How to Paper-Train Your Dog

Dogs have to learn bowel etiquette much quicker than humans, and these helpful steps will make sure your paper-trained pooch becomes man's best friend, not your carpet's worst nightmare.

You will need

  • Patience
  • An untrained dog
  • A large supply of newspapers
  • Puppy gates
  • An area of your home to enclose
  • preferably one with a tile or vinyl floor
  • Your dog's bed
  • toys
  • and food and water bowls
  • Dog treats
  • More patience

Step 1 Be patient Muster your patience—heaps of it, if you’re training a puppy. Puppies will have a hard time fully controlling their bowels and bladders for at least 6 months.

Step 2 Install puppy gate Confine your puppy or dog to a small area—preferably one with an impervious floor such as tile or vinyl—by installing a puppy gate. Choose a part of your house where you spend lots of time, so your pooch won’t feel lonely.

Step 3 Line floor w/ newspaper Line the floor with plenty of newspaper.

Step 4 Set up training area Put the puppy’s bed, toys, and food and water bowls in the training area as well.

Step 5 Give her a treat Whenever your dog eliminates on the newspaper, give her a treat. The puppy will eventually equate doing her business on the paper with being rewarded.

Step 6 Replaced newspaper Replace the soiled bits with clean paper. Your puppy might want to play with the nasty paper, so check from time to time that the entire floor is still covered.

Step 7 Remove newspapers Dogs generally dislike going to the bathroom near where they eat and sleep, so they’ll eventually begin to do their business in one specific area. Once your dog has been doing this for a few days, gradually remove all newspapers except in this area.

Step 8 Let dog out of training area After the dog is reliably using only one small patch of newspapers, you can begin letting her out of the training area into other parts of the house.

Step 9 Watch for signs Watch for signs that your dog needs to use the paper—squatting, circling, or sniffing the floor. You can then rush her to the papered spot. Remember that puppies need to eliminate frequently—about every 45 minutes.

Step 10 Move on to housebreaking Unless you live in the top floor of a high-rise and have a tiny dog, paper-training is just the first step. Now you and your pet are ready to move on to housebreaking!