How to Potty Train a Puppy

Welcome to the first training hurdle of puppyhood! Potty training is a must-have life skill
for your pup. You need a clean environment in your home, and so does your dog. Potty
training is sanitary for the both of you!

Potty training in steps
Step one for potty training is consistency. We told you in our article about reward style
training that every pup has their own timeline. Don’t get frustrated if your pup is still
having accidents after a few days. This is a new process for them, they’re training their
bladder as well! Put your pup on a schedule and try to stick to it. Let them out every few
hours to prevent accidents inside.

Step two for potty training is taking preventative measures. Don’t forget to let your
puppy out right before you leave the house. It doesn’t matter if you just let them out
thirty minutes before, they’ll probably go again. Give them the opportunity to go and
encourage the behavior. If you leave your home, then put your pup in their kennel. Dogs
are less likely to use the bathroom in an area that they feel like is their safe space.
Between 10 to 20 minutes after your puppy eats, take them outside. If you’re going to
be gone from your home for long hours, then invest in a dog walker! Your timecommitment to your pup is imperative.

Step three for potty training is to slowly increase the time between potty breaks. Don’t
be afraid to take a step back, either! Start with 60 to 90 minutes between potty breaks.
Set a timer if you need to. Potty breaks need to continue at night during the beginning of
the process to prevent accidents.

The final step to potty training is to watch for cues. Sniffing around, pawing at the door,
whimpering, and squatting can all be signs that your pup needs a potty break!
Unfortunately, they just can’t tell us when they need to go outside. Praise them for their
cues and start associating a word or short phrase with the process. “Let’s go out”, “Time
to potty”, and “Time to go outside” are all phrases we recommend! You want to make
sure your phrase is clear and won’t be confused with other activities.

Potty training reminders
Give your puppy grace. They’re new to the process. If you come home and your puppy
had an accident, then let that serve as a reminder for yourself as well! Maybe your little
one isn’t ready to go that long without a bathroom break. We do not encourage
spanking, nor do we encourage kenneling as punishment. Putting your pup in their
kennel as punishment teaches them to fear their kennel– you don’t want that to happen!

You know from reading our article about successful crate training that their kennel is
their sanctuary, and they should be praised for going in there, not punished.

If you’ve followed all of our steps on how to potty train a puppy, and you are still
cleaning up frequent accidents, then it may be time to take a trip to the vet. Your pup
may be suffering from a urinary tract infection or have a problem with their bladder. We
recommend consulting a veterinarian if you believe your puppy is suffering from one of
those ailments.

Leave us a comment if you have any tips or tricks for potty training!


Hi Mari, preparing for a puppy takes a lot of time and planning. They are such a joy to have though and we can’t live without them!

Kayla, training a puppy is a lot of hard work. Every puppy has their own personality and temperament, which can be managed, but not changed! To help your puppy grow up to be responsible with other people and animals, it is important to let the puppy have good experiences. Socialize your puppy in a way that it will enjoy and respond well to.

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