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How to Potty Train a Puppy

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Did you know about 38% of households in the United States own a dog?


That means that millions of people are dog owners. Do you also know what that means?

It means that millions of people have learned how to potty train a puppy! Are you next?


Dallas Metro Area Puppy Classes
Potty Training your pup

If you are about to get a puppy, you know that there is a lot of work involved. From potty training to regular training of a puppy, knowing what they eat and drink, keeping an eye on them, and everything else you have to do, it can be a lot of responsibility!


So if you are ready to be a puppy owner, one of the first things you need to know is more about puppy potty training. If that's the case, this guide is for you!


Keep reading to start preparing yourself for your new pup!


Do Your Research to Understand Puppy Potty Training Before You Get the Dog

The first thing you need to do when it comes to potty training a puppy is to know what you are doing. You can't get the dog and then figure it out from there - it will be too late and you will find yourself scrambling to try to make sure your dog isn't going to the bathroom in your house!


So when you do your research, you'll find more information on the basics as follows.


Be Consistent

Consistency is key. You need to ask the same question, ring the same bell, or make the same sound when it comes time to take your dog out to the bathroom.


You should also be doing it at the same time, and when you first bring your puppy home, this will be quite often. You will also most likely need to wake up during the night to take your puppy out when they are really young to ensure they don't have any accidents in their crate.


Always Use Positive Reinforcement

It is important that when you potty train your puppy that you are constantly giving them praise for what they are doing. This means that when they go pee or poop, you should be telling them good job and giving them a treat as well.


This motivates dogs and will train them to keep doing what they are doing to get that positive reinforcement again.


Have the Right Supplies

Before you bring your puppy home, you should also get the right supplies. Obviously, you need food and water as well as dishes and toys, but you also need to make sure you are ready for potty training.


Part of this process is getting a crate for crate training, but you also may want to get puppy pee pads. These can be helpful if you want to put them in the crate in case they do go to the bathroom or if you want to put them in a playpen.


Establish a Routine

When you first get your puppy after you know the basics of potty training and what you have to do (laid out above), you need to establish a routine with your dog.


What does this mean exactly?


For starters, you need to establish times that you will consistently take your puppy out. This should be about every 2 hours and first thing in the morning and right before bed as well. You can also take them out more than this if they are a younger puppy, too.


When you get the routine down, you will want to pick a spot that they go to the bathroom so that they know where to go and why they are there when you bring them outside. This helps them learn to go on command.


This should be the same routine every single time that you take them out.


Put Your Pup on a Regular Feeding Schedule

If your puppy is being fed at different times during the day, their bathroom schedule is also going to be very different. This is why it is important to make sure they are on the same feeding schedule because this will help with their bathroom schedule as well.


Putting them on a consistent schedule will not only be easier on them and their puppy bellies, but also on you with the potty training routine.


Don't Forget About the Water Dish

When you are potty training your puppy, you want to make sure that you are not leaving water out for them at all hours of the day and night.


If you are trying to break the habit of taking them out at night (or avoiding it altogether), you will need to take the water dish away about two and a half hours before bed.


This is because most puppies can go about seven hours without needing to go to the bathroom.

But what do you do if they still do get up during the night? Although this won't happen often after you start to train them and they get a bit older, it's still a good idea to know what to do.


If they wake you up in the middle of the night, simply let them out of their crate and take them out without turning many lights out. Don't wander the yard or outside - only take them to their potty spot that they are trained to go to.


Do not rile them up or play with them. Simply take them out and go back to bed so that they know it is still nighttime and not time to play.


Continue Supervision at All Times

Although you may get distracted with work and leave your puppy in the other room, this is the last thing that you want to do when you are trying to train your puppy!


It's important to supervise them at all times to prevent accidents from happening. This means that if you have to go to the bathroom, they should come to the bathroom with you. If you are working in the office, they should be in the office with you and not the living room.


If you can't do this, you should crate them so that they are in a confined space. Dogs will not want to go to the bathroom where they sleep, so this will help with potty training as well.


Whatever you do, they should not have free range of the house!


Be Patient

One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is that your puppy is just a baby. They are learning what they need to do at just 8 weeks old in most cases. They are going to mess up, and you need to make sure that you know this going into the training so that you can be patient if they have an accident.


Accidents happen! It is part of the process.


If they do have an accident, use a firm "No" and then take them to where you trained them as their potty area. This will start to train them that they should only be doing that in their designated area.


The worst thing you can do in this case is yell at them or get upset because they don't actually know what that means. They will only become afraid of the yelling and this will not help you accomplish what you want.


However, if there is an accident, you need to make sure that you clean it properly. If you don't use an enzymatic cleaner, dogs will be attracted to the same spot and may start going there on purpose. The enzymatic cleaner is meant to get rid of the odor and eliminate any stains that are on the floor so that it's as if nothing ever happened!


How to Potty Train a Puppy

If you are ready to get a dog, you now know that there is a lot that goes into knowing how to potty train a puppy. However, with this guide, you have a better understanding of what you are doing and will be prepared for when you bring your new furry friend home!


Just remember to stick to a routine, stay consistent, and be patient. Those are the most important things you can do for your dog.


At K-9 Culture Dog Training, we want to help you train your dog to be the best it can be (and make your life easier!). If you know you are bringing your puppy home soon, be sure to contact us to sign up for a training class! Puppy classes are a great way to get your dog started with a good foundation. You'll thank us later!

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