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When housebreaking a pet, cats tend to be easier than dogs. The simple act of confining a cat to a small room, such as a bathroom, for several days with their new litter box will usually do the trick. Since cats learn quickly this training period will normally guarantee few or no accidents. On the other hand, a puppy will need to be taken outside after each meal and every two hours between meals. Each time your puppy uses the bathroom outside you should praise it. Especially if it uses an area you have designated for it to use. For any young dog, positive reinforcement is highly important.

During the time you are away from home you should place your puppy in a crate or box that is strong enough to hold it. Small dogs love confined places like under an arm chair or sofa because it gives them the security of a nest. A small dog, in most cases, will never use the bathroom in its nest. Make sure the crate or box is just large enough for the puppy to stand and turn around. This will teach the animal to hold its bladder and bowels until released into a designated area. Your local pet store will carry crates just for this purpose. Some are cage like while others are collapsible. The collapsible type are usually made of stainless steel wire or a durable plastic. As an alternative for housebreaking you can also paper train your pet. Be sure you confine the puppy to a small area such as a bathroom or back hall. Cover the floor in the area that you are designating for the puppy to use the bathroom. Since puppies tend to forget easily you should place the puppy on the paper early each morning, after each meal and at night before you go to bed. Each time the puppy uses the newspaper without being prompted to do so give it lots of praise and reward it with a treat. Watch your puppy closely to see if it starts to circle and sniff. When it does it is ready to evacuate and should be placed on the paper immediately if it doesn't go to that area by itself.

Older dogs should always be trained to use the bathroom outside. If you have an older dog that is not housebroken you should follow the same routine of paper training as you would with a puppy. If the dog has been paper trained indoors you should place some newspaper where and when you want the dog to use the bathroom. In this case, since the dog was paper trained indoors it will be familiar with what is expected of it and will usually oblige. Eventually you will be able to stop using the newspaper for anything more than for disposal purposes. If the dog has not been paper trained you should devise a designated area outside and take it to that place each time it needs to evacuate. In the beginning you may have to place a leash on your dog and stand in the area until the dog has done his business. Over a period of time the dog will begin to understand what is expected of it and will oblige with or without the leash. Be sure if you have purchased an older dog that is not housebroken that you use patience with it when training it where to go. Be persistent about showing you are displeased if it uses the bathroom in the house, but never hit the animal. Instead, each time an accident occurs take it outside to the designated area so it can begin to understand what is expected of it.