How to Potty Train a Dog

Have an idea on How to Potty Train a Dog? And what should you do if you’ve adopted an adult dog that hasn’t learned this yet? In this guide, we will show you how to train a puppy to know where to go when pressed.

How to Potty Train a Dog
How to Potty Train a Dog

One of the earliest and most crucial things to do when you bring home a puppy is to teach them how to go to the bathroom in the right place, which is also known as house training or potty training.

Teaching a puppy, or even a grown-up dog, when and where to go to the bathroom requires being patient and persistent. The main idea to keep in mind is that successful potty training involves repeating the process and rewarding good behavior rather than punishing accidents.

How to Potty Train a Dog

Potty training a dog is not necessarily very easy, but here, we will show you the easy ways to do it:

Step1: Learning the basics:

Welcoming Your New Puppy

When you bring your new puppy home, make sure to introduce them to their new environment and family. Just like when you’re new somewhere, your puppy might feel curious, excited, scared, or happy. This is the perfect time to build a good relationship with your pet. To help your puppy settle in and trust you, it’s essential to set clear expectations and be consistent.

Show your puppy only the areas where they’re allowed. In the beginning, avoid letting them explore on their own, especially if you don’t want accidents. For example, if certain parts of the house are off-limits, keep those areas closed off.

Understand your puppy’s behaviour

Learn about your puppy’s breed traits and special needs. Research their behavior and any specific things you should be aware of. For instance, if you have a small chihuahua, they’ll have a small bladder and need to pee more often.

Remember that dogs don’t think like humans. It can be challenging for them to understand commands or signals when they need to go outside. Be patient and learn their ways of communicating.

Watch Your Puppy Carefully

During potty training, keep an eye on your puppy at all times. This helps you catch early signs that they need to go and prevents accidents. Signs include circling, scratching, and sniffing.

Watch for behaviors like whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or sudden changes. When you notice these signs, take your puppy outside right away.

Prevent Accidents

If you catch your puppy going indoors, make a sudden noise and say “no” to get their attention. Then, quickly take them outside. Don’t scare them, just startle them. Be consistent with the same noise or word.

Don’t punish your puppy for accidents. They don’t understand it’s wrong. Never force them to smell or remind them of their mistakes. Punishment can confuse them and make things worse.

Designate a Potty Area

Choose an outdoor area for your puppy to go potty and take them there every time. Pick a spot that’s clean and not used by other dogs. This helps your puppy associate the area with potty time.

Select an easily accessible area for quick trips. Avoid places where other dogs have been until your puppy has had all its vaccines.

Use a Command

Teach your puppy a specific word or sound command for potty time. Use it consistently when you take them out to the designated area. This helps them understand where and when to go. Only use the command for potty time to avoid confusion.

Reward Success

Always praise your puppy when they use the right area. Use a happy tone to show them they did well. Consistent praise encourages them to use the right spot.

Make Potty Time Positive

Turn potty time into a positive experience. Allow your puppy to relax and relieve themselves without interruption. Afterward, you can give them a small treat to reinforce the positive behavior.

Clean Up Accidents

Clean up indoor accidents immediately using an enzymatic cleaner to remove odors. This prevents your puppy from going to the same place again. Avoid cleaners with ammonia, as urine smells like ammonia and can attract dogs to the area.

You can also use white vinegar to counteract the ammonia smell.

Step 2: Keeping your dog close.

Set Up a Safe Area

Make it easier to watch your puppy by keeping them in a specific part of your home. Close doors or use baby gates to create a smaller space where you can always see them. This spot should be big enough for play but small enough for easy supervision. Choose a space with quick access to the outdoors and that’s easy to clean.

Use a Leash Inside

Keep your puppy on a short leash even when indoors. This lets you move around freely while keeping an eye on them. With the leash, you can go from room to room without losing sight of your puppy. It also helps you quickly take them outside when needed.

Use a Crate

When you can’t watch your puppy, a crate can help with potty training. Dogs see the crate as their special space and won’t want to mess it up. The crate should be big enough for them to move but not too big. Avoid leaving them in the crate for more than four hours at a time.

Step 3: Create a routine.

Stay Reliable

Consistency is key for potty training. Always use the same door when taking your puppy outside. Choose a specific spot and use the same command every time, so your puppy connects the area with the right action.

Take your puppy outside first thing in the morning and after eating. Also, after coming home or when you let them out of the crate. After the play, drinking, napping, and before bedtime are also good times. For very young puppies, try taking them out every 20 minutes to prevent accidents and give them more chances to do well

Regular walks can also encourage your puppy to go potty.

Know Their Routine

Observe how often your puppy pees. This helps you understand their schedule and know when to take them outside.

Time It Right

Plan outdoor trips around mealtimes. Having regular feeding times helps establish a routine for potty breaks. Puppies usually need to go after they eat. Taking them out after each meal reinforces the right place to go and reduces messes.


Why is My Dog Going Back to Having Accidents During Potty Training?

If your puppy is starting to have accidents again after getting better at potty training, there are a few things to check. Make sure you’re still taking them out to potty often enough and at the right times. Also, see if anything in their routine changed recently.

If accidents always happen in one place, maybe limit their time there for a bit. If accidents always happen at a certain time, try taking them out for a potty break then.

And if your puppy pees when they’re super excited to see you, it might be because they can’t control it at that moment. Kind of like how some people might laugh so hard they accidentally leak a bit.

Do Puppy Potty Training Spray Work?

Potty training sprays can be useful for teaching a puppy where to go potty. These sprays work by creating a scent that signals the right spot for them to potty. It’s like putting up a sign that says, ‘restroom here’ in the areas you want them to use.

At what age should my dog be potty trained?

The timing for potty training varies depending on the breed and size of the dog, but generally, most dogs can be completely potty trained between nine months and 1 year old.

It’s important to note that when we say a dog is ‘fully potty trained,’ it means they shouldn’t have any accidents unless they’re unwell or can’t go out for an extended time. If a dog occasionally has accidents, they aren’t fully trained yet.

Most puppies can make good progress with potty training before they reach nine months. However, various factors can lead to occasional accidents. By managing your puppy well and following the guidelines mentioned earlier, you can help your puppy reach a point where accidents are very rare.



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