We recently brought a malamute puppy into our home. He is almost 12 weeks old and very well behaved generally. Also he is a fantastic fun to have. However we're having trouble house breaking him.

I've mostly worked out his 'tells' now, so I know when he needs to go most of the time, however, if I put him outside he will simply wait outside until I let him in and then pretty much immediately go in the house - this morning I left him outside for an hour and a half and he still held it!

I've just got back from a trip in the car with him, walked him around from our parking space (plenty of opportunity outside) and he went almost immediately when we got inside - it was a pretty big wee too, so he'd been holding it a while.

Tried puppy pads - he uses them about as much as he doesn't, tried standing watching him outside, he waits, tried ignoring him, he waits. I've rewarded him the few times he has gone outside but it's not often enough for him to get the message.

What can I do?

1 Answer 1


Start telling him to go. From https://dogs.kinja.com/5-steps-to-teaching-your-dog-to-pee-and-poop-on-command-511788518

  1. Pick the word you’re going to use that will mean “go pee” to your dog. You could use the classic “go potty”, the police dog cue “empty”, or “abracadabra!” It doesn’t matter what you say, as long as you say it consistently.

something your dog won't normally hear any other time

  1. Figure out out when your dog most predictably goes to the bathroom. The three big pee motivators are: waking up, playing, and drinking. What goes in must come out and by setting a schedule for your dog you can predict when he/she will need to go outside. Knowing that your dog needs to go to the bathroom is key in capturing the behavior.

  2. When your dog needs to eliminate, leash him/her up and relocate to your designated potty spot. This could be a corner of your back yard, the tree in front of your building, or the curb. If you have any fear that your dog might go before you get to the curb or wherever, pick him up and carry him there (if you can — if you have a Great Pyrenees, this will not be possible!).

  3. Wait for your dog to go. Give him no attention as you pace quietly back and forth by the pee spot. When he squats or lifts his leg wait, for him to finish. As he’s finishing happily say your cue word “GO POTTY!” When he is done, give a marker (a verbal “Yes!” or the click of a clicker), then lavish him with praise and something really yummy.

  4. After a week or two give the cue “go potty!” just before the pee happens but still wait to “Yes” or click until after he’s completely finished. (Otherwise, your marker might distract him from finishing his business midway.) One big tip: While you’re teaching this behavior, don’t accidentally punish the “go potty” by returning inside immediately after your dog eliminates. Give lots of praise, toss the ball once or twice, or walk your dog down to the corner and back to let him sniff his favorite spots for 30 to 60 seconds. Once your dog has mastered the behavior, start to vary your rewards.

If you want to put bowel movements on cue as well, pick a different cue to use. You should have two separate cues for “go pee” and “go poo” as they are two different actions. Once your dog has the first elimination on command start working on the second elimination with a new cue. Peeing and pooping has never been so fun.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer. I've been keeping a much closer eye on him in the last couple of days and getting him out quicker. Using the lead helps too. Also naming it when he does it inside, without praise then lots of praise when he goes outside. About 60% outdoors so far which is a marked improvement and he's paying attention when I say "empty". Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 20:23

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