Paper Training A Puppy

....can be used if you have little time to potty train. Paper training a puppy uses a dog's preference to eliminate at a spot he's been before. It requires only a limited effort from your side and is therefore sometimes referred to as 'passive potty training'.

For puppies and small dogs which stay inside for long periods, paper training may be the only solution.

When paper training your puppy, you teach him to relieve himself on old newspapers and always at the same spot.

Steps for Paper Training A Puppy

When paper training your puppy, do the following...

Step 1: First of all choose a room where your puppy can be confined and paper trained. This room shouldn't be too large and have a floor that can be easily cleaned. No carpets! A bathroom or kitchen is ideal.

Step 2: Remove all objects that your puppy may chew on. Be particularly aware of electrical cords. You don't want to accidentally electrocute your puppy. Lay out 3-4 layers of old newspaper covering the entire floor. Put your puppy's bed or blanket in one corner, plus his water bowl and a few toys.

Step 3: To show your puppy where he may relieve himself, take a newspaper you've used to soak up his urine and place it in the room as far away from his bed as possible. Your puppy will smell it and adopt this part of the room as his toilet area.

Step 4: When you clean up after your puppy, remove one or two layers of newspaper and replace them with new layers. It's best to put these underneath the previous layers.

Step 5: After a few days when your puppy is used to eliminating on newspaper and when he consistently relieves himself at a preferred spot, you may slowly and gradually reduce the area covered by newspaper. Start around his bed until only a fairly small area in the opposite corner is still covered.

If an accident occurs on the floor, don't despair... just go back to papering a larger area.

It is also important never to scold or punish your puppy when you discover an accident 'after the fact'. Since your puppy lives in the present, he'll have no idea what he's being disciplined for. And he may begin to fear you necessarily.

Drawbacks of Paper Training A Puppy

Before you decide on paper training a puppy, you should be aware of the disadvantages of this type of house training. In essence you're teaching your puppy that it's ok to relieve himself in the house. Your dog is thus never fully house trained. He will when given free run of the house look for a place to do his business. You have to decide whether you can live with that. If not, proper potty training or crate training is your better bet.

What I do with all my puppies is to properly potty train them during the day. I can do this since I work from home. Then at night I confine them to my papered bathroom. The very first thing in the morning I take them outside to their outdoor potty area.

As they get older and their bladder and bowel control improves, the papers remain more and more unused.

Finally, just a word of caution on confining your puppy for long hours. Puppies, just like human beings, require lots of exercise, love and affection and time for socializing. Don'tkeep your puppy confined unnecessarily during the day otherwise his physical and emotional development will be impaired.


Compared to other potty training methods, paper training a puppy requires only little input from your side. Paper training a puppy is therefore often the only choice if you're working away from home and cannot leave your puppy outside. Be aware though of the drawbacks of paper training a puppy. Good luck!

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