How to Potty Train a Puppy

If you are trying to potty train your puppy, it will help to understand that your puppy learns by repetitive actions and by knowing the cause and effect of his actions. From this, he will begin to get used to habits that he will continue to follow for the rest of his life.

If your puppy doesn’t get in trouble for bad habits, like urinating on the kitchen floor, it’s going to make his and your life both more miserable. He will never get in the habit of using the bathroom outdoors in the yard if he is not taught how.

Because your puppy is too young to have things explained to him, it’s your job to anticipate what he needs and to help build better habits for him.

Before You Bring Your Puppy Home

From the moment you bring your pup home, potty training should begin. Prepare yourself before he gets home with some of the things you and he will both need.

You need to have a plan for your daily routine in place before the puppy is brought home. You need a spot outside that you have designated for the pup to potty, or you need a location for an indoor potty pad. You will need a crate and plenty of patience!

Make sure that the spot you choose in the yard for your puppy to potty is always in the same location. Never change up, and always take your pup to that same spot every time you go outdoors. As soon as you bring him home for the first time, take him to that spot. Hopefully, after all the excitement, he will relieve himself.

Know What to Expect

The average puppy, about eight weeks old, will have to go outdoors about every 30 minutes a day. Most will still need to go potty at least one time during the night for about the first month you have them.

After eating, nap time and playtime, take your puppy outside. If he circles around, whines, seems restless or if he is agitated, he may need to go outside to potty. Watch for these signs.

Puppies work well with a routine they can depend on. Try putting your puppy on a schedule for his meals, naps and playtime. This will also help to regulate his bowels, and you will begin to know when he has to go potty.

Supervise Your Puppy

When you start training your puppy, never leave him unattended running around the house. Of course, dogs are naturally clean animals, but it’s going to take time for your puppy to know that he can’t just relieve himself anywhere.

Crate training is one of the most effective ways to train your puppy. While the puppy is running around the house, watch him. When he shows some indication he may need to go, pick him up and get him to his potty location. When you can’t be there to watch him, have him in the crate. Most pups don’t like to go potty or pee in their crates. Still try to take your puppy outside every 30 minutes, or have someone else take him outside.

Reward your puppy with a little treat for a few weeks when he goes potty where he is supposed to. This will encourage him to go back to that same spot looking for that treat again.

Potty training your puppy doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take patience and consistency on your part.