If you’re struggling with the process of potty training your puppy — you’re certainly not alone. It’s often a tedious (and frustrating) process to teach your pet where to use the bathroom. We’ve created a list of 10 proven puppy potty training tips that will make the process of potty training a bit easier for you and your puppy.
Tip #1-Your puppy will need reminders to go
It’s essential to keep in mind that your puppy doesn’t necessarily know when they have to go. Watching your puppy constantly is the best way to potty train. You’ll need to take your dog outside often to avoid accidents. After every nap time, feeding time, and playtime it’s best to take them outside to go potty. When they do, a big “YES!” and a bunch of praise will be the positive reinforcement needed for the behavior to repeat itself.
Tip #2-Crate training for potty training
We believe that crate training your puppy will increase your potty training success. Creating a small space for your puppy to sleep will allow them to quickly learn where they should and shouldn’t go potty; most puppies don’t like to use the restroom where they sleep. We can teach our puppies that their crate is a happy place! It’s their place to be alone and has some personal space to call their own. We encourage you to utilize the word “nice” as a training word. Try using the word nice when showing them their crate. If you’d like to find out more about why nice is the best praise word, read our article on that topic here.
Tip #3-Feeding on a schedule
Sticking to a feeding schedule is one of the most important 10 proven puppy potty training tips, so you have a general idea of when they’ll need to go next. Here’s the thing: you’ll have more of an idea of when they’ll need to go than they will when they’re puppies. We recommend feeding your puppy once in the morning and once in the evening. Please keep in mind they will need to use the restroom shortly after eating.
Tip #4-Same spot every time
One of the best practices for potty training a dog is to take them on a leash to the same spot when you go outside to relieve them. They will have a better understanding that they should use the restroom outdoors if they remember that’s where they went before as the picture is the same and puppies learn in pictures. Always, always have a big party of positivity so that your puppy will understand they did something correct and will desire to repeat the behavior.
Tip #5-Praise is the most important of the 10 proven puppy potty training tips!
You should always praise your dog for going outside during the potty training process! The positive affirmations will help them realize that they should continue to go potty outside. Please make sure that you give them positive affirmations when they’re outside — they might get confused if you reward them after they come back inside. Whether you give them a treat or vocal praise, you should always do it outside immediately.
Tip #6-Remove water before bed
Remove your dog’s water bowl about two hours before they go to bed, so you decrease the chance that they will use the bathroom overnight. Puppies can’t hold it for very long when they need to use the restroom, so it’s beneficial to take their water away when it comes close to bedtime.
Tip #7-Interrupt any accidents
If you catch your puppy having an accident in the house, you should immediately interrupt them! They need to know that it’s not okay to use the restroom in the house. You should pick them up, transport them outside, and then praise them if they decide to finish using the bathroom outdoors.
Tip #8-Clean accidents thoroughly
If your dog uses the restroom in the house, please be sure to clean it thoroughly! They may feel attracted to that exact spot if their scent is still lingering from before. Use a quality odor-eliminating cleaner to help reduce your puppy from wanting to use the same spot.
Tip #9-Get familiar with your puppy’s signals
It’s essential to watch your puppy and really get to know them! Often, puppies will give a small indicator they need to use the restroom. They may start to sniff the floor, walk around in circles, or whine. Be sure to quickly put them outside when they do this!
Tip #10-If accidents continue, check with your vet
If your dog is constantly having accidents in the house, we encourage you to check their stool to ensure they don’t have worms or something else that may be upsetting their system. If you think your dog may have something bothering them, please be sure to contact your veterinarian.
These 10 proven puppy potty training tips will help get your and your pet on the right track to house breaking. Your pet wants to be a valued member of the family and a house broke dog can help your pet become that.