him walk and have an accidental leak on the way.

Once again repeat the potty word, ‘Potty Time’ and get him to do his job in the designated spot. If he does his job right away, which most likely he will, then praise him and pet him enthusiastically.

If he is taking time to do his job, let him sniff around, because that’s the way they get acquainted with the place. Most likely he is sniffing for a sign that he’s been there before and the fact that you’ve made him eliminate here just a while ago, will help him catch the scent of his own urine and make him eliminate again.

Puppies have a very little control over their bladder and the moment they eat and drink, the meal and drink that was inside their system before, is ready to come out! So taking your pup or dog to the elimination spot after 10 minutes of a drink of water or a meal is an absolutely must.

Usually, a dog that is eight weeks old has five meals in a day, which means you need to take him out 10 minutes and again 25 minutes after every meal, apart from taking him to the potty spot every hour. The key then to fast
housebreaking is to have a very regulated food schedule that is matched with very regulated trips to the elimination spot!

5- Introduce your dog to the crate

The Fifth step on the first day a housetraining dog is introducing your dog to the crate. Now that your dog is fed and has done his job—you need to introduce him to the crate—but you have about 25 minutes to do that because 30 minutes after a meal, your dog is likely to have a bowel movement! So get started by:

Hold your dog close and move toward the crate. Sit down near the crate with your dog in your lap and put a toy inside the crate. Pilot your dog towards the crate and see if he goes towards the toy.

Alternatively, you can put in a doggie treat (but not right after a meal—as that would be overfeeding) and let your dog go inside to retrieve the treat.

Designing the Housetraining Dog Drill

Make sure that the crate looks welcoming with a soft blanket and a towel. Also make sure that there is just enough room for the dog to sleep in and that the extra space is blocked off with a box or something. If the crate is too big, he might end up eliminating in the extra space.

Do not force the dog to enter, but do try and encourage him. Have the family sit around and show him how wonderfully cozy his den and add a few toys that are safe enough for your dog to play with. If he goes in—that’s great. If he doesn’t, do not push him in.

6- Back to the potty spot

The sixth step on the first day a housetraining dog is backing to the potty spot. Once the 25 minutes of time is up, you need to pick your dog up again and head for the elimination spot. Once it’s 25 – 30 minutes past his meal, your puppy will be ready for a poop job. Usually, depending on what they eat, dogs evacuate their bowels after half an hour of their meal.

Carry your dog to the elimination spot and again repeat the command. Your dog should hear the same words, used in the same context and at the same place. This would help him connect the words and the place to the elimination act.

Introduce your dog to family


Wait for your dog to sniff and evacuate. Do not let him wander from the elimination area. As long as he is sniffing around the area it is Ok—but he is not allowed to eliminate anywhere else but the potty spot. If you are paper training him and he attempts to go on the floor, pick him up and say ‘on the paper’ and put him back on the padded area.

Once your dog does his job, praise him and you can rest assured that the next trip would be another 30 minutes later. If he does not evacuate his bowels, repeat the command words and wait for 15 minutes. If he still doesn’t go, take him back inside but bring him back after 15 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on your dog. If he is sniffing around, it is a sign that he needs to go potty.

7- Back to the crate

The seventh step on the first day a housetraining dog is backing to the crate. Once your dog has evacuated his bowels, it’s time to get him back to the crate for a reintroduction and hopefully a nap. Put the toys and things he seems to be most comfortable with and guide the dog gently into the crate again. Sit for a while and you can close the crate door once he seems to be busy or when he falls asleep. Stay in the vicinity or even better sit and be the angel that guards over him—that actually is your role!

Make sure that the crate is in a place that is frequented by the family so that the dog doesn’t get the impression that he is alone. Cover your dog with his blanket and let him sleep for while. Whenever you bring him near the crate, use a word that he can associate with like; ‘back to the den’ or ‘kennel’ or ‘go to bed’. Make it seem special and he will see it as his own space.

8- After nap time

Have the crate in your line of vision as the dog sleeps. Since you will be nearby the crate, you will see your dog stir. Don’t hesitate a moment to scoop him up and go back to the elimination spot if he seems restless. Tell him that it’s potty time and set him down on the spot.

He will probably go right away because dogs usually need to go after a nap. No matter what their age, all dogs need to relieve themselves after a nap. Make sure that once again,you do not let the dog wander off from the marked out elimination spot be it an out door one or a newspaper padded area. The first day, you must make sure that you are the one in charge of taking him out.

9- Playtime Step

The 9th step on the first day a housetraining dog is playtime. Once he has slept and done his job, you will find that your pet is much more relaxed. Bring him back to the area near the crate. Not only that, once he’s had a good rest inside the crate, he would be looking at it as his den.

Your dog will be a little more receptive and a little less wary of it. This is the best time to play. It’s also a good idea to play near the crate. Roll a ball or try a game of fetch. Always make sure that the ball is back in your possession. He shouldn’t claim ownership of the ball because you are the alpha and you have the right to all his things.

How to socialize an adult dog

Maintain the leadership stance at all times. Make sure that your authority is not undermined. This is because the once the puppy takes you over with his dominance and growling and posturing, the entire process of housetraining dog is undermined.

Be it while serving him his meals or at playtimes, make sure that you are in control. In fact, it would make a dog feel reassured if you are the leader, because then he could depend on you for some structure in the new environment. You could make the play session a time to practice sit or come. You could roll the ball to him but get it back to you and use it as bait to tell him to come to you. If he sees you as his alpha, he will definitely come to you.

10- Back to the elimination spot

The 10th step on the first day a housetraining dog is backing to the elimination spot. Yes you need to get your dog back to the elimination spot, in-between the play session. That’s because excitement causes his bladder to fill up and if left unchecked, he would just do it right where he is playing.

So ten minutes into the play session, take your pup to the potty spot and bring him back. Play for some more time and let him enjoy your company. Let him get to know all the family members and shed his initial fears.

11- Introduce him to other pets

The 11th step on the first day a housetraining dog is introducing your dog to other pets. If you have other dogs and pets like a cat or a bird, this is a good time to introduce your dog because he is fed, cleaned and rested.

Make sure you reassure your older dog that you still love him and hold the new dog in your arms as you let the other pet sniff him all over. Some dogs get along fantastically with other dogs, while some prefer their own breed only. As for cats—it all depends on how old your dog is and how you orient it.

A puppy would be much less wary of a cat and more inclined to accepting the cat as a friend rather than an older dog. However, do not feed your pets together on the first day.

The older dog might nudge the new fella out and that could become a pattern they follow at every meal. Let your new dog eat separately and make sure you are there with him at all times. Do not leave your new pet with the other one thinking that some time alone would help them bond.

12- Time for a snack.

The 12th step on the first day a housetraining dog is time for a snack. After he plays, it’s time for a bite to eat. Usually, puppies are given biscuits to chew on. This is a good opportunity to hand feed the dog. You and your family members can do this. Take him near the crate—always ensure that you feed him in the same place, rather than anywhere in the house.

Break the biscuits into small bits and feed the dog. Be careful not to over feed just because it’s fun to do so! Pour some fresh water and let your dog have a nice cool drink to wash down the biscuits.

13- Head to the potty spot

The 13th step on the first day a housetraining dog is heading to the potty spot. It’s up to you—you can wait for a few minutes or take your dog back to the elimination spot. Little dogs really can’t help it—when something goes into their systems, something has to come out!

Even if your dog doesn’t eat much, he would need to go every hour. So time it and carry your pup back to the potty spot. Say ‘potty time’ once you reach the place—he must link the words with the spot.

14- When you eat

You have to sit and eat too! What you can do while you eat is put him in the crate after a trip to the elimination spot and then bring the crate near the dining table where you can see him and he can see you. Your puppy is too young to be alone and rather than make him whine on the first day, make him feel secure. But every time you put him in the crate make sure that he has been to the potty spot.

Once your meal is over, take him out of the crate and go back to the potty spot. This is because being in the crate for too long without your presence, could have tensed him up a bit and a trip to the bathroom is in order. Puppies eliminate on instinct and it’s a way to express their fears, happiness and an outlet for all kinds of other emotions, until they gain control over their bladder.

15- Tire the dog out

The 14th step on the first day a housetraining dog is tiring the dog out.Well not literally with a whole lot of work but get him to follow you around. You have to ensure that he’s walked around enough and played around so that he is tried enough to sleep the whole night.

This is first night away from the familiar kennel and in a brand new house. It could be traumatic and he might cry and miss everyone when he sleeps. So tire him out. Play with him and let him go in and out of his crate or chew at his rubber bone. Be careful to ensure that he does not end up chewing the wrong things. A simple and firm ‘No’ is enough the discourage him.

Do not let him sit on sofas on his own. You are the alpha, so you must sit first and put him on your lap. It would be better if you are in and around the area where his crate is and where he is fed.

Hug and cuddle your dog and let the family members do so as well. Discourage growling. Your dog might growl at people other than you. If this happens you must say ‘no’ and put a hand over his muzzle and hold it down. Your dog has to respect all the family members and that’s something he has to learn from day one.

15- The evening meal

The 15th step on the first day a housetraining dog is giving him the evening meal.Supper for your dog should be served at 5.30 pm—this would give him enough time to evacuate his bowels, before he sleeps.

Introduce your dog to family

The meal would consist of the same thing and amount you gave him for his mid-morning one—i.e. chopped meat as the main constituent or the kibble equivalent. Repeat the pattern as in carry your dog to his space, set your pup down with a command to sit and push him into sitting position and then set down the bowl of food. Let your dog eat as much as he can in 20 minutes and then give him some water.

16- Trip to the potty spot

The 16th step on the first day a housetraining dog is tripping to the potty spot. It’s back to the elimination area after 7 to 10 minutes after this meal. And again after 30 minutes so that the dog can clear out his bowels before he turns in for the night.

Make sure that you take him out the very same way and use the very same commands. If you have been doing that, by now the dog must have registered that these words mean a trip to the potty place. After he has eliminated, walk him around the house if you live in an apartment or around the garden.

Basically the aim of exercise before bedtime is so that he tries himself out and sleeps through the night. In fact the more exercise you give your dog in the evenings the more soundly he will sleep all-night and considering all the hard work you have done—you need to sleep too!

So make his tiny legs run around chasing the ball until you see the signs that he is wearing out. You have to channel the pup’s energy otherwise you will have a hyper dog with whom you would sooner or later lose patience with.

17- Stop the water at 6 pm

The 17th step on the first day a housetraining dog is that, now you have to take care not to give your dog any water after 6pm.

If you give him water after this time, he would again have a full bladder and have accidents indoors. Stop the water in the evening and make sure that you take him out before he sleeps.

18- Giving him a meal at 9:30 p.m

The 17th step on the first day a housetraining dog is giving him a meal at 9:30 p.m. Some puppies have a little snack of puppy meal soaked in gravy at around 9.30 pm. Consider it a nightcap! You can let your dog sit near the crate as you give him his meal and sit with him as he eats.

Once again as before, after 10 minutes he would need to go to the elimination spot. Once he finishes off, play with him a little and praise him for being such a good pup. Take him out again 30 minutes later and bring him back to the crate.

19- Good Night!

Once in the crate, your puppy will fall asleep pretty quickly if he has been adequately tired out. He would also be comfortable as his tummy feels good and his bladder and bowels are clear. The only problem that might arise is he might become lonely. As you lead him to the crate, keep talking to him and perhaps you can wait until he falls asleep.

Then move the crate into your bedroom within your reach. This would reassure the dog that you are there and that he is not alone. Some puppies may need to go out once during the night—so you can set your alarm half way in the night and take him out to the potty spot. Now, let him sleep and you get some sleep too.

Think it over and do a recap!

Before you sleep do a review of the day. You would have to repeat the whole process again tomorrow. So what did you observe in your dog today?

  • Did you notice certain signs before the dog invariably did the potty?
  • Did you find that he particularly liked a game or a toy that can be used as a reward later?
  • Did you find him straining as in signs of constipation?
  • Did he seem to respond to the housetraining words and the drill itself?
  • Did he like his crate? The crate is a vital key to his training.
  • Did he like being with you?

Notice all the points and think of how you are going to repeat the pattern tomorrow but make it a little more predictable for you and your dog.

Housetraining Tips On Day One

  • Be the one in charge to carry the dog to the elimination spot on the first day. You can have other family members come with you but it is better that the main caregiver is the one in charge of the training for now.
  • Do not leave food and water lying around, just because you think that your dog hasn’t eaten enough. 20 minutes is the right amount of time to allow a dog to eat, not matter what the breed or size. More than that would be overfeeding.
  • If there are accidents (there are bound to be accidents) do not be upset with the dog unless you have caught him in the act. If you catch him violating the rules, say a firm ‘no’ enough to startle him and carry him off to the elimination spot.
  • If you have accidents, clean the place thoroughly with a good odor eliminator that neutralizes the smell of urine. If the smell lingers, you dog will sniff it out and do it again in the same spot—that’s what his instinct will lead him to.
  • Take your dog to the potty spot every hour, unfailingly. Also make sure that you take your dog out 10 minutes and 30 minutes after every meal
  • Take your dog out to the elimination spot after every nap as well as in-between the play sessions.
  • Watch out for the obvious body language like sniffing, wandering, suddenly stopping and beginning to squat etc. They will be your cues for tomorrow.

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16 steps should be taken on the first day of the housetraining dog.
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16 steps should be taken on the first day of the housetraining dog.
The first day a housetraining dog! You are bringing home your dog and that calls for a celebration as well as getting everything in place and ready for the new arrival. 16 steps should be taken on the first day a housetraining dog.
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