If you’ve ever potty trained a human child, you’ll likely find that the process has a few things in common with puppy potty training. Both endeavors have the potential to be incredibly frustrating, messy, and time-consuming. However, the inevitable payoff is commensurate with the effort. No more accidents inside the house? Yes, please! We’ll get you started with an effective strategy for puppy potty training, so you and your new best friend can enjoy your new life together.

Great Expectations

Training your puppy or adult dog to learn something new can be overwhelming, especially if the stakes are pretty high. We are here for you on this journey toward bladder control!

An important first step is to simply watch how your dog behaves right before they relieve themselves. Signs might be subtle at first, but they may start to pace a little, circle around, whine quietly, and sniff at known exits. Before you know it, they’re peeing! 

Intervene quickly by picking them up and taking them outside to a dedicated bathroom spot. They may not have to go anymore, but by reacting the same way every time, they’ll make the connection that this is their potty spot. In fact, go a step further by teaching them the words “go pee,” “go potty,” or whatever phrase works for you. The bottom line is that reputation is key to success. 

Watch the Clock, Set Alarms

At first, you’ll likely confine your puppy to a small space in the house until they have a grasp of their surroundings and the daily routine. They should go outside every hour. Walk them on-leash (even in a fully-fenced backyard) to the potty spot. Repeat the encouraging phrase. As soon as they go, give them loads of praise and a tasty treat immediately. 

The Schedule

Most puppies need to go within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning, before and after they eat and drink, play, and before bed. This could be every 1-2 hours, but will eventually become 4-6 hours. They will start to sleep through the night around 4 months old (hopefully!). 

A Good Crate

Invest in a sturdy crate that will eventually accommodate their full size. Eventually, they’ll start to see their crate as their “room,” entering it without invitation or resistance. During puppy potty training, their crate is an essential aid to controlling the bladder. When you have to leave them for an hour at a time, this ensures your home will remain clean. 

Remember, during the entire experience of puppy potty training, they need lots of encouragement and reassurance. Never scold or punish them if/when they go to the bathroom inside the home. They will get to the goal with your dedication and support. 

Once you’ve got potty training down, you can move on to dog walking etiquette!

Puppy Potty Training for the Win!

We recommend spraying areas inside the house with an enzymatic cleaner to neutralize the smell. This will discourage them from using that area as a toilet in the future. 

If you have additional questions about puppy potty training, you’re not alone. Feel free to call us at (916) 726-2334 to learn more about your puppy’s behavior. Often, medical conditions can inhibit training, so if you’re worried about your puppy’s progress, we’re happy to help at Sunrise Boulevard Animal Hospital