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Potty Training Your Puppy: 12 Excellent Tips

When you first introduce a puppy into your home, one of the biggest challenges you will have to overcome is potty training.

Living with a puppy that has not been potty trained can be incredibly chaotic. Accidents are inevitable!

Potty Training Your Puppy: 12 Excellent Tips

As a result, it’s recommended that you take a hands-on approach to potty training your adorable pup.

Often, it can take much longer to toilet-train an adult dog, so it is important to start the training routine from infancy. 

Luckily, this guide will give you top tips for potty training your puppy, so that your experience can be as smooth and mess-free as possible!

1. Get The Right Tools

One of the most important decisions you will have to make when potty training your puppy is to choose the correct tools. The two most popular tools are puppy pads and crates.

Puppy Crates

Many new pet owners are reluctant to use puppy crates. Yet, it can be an incredible idea to ensure that your puppy feels comfortable inside its cage, as this will make things much easier when you need to transport your puppy. 

Puppy crates are a vital part of the potty training process. This is because puppies will not want to go to the bathroom in their crate, as this is the place where they sleep. 

If you get your puppy comfortable with its crate at a young age, it will view the crate as a safe space. To encourage your puppy to use its crate, make it an inviting space by adding comfortable blankets.

Make sure that you invest in a puppy crate that is big enough for your dog. 

Puppy Pads

Puppy pads are an essential item used in potty training. These absorbent pads are designed to protect your floors, as they will absorb your puppy’s urine.

Puppy pads are primarily used for the transitional part of training. Though teaching your putty to go to the toilet outdoors, puppy pads will allow you to create a safe way for your pet to urinate indoors.

As a result, this can seriously reduce the number of toilet accidents that your puppy has. 

It’s advised that you find the perfect location for these puppy pads. You can then lay pads on the ground and corner the area with borders.

As you start potty training your puppy to go to the toilet outdoors, you will become less reliant on these pads. This is because these pads essentially encourage the puppy to relieve itself indoors.

Grass patches can be used as a decent alternative to puppy pads. These patches mirror the look and texture of grass, which will allow your puppy to become accustomed to relieving itself outdoors. 

2. Identify When Your Pup Needs The Toilet

There are certain ways that you can identify when your dog needs to go to the toilet. Namely, your puppy will likely be fidgeting, which it can demonstrate by sniffing at everything.

Alternatively, your puppy will likely begin to circle. Your puppy will be restless and may even start scratching at the door.

Learning to identify these symptoms can help pet owners to get their puppy where it needs to be when it needs the toilet. For instance, you can quickly get your puppy outside when it starts to demonstrate these behaviors.

3. Create A Consistent Routine

Next, it’s advised that you create a consistent potty training routine for your energetic pup. Creating a schedule for looking after your putty is recommended.

This schedule should contain everything from your daily activities, eating times, and potty breaks. 

Give your puppy the allotted time to go to the toilet. In doing so, your puppy will begin to use these times to go to the toilet, making it much simpler to anticipate when your puppy will relieve itself. 

It’s important to consider the logistics of these scheduled potty breaks. Most puppies will be unable to go for much longer than six hours without going to the toilet.

The most common times that a puppy will need to go to the toilet include:

  • After drinking water
  • First thing in the morning
  • After breakfast or any other meal
  • Before bedtime
  • After exercising

The number of times that a puppy will need to relieve itself will primarily depend on its age as well as other factors, including its diet.

Generally, most puppies will need to defecate around four times per day. Meanwhile, they will often need to urinate approximately every two hours. 

If you try to establish that there is a designated time and place to go to the toilet, your puppy is more likely to follow this routine. 

4. Utilize Verbal Commands

Dogs have demonstrated an ability to understand a handful of verbal commands. When a pet owner utters these commands, a well-trained dog will act. 

Most puppies will start to learn commands once they reach between ten and twelve weeks old. However, they can pick up commands as young as eight weeks of age. 

As one can imagine, verbal commands can be a valuable asset in potty training. When you want to encourage your puppy to relieve itself, you can shout the phrase “go potty” or simply “toilet”. 

It can take a few weeks for your puppy to learn this command. You should only say it once during each instance. Your puppy will soon associate the phrase with going to the toilet, which can help massively with potty training. 

Be sure to keep these phrases short and concise to maximize the chances of success. Most puppies will be unable to understand long phrases. 

5. Do Not Punish You Dog

The potty training process can be long and arduous. The chances are that your puppy may have a few toilet problems. For instance, your puppy may relieve itself in the wrong place.

When this happens, you should try to merely clean up the mess and move on.

Punishing your puppy is not recommended. Not only is this cruel to your dog, but it is unlikely to stop these incidents from occurring.

This is because shouting at your dog or punishing it in another way will merely make it confused. The puppy is unlikely to associate this punishment with the toilet accident. 

Instead, you should focus on positive reinforcement when your puppy successfully relieves itself in the right place.

Potty Training Your Puppy: 12 Excellent Tips

6. Never Rush Your Puppy

Potty training is a process. This means that it will not happen overnight. Instead, it can take a few weeks or even for your puppy to start making noticeable strides in its training. 

Many brand-new pet owners will have high expectations. As a result, they will attempt to rush their puppy. As a result, pet lovers need to learn to lower their expectations. Otherwise, they can become easily frustrated by their pet. 

Puppies will not be able to tell you when they need to go to the toilet. Unless you have trained your puppy, it will not know where to go.

As a result, it is up to pet owners to ensure that puppies have the correct training methods before setting expectations.

7. Make Sure They Are Going To The Right Place

Preferably, dogs should go to the toilet outdoors. Not only will this be more hygienic, but it will be far from pleasant when your pet goes to the toilet inside your lovely home. 

However, it can be useful to set aside a location inside your house just in case your dog needs to relieve itself indoors. This way, you can stop your dog from going to the toilet in other parts of your home, such as your carpets.

To create a safe zone for your dog in which it can go to the toilet indoors, you may want to invest in a litter box. Plus, you should cover the surrounding floor with newspaper or something else to protect it.

Try to find a location in your home that you don’t mind getting a little messy. Ideally, it should have flooring that is easy to clean. 

8. Reward Your Puppy

When your puppy makes progress in potty training, it can be a wonderful idea to reward it. For instance, you can give your puppy its favorite treat after it has successfully gone to the toilet in the correct location. 

The act of giving treats to a puppy is known as positive reinforcement. Essentially, this training technique works on the premise that a reward should be given for a demonstration of positive behavior.

Puppies will then repeat this behavior to obtain a reward. 

Rewards can take different forms. Popular treats include food, toys, or belly rubs. You should think about what your puppy will prefer to determine the perfect reward for puppy training. 

As mentioned, you should not punish a puppy for mistakes it makes during potty training. Instead, you should focus on positivity.

However, you must not reward a puppy for bad behavior. For instance, if your puppy has urinated in the wrong place, do not give it a treat. If you do this, your puppy will likely continue to urinate in this location. 

9. Clean Up Any Accidents

Throughout the potty training process, you should expect that some toilet-related accidents will occur. After all, your puppy will not magically learn to urinate and defecate in the correct location.

Consequently, pet owners need to learn to properly clean up after their puppies. Wearing gloves, you should use a solution of warm water and liquid laundry detergent to remove stains.

It’s important to act as quickly as possible to prevent staining. 

Once you’ve gotten rid of the mess from your carpet or floors, you may want to use an air freshener to mask the unpleasant odor.

You must use a cleaner that will remove the odor, as dogs are more likely to repeatedly go to the toilet if they can smell the odor. 

10. Don’t Get Emotional

Some puppies will simply pick up potty training better than others. It can be irritating if you have a puppy that is resistant to training and takes a long time to train it. 

Despite this, you should refrain from becoming emotional. When a puppy has a toilet mistake, try to withhold your frustration.

On the other hand, when your pet goes to the toilet in the right place, you can get excited and praise it by giving it loads of attention. 

11. Do Something If You Catch Your Dog In the Act

When you catch your puppy preparing to go to the toilet in the wrong place, you need to act quickly. For instance, you should try to grab the attention of your puppy by clapping or calling its name. 

Moreover, you may want to pick up your puppy and place it in the correct location. Of course, you should be careful when carrying your puppy when it is preparing to urinate or defecate. Just make sure that you do not react angrily. 

If you manage to get the puppy to go to the toilet in the correct location, you should then reward it with a treat. 

12. Feed Your Puppy Consistently

The final tip is to create a consistent feeding schedule for your puppy. Essentially, this means that you should try to feed your puppy around the same time every day. 

Not only will this add structure to your dog’s routine, but it will make it much easier to estimate when your puppy will need to go to the toilet.

Being able to predict when your pup will need to relieve itself will make potty training much easier, as you can know when to enact the training.

Giving your dog constant access to food and water may not be a good idea.

This is because your puppy can help itself to food and drink whenever it desires, meaning that it is impossible to predict the toilet routine of your beloved pet.

Not to mention, this food could attract pests that could pose a health threat to your pooch. 

Most puppies have a fragile digestive system, meaning that they are unable to handle eating large quantities of food.

If you overfeed your puppy, it may end up having diarrhea and other digestive issues. These problems will make it much harder to properly potty train your pet.

Potty Training: Troubleshooting

There are common issues that many new pet owners experience when attempting to train their puppies. Here are some common problems and the solutions that you can try to overcome them:

Puppy Urinating When Left Alone

If your puppy pees when it has been left alone, this could be a sign that it is suffering from separation anxiety (see also “Littermate Syndrome In Dogs“).

Essentially, separation anxiety refers to the distress that a dog may feel when it is separated from its owner. Some puppies may urinate out of nervousness.

It’s important to note that puppies have small bladders. Even if you leave your puppy alone for a short period, it will likely go to the toilet during this time. 

Puppies that are younger than six months should not be left unsupervised for over two hours. Even adult dogs should not be left for long. You should also never leave a puppy that has not been potty trained alone.

Aside from not leaving your puppy unsupervised, you can reduce the risk of this occurring by overcoming separation anxiety.

There are several steps that you can take to solve this issue, such as taking your dog for a walk before leaving. Moreover, you should create a comfortable space so that your dog will feel more relaxed when you’re gone.

Puppy Going To The Toilet In The Same Spot

If your puppy keeps going to the toilet in the same unwanted location, this could indicate that you have not properly cleaned up.

This is because dogs will be able to smell their urine and so will continue to go to the toilet in this location.

This is why it is vital that you thoroughly clean the surface. A combination of white vinegar and water will work wonders for removing urine stains.

Baking soda can also make an effective cleaner for these stains. Enzymatic cleaners are sensational for getting rid of odor. 

Potty Training Hasn’t Worked

A common mistake among new pet owners is that they assume that their puppy has completed potty training when it has started to relieve itself in the correct place.

Just because your puppy has demonstrated early signs of success, this does not mean that your puppy has entirely learned its training. 

You should wait until you are completely satisfied with your puppy’s toilet habits before you stop potty training it. This may take a long time, but it will guarantee that you don’t prematurely end the training.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Potty Train A Puppy?

Typically, it can take a few weeks for your puppy to be properly potty trained. However, it can take up to six months for some puppies.

The length of time it can take to potty train a puppy will depend on numerous factors, including its age, ability to learn, and breed. Not to mention, the speed will also be reliant on the effectiveness of your training techniques. 

At What Age Should You Potty Train A Puppy?

Often, pet owners can start training their puppies when they are 8 weeks old. Yet, they typically start training puppies between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks.

Are Puppy Pads Effective?

Yes, puppy pads can be a terrific tool for potty training. In particular, they will be effective when training a young puppy.

These pads make cleaning up much easier, as they will absorb the urine of your pet. These potty pads can even be used for older dogs.

It’s important to bear in mind that puppy pads should not be a permanent part of your potty training process. As your puppy becomes accustomed to relieving itself outside, you can stop using pads. 

Final Thoughts

Every puppy should undergo the process of potty training. Though the process can be messy, it is nonetheless rewarding.

By taking these top tips into account, you can easily teach your puppy to go to the toilet at the right time and in the correct place. This potty training will not only be practical but can also make you feel closer to your brand-new puppy (see also “Ways To Potty Train Your Puppy If You Live In An Apartment“)!

Sharon Isaacs