When it comes to potty training a puppy, it requires effort on both your parts, patience from you, and time. The puppy depends on you to help keep them consistent when it comes to potty training. Otherwise, they’ll go where ever they please. They don’t see it as a big deal to go in the house. So, let’s talk about how to potty train a puppy effectively.
When should you start potty training a puppy?
When your puppy is between 12 and 16 weeks of age, that’s the prime time to begin potty training. Of course, the earlier, the better, but this is around the time a puppy can hold their bladder and learn to control when they go.
However, every dog is different. Every size is different, as well. A larger dog will be able to hold its bladder longer than a smaller dog breed. In fact, it’s often recommended for dog owners of toy and small breeds to teach them how to use the litter box. Cat litter is completely safe for dogs to use, and they can be taught to use it as cats do. Not only does this make the potty training process easier, but now your pup with a small bladder can go whenever they need to. No more midnight trips to the backyard for you!
Of course, outside is where it’s natural for dogs to go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, medium to large-sized dogs can’t use the litter box, so how do you potty train a puppy to go outside regularly?
How to potty train a puppy
There are many different ways to potty train a puppy. You’ll have to decide which method works best for you, your pup, and your environment. One method might not work, and that’s okay. You can try another.
Potty training can take about four to six months. However, depending on your pup’s personality, breed, and size, it may take up to a year.
Create a potty schedule
This may be one of the most effective ways to potty train your pup. If you get into a schedule of when bathroom breaks occur, your pup will learn to hold it until it’s time to go outside. Of course, since they’re puppies and will need to go frequently, you’ll have to add bathroom breaks into your routine as much as possible. This will also show your pup to go outside rather than inside.
For example, here are some prime times to take your pooch outside:
- Right when you wake up in the morning
- After meals (you can wait up to 30 minutes after)
- After naps
- Before walks (if you don’t want your pooch going number one or number two in your neighbors’ yards)
- Before leaving the house
- Before going to bed
In addition, if you’re home, try taking your doggo outside at least every two hours. Then, pick a spot in the yard and teach them the command, “go the bathroom” or “go pee.” Soon enough, your pup will know that a specific spot in the yard is meant for them to relieve themselves.
Also, you’ll want to keep your doggo on a regular meal schedule. This will help you determine when they’ll need to go. Make sure breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner are at the same time every day. It’ll help your pooch get into the routine.
Supervise your pooch and praise them
It would help if you always kept an eye on your dog when you’re inside anyway. Puppies can be mischievous and get into things they’re not supposed to. Also, they may hide and have accidents if they know they’re not supposed to or can’t hold it much longer.
If they have an accident inside the house, clean it up right away. Don’t scold your puppy. They won’t know why they did something wrong since they needed to relieve themselves. Instead, put them on their leash and take them outside where they would normally go the bathroom. Your pooch may not have to go, but they can sniff around and remind them to go in that spot instead.
Also, supervise your pup while outside. If you have a fenced-in yard, you don’t need to keep your doggo on a leash. However, you should always watch them make sure they don’t get into anything they’re not supposed to (especially if you have a garden). For example, you’ll always want to make sure they actually go to the bathroom. When they do, be sure to give them lots of praise and love.
Crate train your puppy
It’s always a good idea to crate train your puppy for several reasons. One of those reasons is for potty training. If for whatever reason, you can’t keep an eye on your pup or you need to run some errands, the crate is a great tool to keep your pooch in one spot.
The crate should be big enough for the pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down. However, it shouldn’t be too big that they can use a corner to go to the bathroom. If they sleep there, they most likely won’t use it as a bathroom spot. However, if they have the room, they might mark their territory or, if they can’t hold it any longer, go.
Use puppy pads
Alternatively, you can use puppy pads. These are pads that will absorb your pet’s waste. So instead of going on the carpet, they’ll go on the pad. When you notice your pup has been doing well with the pads, you can begin to transition them to go outside as they get older.
When your doggo uses the pad, you can praise them and use certain words to help them understanding when you want them to go to the bathroom. Eventually, you can transition the pads to outside, and your pup will associate going to the bathroom out in the yard.
There are many ways on how to potty train a puppy
Potty training is trial and error while your puppy learns what they’re supposed to do and where they’re supposed to go. You’ll have to consider the needs of your pup’s personality, their breed, and their size. Some dogs are easier to potty train than others. Eventually, all the hard work will be worth it in the end.
Similar reading: learn more about puppy care
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She’s a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, playing video games, or organizing something.