6 Puddle-Proof Tips For Potty Training Your Puppy

Potty training your puppy may seem like a tricky job, but it really doesn’t need to be. The majority of pups should be completely potty trained within the space of 4 to 6 months, but know that all dogs learn at their own pace and some pooches will take longer of less time to get the hang of things. Stay positive and persevere, and your precious puppy will be house broken before you know it.

Be On the Look Out

Be sure to watch your pup like a hawk. She will tell you when she needs to go to the bathroom using a range of subtle clues. Watch out for such behaviors as turning around in circles, sniffing at the floor, pawing the ground, scratching at the door, whining or barking. It’s important to watch her as much as is possible, so you’ll be able to see and identify these signs. Some people find it useful to keep their pup in the same room or area as them. Shut the door or use baby gates to confine her to certain rooms.

Allow Time for Bathroom Breaks

Remember that your pup is only young and needs to relieve herself more often than an adult dog. Schedule regular bathroom breaks to facilitate this need. Depending on her age, a puppy should go out once every 3 to 4 hours. Keep this regular so that she knows what to expect and she’ll be less likely to have any accidents. As she gets older, these bathroom breaks can gradually be made further apart. In addition to these scheduled outings, take her outside to eliminate after play sessions, meals and naps.

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 When It’s Time to go Outside

Puppies like routine and prefer to go to the bathroom in the same place every time. Assign a particular part of your garden as a doggy potty area. When taking her out into the yard, put her on a leash and take her to the special bathroom spot. Keep her on the least until she has eliminated, as if you let her run free, she might decide that sniffing and playing outside is more fun than doing her business.

Teaching a Command

You may find it beneficial to teach your puppy a command to encourage her to go the bathroom. Of course, you can make this command whatever you want, but common choices include “go potty” or “do your business.” She won’t know what this command means straight away, so begin by saying it once she starts urinating or defecating. If you continue doing this each time, she’ll soon associate the word with the act of eliminating and may go when you give her this command.

Related: Top 10 Ways to Puppy Proof Your Home

Positive Reinforcement

Once your pup has done her business outside, praise her enthusiastically. Tell her “good girl,” pet her and even give her a food reward. This will teach her that going outside is the right thing to be doing. On the other end of the spectrum, make sure that you don’t punish or yell at your pooch when she goes inside. Accidents are natural while she’s learning and yelling at her is only going to scare her or cause a setback.

In Case of an Accident

As we know, accidents happen, so if you turn your back for a second and then find your puppy going to the bathroom inside, you should know what to do. Give one loud clap, but don’t yell. This should stop her momentarily. Pick her up and take her outside, where she can finish eliminating. Praise her once she’s done going outside. Should you miss the action and find that your pooch has already done her business inside, don’t even acknowledge it. Telling her off after the fact will only confuse her, as she won’t know why you’re annoyed or what she’s done wrong. Simply clean up the mess thoroughly, preferably with an enzymatic cleaning product which will get rid of the odor, so that your pup won’t be encouraged to go in the same place again.

loznnolaLauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.