When you’re trying to housebreak your puppy, it might sometimes seem like he will never learn the rules. But remember that your dog wants to please you. With time, patience and good training, he will learn to hold it in until the time is right!

Puppies like to relieve themselves after eating, playing or napping, so take them outside immediately after these activities (around every two hours). When they relieve themselves outdoors, you can say “Potty time!” and they will learn to take that as a cue to do their business.

If you see your puppy acting a bit kooky—whining, turning in circles or pacing—he probably needs to get outdoors ASAP. Grab the leash and get him outside.

Sometimes mistakes do happen. If you see your puppy relieving himself inside, gently and firmly say, “No.” Then take him outdoors and praise him when he does what he has to do. It’s no good saying no if you find a mess after the fact—your pooch won’t know what he did wrong.

In the case of housebreaking a puppy, patience makes perfect. Before you know it, your puppy will be the star of your personal reality show called Housebreak!