Tips for Potty Training a Puppy

Spread the love


Bringing home, a new puppy is an exciting experience, but it also comes with the responsibility of potty training. Potty training can be a challenging task, but with the right guidance and approach, it can be achieved effectively. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that the primary cause of dogs being surrendered to animal shelters is due to difficulties with housetraining.

In this article, we will provide you with some useful tips on how to potty train your puppy effectively and prevent any mishaps in the house.

Tips For Potty Training A Puppy

House training or potty training a puppy is one of the first few important tasks that every new dog owner will have to undertake when they first introduce their puppy to its new home.

While the initial puppy potty training process can be challenging especially when you are a new owner or when the puppy is just a few weeks old, the good news is all puppies can be toilet trained successfully if you are persistent, patient, and take it a step at a time.

To help your young puppy develop good bathroom habits from the start, there are some simple and practical tips you can follow for successful potty training.

  1. The first thing you need to do is to learn as much as possible about the breed of your puppy. By talking to other dog owners, and veterinarians and reading books, you can discover many tips and pointers along the way to help you in your puppy potty training process.
  2. Remember that puppies are still young and developing. Because of this, they do not have a very large bladder, nor do they have much control holding their bladder. When potty training a puppy, give the puppy ample opportunity to eliminate it in a proper location. For most people, this location is outside. Other people encourage their dogs to use indoor dog litter boxes or grass boxes (as might be the case for a small dog living on the 98th floor in New York City). As long as your pup has a place to go to the bathroom and is given the opportunity to use it, the method and location are up to your discretion and lifestyle.
  3. As a basic rule of thumb, a puppy can hold his or her bladder for the number of hours that is equivalent to their age. For example, if a puppy is 1 month old, it can hold its bladder for 1 hour, and then it will need to have an opportunity to eliminate it. The same is true even at night and in inclement weather! Making the effort to get up and go outside is one of the pledges you made to your puppy when you adopted him or her! Don’t worry… as they mature, dogs gain better bladder control. Each dog is an individual, so keep a schedule that works for your dog.
  4. When you wake up in the morning, wait for your puppy to use the bathroom before giving him any praise or greeting. This will develop into a routine for him once he realizes that he gets a lot of loving attention and praise after he uses the bathroom in the morning. this pattern will stick in his head and he will understand what to do to get what he wants, which is your praise!
  5. Having a puppy often entails a change in lifestyle. Undertaking this experience, while rewarding, requires a large amount of commitment. If you are unable to go home and let the puppy out to go to the bathroom every few hours or so, then you will need to arrange for someone else to be on duty to do it. Alternatively, you may also like to crate-train your puppy. Crates are an excellent tool to use when potty training a puppy because puppies are reluctant to soil the place where they sleep (but if they are forced to do so, they will, and that can create a problem in future house training efforts. Forcing your puppy or dog to soil their crate should be avoided at all costs. Consult a vet or a professional dog trainer if your puppy or dog goes to the bathroom in the crate even without spending a lot of time there. There could either be a more complicated training issue involved or a medical concern.
  6. When you do bring your puppy outside the house to their place to do their business, make sure that you have them on a leash. When it’s time for your puppy to go potty, it’s important to keep them focused. This means avoiding activities like sniffing, playing, and chewing on flowers that can distract them from the task at hand. Remember, it’s okay for your puppy to do these things, just not during potty time.
  7. Always keep an eye on the puppy whether he/she is inside or outside the house. Not only does this prevent the pup from getting into things that you do not want them to chew or shred, but you can look for signals that the pup needs to go to the bathroom. Such signs include sniffing, circling, and beginning to squat. If you see any of these signs, be sure to quickly whisk your puppy outside or to their “spot”, so you can interrupt and prevent elimination in the incorrect spot and instead reward him or her for going to the right place.
  8. When you start to potty, train your puppy, choose a cue word like ‘go potty’ and stick to using the same command every time so that he or she will understand what it means each time you lead him/her to the potty area. Similarly, whatever route you take from the house to his potty area, use the same path every single time you take him to use the bathroom. This will help create a pattern so that he understands that it is time to go to the bathroom when you are walking him through the same route.
  9. It goes without saying that you need to be generous with your praises, treats, and loving caresses when your puppy is properly dropped in the specified area. You must help him associate housebreaking with a positive experience. Showering him with treats and affection will increase the likelihood of your puppy going to the correct place because they will want to earn those yummy treats (and going to the wrong location, such as your living room, will earn them nothing).
  10. While potty training a puppy, accidents may still happen. When you do come across an accident, simply clean it up and vow to be more diligent about making sure you watch your puppy for signs and taking him or her outside more often. Punishing a puppy for an accident can make potty training more difficult. If the pup associates bad things happening when they have an accident in front of you, they can learn that it’s safer to drop behind the sofa and out of your sight. The more often a creature repeats and practices a behavior, the better they become at it. You don’t want your puppy to start a habit of dropping behind the furniture.

Given proper attention and training, the process of potty training a puppy should take around two to four weeks to establish a routine and between six to twelve months to be completed. And remember to start potty training a puppy early because it is always easier to cultivate good habits in a dog from the beginning than it is to break bad habits later.

Puppy Potty Training Tips For Apartment Living:

  1. Set up a chosen potty area – choose a spot outside that is easily accessible, and consistently take your puppy to that same spot every time they need to go potty.
  2. Use verbal cues – associate a specific word or phrase with potty time so your puppy knows what is expected of them.
  3. Keep a consistent schedule – take your puppy outside at regular intervals throughout the day and after meals.
  4. Use puppy pads – consider using puppy pads as an alternative to outdoor potty training, especially if you live in a high-rise apartment where getting outside quickly may not be possible.
  5. Reward good behavior – praise your puppy when they use the assigned potty area or puppy pads, and consider giving them a small treat as a reward.
  6. Supervise your puppy – keep a close eye on your puppy while they are inside to prevent any accidents, and keep them in a crate or enclosed area when you are not able to supervise them.
  7. Clean up accidents thoroughly – use an enzyme-based cleaner to eliminate any odors and prevent your puppy from being attracted to the same spot again.
  8. Be patient – potty training takes time and accidents are bound to happen, but with consistent effort and positive reinforcement, your puppy will learn.

Troubleshooting Potty Training A Puppy:

  1. If your puppy is having frequent accidents, consider taking them outside more often or setting up a more consistent schedule.
  2. If your puppy is reluctant to use the chosen potty area, try changing the location or adding some scent to the area to make it more appealing.
  3. If your puppy is showing signs of anxiety or stress during potty training, consult with a veterinarian or professional trainer for additional support and guidance.


Potty training a puppy can be a challenging process, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, it can be successful. By following these tips and troubleshooting common issues, you can set your puppy up for good toilet habits and a happy, healthy life. Remember, accidents will happen, but with perseverance and a positive attitude, you and your puppy can achieve potty training success.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: