Clinic Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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Phone Numbers:
651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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House Training Guidelines

To successfully house train a healthy, happy puppy, your efforts must be consistent and constant. If your puppy is eight weeks or older, a careful regimented training program can produce results in as little as one week’s time. Follow these guidelines, and remember the key factors in house training are consistency, patience and positive reinforcement.

• Paper training or puppy pads do not train the puppy to go outdoors. It reinforces the behavior of urinating and defecating in your house. You should accompany the puppy outside from the very beginning.

• Try to be as consistent as possible. Starting the first week, take them outside (every 30 minutes from 6am to 11pm). At 10 weeks of age, increase the length of time to 45 minutes between potty breaks. At 4 months, increase the time up to 1 - 2 hours.

• Always use the same door and take the puppy to the same location that you would like them to use. We recommend hanging a bell from the door handle. Each time you go out, ring the bells as you ask your puppy, “Do you want to go potty outside?” Consistently use the same command, “Go potty”. This procedure teaches them to go to this door and ring the bells to go outside. When they do “go potty”, immediately respond with praise and a treat. If they do not go, take them back into the house and do not treat them.

• To control the predictability of potty breaks out side, we recommend feeding a puppy four times per day (six, ten, two, and six) until four months, three times per day until eight months and twice daily for adults. It is important to feed quality food such as Innova or Natural Balance. Due to the lack of filler, puppies utilize more of what they eat, pass less stool, and ultimately the clean up is less work for owners. All food and water should be put away after six pm.

• Puppies are more likely to urinate and defecate after they sleep, play, eat or drink. It is important to take them out as soon as they wake up (first thing in the morning and after naps), also 15 to 20 minutes before and after each meal. It is up to the owner to watch their puppy for signs (whining, sniffing the floor, or circling) and escort them outside. Puppies have 30 seconds to tell you they must go now, or they may have an accident.

• The more accidents they have in the house, the more the behavior is reinforced, and the more difficult it is to train them to go outside.

• The more they eliminate outside and receive positive reinforcement (verbal praise and treats), the more likely they are to continue going outside.

• We recommend limiting each outside trip (to a few minutes) during the house training process. After 2 to 3 weeks of successful training, they can spend more fun time to play outside. They should associate being outside with the house training process.

• When you are in the house, confine your puppy to the room you are in so you can watch them and take them outside every half hour until bedtime. If you miss their subtle cues and catch them in the act, distract them by clapping your hands and command “no” in a firm voice, pick them up and take them outside. If they finish outside, verbally praise and treat them.

• If the puppy has an accident in the house and you did not notice it until later, you lost the opportunity to correct the behavior. Do not physically punish them or rub their nose in it. They can not associate the punishment with a past behavior and they may be fearful to come to you in the future.

• If you are away from home or are unable to watch your puppy, it is necessary to crate them. If possible, puppies up to 6 months of age should be let out of the crate and taken out side every four hours. Never use the crate for punishment. It is important to be in a positive mood when you place them into the crate. Immediately treat them when they enter the crate and provide them with toys to chew on as well as educational toys to entertain them.

• During the evening, crate your puppy. If an appropriate size crate is used, most puppies and dogs prefer not to soil their sleeping area. Eight hours is the maximum length of time that they should be left unattended.

• Do not scold a puppy that has a loose stool or diarrhea. Be patient and continue the house training process. If you are concerned- call CVS.

We firmly believe and highly recommend positive reinforcement for the appropriate behaviors. If you are experiencing house training issues –please contact CVS.  


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