Puppy Potty Training: Two Keys To Success

puppy potty training

Puppy potty training is probably the most difficult aspect of getting a new puppy, and all puppies are not created equal.  Some breeds are known for being easy to potty train while others are more difficult.  Be sure to do a little research before deciding what breed is right for you and your family.  If you don’t want to mess with potty training at all adopt or buy an older puppy or an adult dog that is already potty trained.

Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind when puppy potty training: most puppies can hold their urine for how many months old they are plus one (i.e., a two-month-old puppy should be able to hold his urine for 3 hours). Using the example above, I would recommend taking this two-month-old puppy outside every 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Most puppies will need to defecate 30-45 minutes after eating.  It takes time to potty train a puppy, so the most important thing is to be patient and consistent. 

Two Keys to Successful puppy potty training:

Key #1: Crate confinement

The primary key to potty training is crating or confining your puppy when you can’t watch him. Crate training your dog is not cruel.  Crate training works because most animals don’t like sleeping or eating where they go to the bathroom, and it protects your puppy from injuring itself and your property.  Restrict the puppy’s access to tile or easily washable flooring.  While potty training, it’s also important to stick to a schedule by feeding at the same time every day and getting up and going to bed around the same time each day.

Key #2: Keep your puppy on a leash

I recommend taking your puppy outside on a leash to the same spot to potty.  Taking your puppy on a leash is the second most important aspect of potty training.  By using a leash, you are controlling where your puppy is going and what your puppy is doing.  Without the leash, your puppy will wander off to play and forget the real reason why they are outside.  By taking your puppy to the same spot each time, they will smell the urine or stool that helps to stimulate them to go potty.  Potty pads work because they have a scent impregnated into them that does this very same thing.  If your puppy is using the same spot in your house each time so make sure that you are using a cleaning product that says it neutralizes urine and fecal odor. You can also use a key phrase like “hurry up” or “go potty” which will help once your dog is trained.

Most puppies will signal when they need to go potty by circling, sniffing and arching their back.  When you see this behavior, immediately pick them up and take them outside.  Never yell or punish your puppy for accidents and don’t rub his nose in it.  If you find the accident after the fact, clean it up and scold yourself. Call Guthrie Pet Hospital for all your puppy behavioral and medical needs.

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