You have the cutest little puppy in your arms, no place for a crate and now you are wondering how to housebreak your puppy without a crate. Dread now fills your head. “Am I ever going to be able to put him down?” you ask yourself. The good news is yes, you can set him down. Keep reading on how you can housebreak your puppy without using a crate (because it is possible!).
Related: Simple Dog Training Potty Tools
How to housebreak your puppy without a crate
You probably never thought you would need baby gates unless you had a baby. Think of your puppy as a baby. Depending on the setup of your house and where you want your puppy to be contained to while you are gone, you could go for the corral style or a couple of gates to block off an area. Do not, I repeat, do not place him on carpet. Cleaning carpet is a lot harder than cleaning non-carpeted floors. Check out our guide to picking out the right gate for your dog.
‘Read all about it!’
Did you get my throwback reference to newspapers? You know, those big things you used to read that told you what was happening in the world? You are going to need lots of them! In that small space you created, line it entirely with newspaper. I know you love your pup and think he is so smart, but if you don’t line it entirely, he will find that one spot that does not have newspaper and he will think that is his bathroom.
Eyes on at all times
If you have the luxury (like me) to work from home, or be home at all times for whatever reason, you can housebreak your puppy without a crate, but be sure you do one thing: keep eyes on him at all times. I mean all times. Puppies are smart, they can sneak off quick, do their biz and return for a fun game of tug like nothing ever happened. Do not let him out of your site. You want to be looking for any sign that he needs to go out, outside of the times that you bring him. Is he circling the floor, nose to the ground? Does he keep walking towards the door? Is he bugging you and you don’t know why? Take him out.
Understand accidents will happen
When you are not using a crate to confine your pup to for even a short while, accidents are going to happen (even if you are using a crate they will happen). It is important to not scare your pup, but just speak firmly. Never ever physically reprimand your puppy for going in the house. Another popular tactic is to ‘rub his nose in it’ (hopefully not literally), but this also does not work. He knows what he has done is bad, you can tell by his behavior when you talk to him. Please do not rub his nose in it.
Housebreaking a puppy without a crate is not impossible, just takes a little more attention and effort on your part. He will get it, the time will pass and you will soon forget all the troubles of housebreaking a puppy without a crate.