Potty Training for Puppies

Some may say one of the worst parts about getting a new puppy is house training it (and they’re probably right). Here are just a few tried and true ways to help train your puppy to run to the door when they “gotta go” instead of relieving themselves indoors.

Establish a Routine

Puppies need to go outside often. Very often. Establishing a routine is one way to get them to recognize a time to go outside and use the bathroom so that they’re less likely to express themselves in the house. Normally, a puppy might need to go potty within 30 minutes after finishing a meal. Some common times to take your new pup outside would be as soon as he or she wakes up in the morning, right after a meal, before bedtime, and any time that they transition into a new activity. In other words, your pup may need to tinkle after every nap and play time. Potty training a puppy is much easier when you’re able to dedicate the time to help them learn a routine and stick with it long-term.

Pick a Place

Once your furry friend finds a comfortable place to go potty outside, keep bringing your pup back to that location. After lots of repetition, it’ll show them that it’s okay to relieve themselves here, and they’ll start to pick up on why you take them outside each time.This familiarity also helps them establish their routine so they’ll know just where to go each time.

Crate Training

You may not like the idea of locking up your pup in a crate for any length of time, but the crate is a training mechanism; not a timeout. Believe it or not, dogs like to have a clean area where they sleep, including while in their crate. Start by leaving your puppy in a crate for just a little bit of time at first (half an hour to an hour).Then, gradually add to the duration over a period of time, working your way up to a few hours at a time. On average, your puppy can “hold it” for one hour for every month of age. For example, a four month old puppy can typically go for four hours without going outside. Of course, this takes some training and will depend on the puppy, but a properly sized crate is one way to help potty train a puppy.

Puppy Praise

Instead of scolding your puppy for peeing or pooping inside, give them extra praise when they use the bathroom outside. Cheering, clapping, and wildly celebrating your pup for peeing may seem odd, but it’s a small (and easy) way to help reinforce positive behavior and deter negative behavior in the future. What puppy doesn’t love the extra love and affection anyways? Make them feel like they’re on top of the world when they successfully use the bathroom in the yard and not on the kitchen floor (or worse)!