How to Potty Train a Puppy: Step by step guide

One of the most vital things you can do for your new dog is house training (or potty training). When a puppy is aware of the regulations about where and when to use the restroom, everyone—two-legged or four-legged—is happy. Remember that it's normal for a puppy to see the entire world as one big potty area when you work on potty training them. Regular outings, adequate management, suitable monitoring, and positive reinforcement are the keys to teaching your puppy where to relieve itself. (Punishment is inappropriate during potty training.) Although it is a procedure that demands both time and care, you and your puppy can succeed in learning this crucial skill.

You can prepare your puppy for success, teach them exactly where to pee and defecate, and help them establish good boundaries in your home by having a plan, being patient, and paying attention.

How does puppy potty training begin?

  • A puppy's mother is the first person to potty train them when they are between two and three weeks old. When the puppy has to go potty, she will prod them off the surface they eat and sleep on.
  • A puppy exposed to this technique will soon pick up the skill of surface discrimination if it enters your home. This indicates that your puppy is aware not to urinate on the same surface that they eat or sleep on. When you begin toilet training, you may take advantage of this!

Prior to beginning, adopt the proper frame of mind

Potty training doesn't depend on your puppy being "good"; it depends on your ability to be consistent, manage your time well, and reinforce the desired behavior. It is not about attempting to discipline your dog for entering the house. Making sure they constantly have access to fresh air is the goal.

The Seven-Day Potty Training Plan

This timetable ought to be regarded as a general reference. Because every dog and owner is unique, make sure to modify the program to fit your needs.
Day of Training Goal

Day 1

Set up a regular feeding regimen.

Day 2

Establish a regular routine for bathroom breaks

Day 3

Prepare your dog to relieve himself in the same spot each time.

Day 4

Make sure you are aware of the indications that your dog needs to go outdoors and take him there when necessary.

Day 5

Accidents should no longer occur as frequently within the home. When this occurs, lead the dog outdoors to the designated bathroom area.

Day 6

Check the health of your dog.

Day 7

Strengthen any weak points.


Day 1

You must set a consistent feeding plan that you can adhere to from day one. The key to developing a consistent bathroom pattern is to maintain a regular eating schedule with no food in between meals.

Remember that young puppies need three to four tiny meals a day to aid with digestion and maintain a constant level of energy. Don't limit your puppy's access to water; give him as much as he wants.

Day 2

Establish a regular timetable for taking your puppy outside to relieve himself on day two. Always let him out first thing in the morning and right before you turn in for the night.

If your puppy is under a year old, he should also be put outside every hour or so during the day, particularly after he wakes up from a nap as well as after meals. Additionally, it's a good idea to take your dog outside after he's finished playing or chewing on a bone or toy. Remember that puppies often urinate up to five times per day, which is more than adult dogs do.

To teach your dog this positive behavior, make the experience of going outdoors to relieve itself fun and gratifying. After he finishes, reward him with a treat or some verbal kudos. You may also promise a neighborhood stroll as a reward.

Day 3

The third day should be used to fully impress upon him where he should discharge himself; this is crucial. When a dog is taught that one place is the "potty spot," he will naturally desire to urinate there.

When you take your dog outdoors to relieve himself, keep track of the location where he has previously relieved himself and take him there every time.

Day 4

On day four, practice recognizing the indications that your dog needs to go pee. When you notice a difference in your dog's behavior, especially when he gets up from lying down and enters a new part of your house, pay close attention to him.

By paying attention to your dog's signals, you'll be able to take him outside before any accidents arise and prevent him from going outside when he doesn't need to. Whining, barking, circling, sniffing, or—if he is unconfined—even scratching at the door are some indications that your puppy wants to "go."

Day 5

Your dog should have less accidents inside the home by day five (with help from you guiding him outside when you see the signs he needs to go). However, accidents will still happen sometimes, especially if he is under a year old.

Be proactive when it comes to accidents. Don't discipline your dog if this occurs. Instead, clap vociferously to alert him that he has done something improper if you find him eliminating in the home. Then, quickly bring him outdoors by gently guiding him by the collar or saying his name. Give him praise and/or a little treat once he finishes going outdoors to reinforce the habit.

Avoid using an ammonia-based cleaner to clean up your dog's accidents since the smell may draw him back to the area and encourage him to urinate there once more. To reduce smells, use an enzymatic cleanser instead.

Day 6

Day six is a status check day to ensure consistency is being upheld. At this stage of his toilet training, your dog ought to be making substantial improvement.

If your puppy is still having accidents in the home and just can't seem to get the hang of puppy potty training, you could think about taking him to the vet to rule out any underlying medical issues. It's conceivable that he has a medical problem that makes it difficult for him to "hold it," in which case you should seek him treatment for it right away.

Day 7

You succeeded! Your puppy should be performing his business outdoors and giving signs when he needs to relieve himself after a full week of continuous house potty training. To reinforce his skills and reduce the likelihood of a relapse, maintain your pup's usual feeding schedule in addition to regular excursions outdoors to the same spot.

Make sure to concentrate on and reward your dog's excellent behavior when he succeeds in a particular component of potty training if he is having problems with it.


Common questions about puppy potty training 

What age is ideal for potty training a puppy?

When a puppy is around 8 weeks old, you may begin puppy potty training (preferably, puppies stay with their mother at least until 8 weeks of age, if not longer). Ideally, you should begin puppy potty training your between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks. Small intestines and bladders are present in young pups; nevertheless, it takes them roughly five months to fully develop bladder control. While you can start potty training an older puppy or dog right away, if they've had a lot of time to form undesirable habits, it can take longer for the teachings to stay.

How do you prevent a puppy from peeing and pooping inside the house?

Again, the easiest solution is to deny them access to the interior. Being a time manager and making sure you're taking the responsibility to send your dog outside as frequently as possible, instead of focusing on punishing them when they (inevitably) do go inside, is one of the most crucial components of potty training. The other component is seclusion. As was thoroughly covered above, putting your dog in a cage or other enclosed space in the house can assist stop them from sneaking off and going inside to relieve themselves. It will be harder for children to learn that they should only use the restroom outdoors the more often they are able to do so. Maintaining a timetable is also crucial.

How long does puppy potty training take?

Your ability to stick to your routine is one of many factors that will determine how long it takes to completely potty train your puppy. It might take a few weeks or much longer—up to several months—depending on you, your dog's breed, age, and disposition, as well as your circumstances. Although it's not the simplest procedure, if you persevere and have patience, your dog WILL learn it. Keep in mind that you'll probably have some setbacks, but most of the time they're only hiccups. Reach out to a trainer if you're truly struggling since they may be able to identify the source of your ongoing bathroom issues.


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