15 tips to potty training a puppy

potty training a puppy

Potty training a puppy isn’t as complicated as you might think.  The key is understanding a puppy’s metabolism and bladder size.  Dr. Anna Coffin will share some specific instructions that will help you with potty training a puppy.

Puppies have a high metabolism.  This means that that can make a lot of urine very quickly.  They also have small bladders, which is why they can’t hold their urine for long.  A general rule of thumb to follow:  Puppies can hold their urine how ever many months old they are plus one in hours, so a 2 month old puppy can hold its urine for 3 hours.  Most puppies will need to poop 30-45 minutes after eating.

  1. Take your puppy outside every one to two hours.  It’s important to go outside with your puppy to make sure it is eliminating and not playing.
  2. Take your puppy to the same spot outside to eliminate.  Sniffing is part of the elimination sequence in dogs, so smelling urine and poop can help stimulate the puppy to perform its duties.
  3. Don’t allow your puppy to plow or pull ahead.  Walk it back and forth as this also stimulates normal dog elimination behavior.
  4. Keep your puppy on a short leash and provide a small treat as soon as it squats to urinate or defecate.
  5. Take your puppy outside 30 to 45 minutes after eating.  This is the amount of time that it takes to stimulate the intestines to move feces.
  6. Monitor your puppy for pacing, whining, circling or suddenly stopping of another behavior, as these are behaviors that your dog may need to go potty.
  7. Placing a cloth under your puppy’s genitals while it is urinating in an inappropriate spot will help the dog to associate inhibition of elimination with those muscle groups.
  8. Take your puppy out immediately after playing, after naps or when it wakes up during the night.
  9. Puppies don’t like to eliminate where they sleep, so crate training can teach your puppy to hold his urine and stretch its bladder.
  10. Keep track of where your puppy is at all times.  Place a bell on your dog’s collar so that you can monitor its movement.  Use baby gates or tether your dog to a piece of furniture to restrict its activity.
  11. Dogs learn extremely well by observing, so take your older house-trained dog out with you when you take your puppy.  This can speed up the process of potty training a puppy.
  12. Take a urine-soaked sponge or rag and a piece of poop to the area you would prefer training bells(2)your puppy to use.  Smelling these odors will stimulate your puppy to potty in this area.
  13. Take your puppy out the same door every time to eliminate.  Place a bell at nose level and ring the bell every time you go out the door.  If your puppy is sitting by the door or rings the bell, let it out immediately.
  14. Clean up areas where your puppy has urinated or defecated in the house with a product that says it neutralized dog urine and fecal odor.
  15. Be a responsible pet owner and pick up your pet’s poop outside as this helps to reduce transmission of parasites and other deadly diseases. [Tweet “Take a urine-soaked sponge or rag and a piece of poop to the area you would prefer your puppy to use.”]

Now you have the knowledge you need for potty training a puppy.  Set a specific feeding, exercise and play schedule and stick to it.  Follow the 15 tips above and your puppy will be trained in no time!

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

border decoration
border decoration