Tips for Potty Training

Bringing a new puppy home presents new challenges of teaching where and when to use the restroom. Until the pups are old enough to follow their mother outside to relieve themselves, mother dogs keep the den area clean of urine and feces. Because this is a natural part of a dog’s early training, you can teach the basics of potty training to a puppy as young as two months old and have success!

Here are a few tips to consider during the first week of potty training:

Plan ahead of time

Your dog requires consistency throughout their house training, so you or someone who is committed to the process should always be present. Make a plan for where you will take your dog to relieve themself. If an outdoor area is not easily accessible from the house, they will become distracted on their way to the potty spot. If you live in an apartment and want your dog to use training pads, choose a surface such as tile where any misses will not damage the flooring. Invest in cleaning products that will remove odors if an accident occurs so that they are aware not to return to the same location. Never leave your puppy unattended for long periods of time. Create a schedule; reinforce crate training to potty training so they always feel confident when they have to go. 

It’s time to go potty.

Set an alarm every 2 hours for the first part of the day for potty training. Take them to their potty spot, point to it, and tell them to go. Use the same command and gesture every time, so they know what to expect. Praise them when they produce results or encourage good behavior with a treat. Time your outings so that you take them out five to thirty minutes after eating or drinking a substantial amount of water. Take them out the last thing before bedtime. When your puppy needs to go out at night, he will whine or move around restlessly. Be sure to be attentive to their call. They won’t be able to hold their potty all night, so be prepared to take the dog out if they cry in the middle of the night. Reward your puppy for pottying outside and they’ll be back in the playpen ready to sleep in no time.  

Look for the Signs

By the end of the day, you will have a good idea of how long your pup can go without going to the potty. The rest of the week entails being consistent so that the routine becomes second nature by the end of seven days. When your dog is with you, keep an eye out for signs that he needs to relieve themself. Actions such as whining, circling, or pacing are good indicators. Other than leaving the room or going over to a corner, some puppies give little indication that they need to relieve themselves. Keeping the pup in a confined space, such as a crate or play pen, usually results in whining or a sharp bark once the pup realizes you’ll respond by taking them outside to their favorite spot.

When Mishaps Occur

They would have enough control of their bodily functions by six months to adjust gradually to longer periods. The more frequently the dog needs to relieve themself, the younger he is. Don’t yell, poke their nose, or swat at them if there is an accident between outings. Creating negative associations can cause them to become confused and hide bodily waste around the house. If you notice squatting while you’re watching, firmly say “no” and hurry them to an outside spot. To help reduce odors, clean up immediately after each accident with an enzymatic cleaner. 

Reinforce good behavior with lots of praise and treats, but don’t punish the puppy for misbehaving. Once the puppy has had an accident and moved on, they will not understand the reason behind the punishment- this is an ineffective training method.

Our utmost responsibility to both puppy and new puppy parents at Furry Babies is that you go home prepared to care for the new life you bring into your family and potty training is no exception. We walk with you through the fundamentals of housebreaking and are always available to assist with any issues or questions about training. We want to ensure everyone has a positive experience with their new puppy!