Puppy Potty Training Advice

...for the new puppy owner. Need tips on potty training your puppy? My easy-to-follow puppy potty training advice can save your treasured carpets and you from a nervous breakdown.

In addition to preventing chewing and biting of various objects, a new puppy owner often needs advice on how to potty train a puppy. Luckily, if you follow the puppy potty training advice outlined below, it's only for a limited time that you have to run around your house cleaning after your puppy.

When you start to potty train your puppy, you must realize one important thing - your poor little puppy has no idea that relieving himself on your floors and carpets is unacceptable. You must therefore clearly show him what you expect from him...

...consistently, patiently and gently.

You should also know that in his first 3 months your puppy has only very limited control over his bladder and bowel. When he needs to go, it's very urgent! His limited bladder and bowel capacity also means that he has to go more often - at least 8-12 times a day.

Always remember that your puppy wants to please you! You must just show him what it is you want. Stick to my puppy potty training advice and your puppy will learn quickly.

Are There Specific Times When Puppies Need to Eliminate?

Yes, there are specific times when your puppy will most likely feel the urge to relieve himself. These are...

  • Immediately after waking up
  • Shortly after eating and drinking
  • During or after playing

Other warning signs that your puppy needs to go are restlessness, turning in circles and sniffing the floor. If you see this, drop everything and take him outside! No, there is no time to finish what you are busy with first!

Do Puppies Have Favorite Places Where They Prefer to Go?

Your puppy prefers to eliminate at spots where he's previously been. He'll also want to keep his den clean. Use this to teach your puppy to eliminate at a convenient spot outside. You decide where it suits you best.

If you can't always watch over your puppy (you've got a life too, I know...) and can't leave him outside, confine him to a smaller room in your house like a bathroom that has a floor, which can be easily cleaned.

Put his bed, toys and water inside and spread out several layers of newspaper over the entire floor. Remove the top layer of newspaper where your puppy has eliminated, but leave the bottom layers.

You now know when your puppy needs to eliminate. You've also chosen where he's allowed to go. Right? Let's start potty training your puppy.

Steps for Potty Training Your Puppy

In my puppy potty training advice that follows I assume that you have the time to supervise your puppy for most of the day and night. This way your puppy will learn most quickly. If you can't do this, please follow my tips on crate training, paper training and litter box training.

Step 1: Start potty training as soon as you get your puppy. Don't allow him to even establish bad habits. If you start immediately, you'll normally achieve good results after 14 days. Having to retrain a puppy with poor habits takes a lot longer. Do it right from the word 'go'.

Step 2: Schedule your puppy's food. Don't let him have access to food at all times. Feed him 3 times a day and remove his bowl if he hasn't finished after 10 minutes. I'm not in favor of restricting his access to water especially in warm climates.

Step 3: As soon as your pup has finished eating, sleeping, playing or if you detect any of the other warning signs, take him outside on a leash to your chosen potty area. Allow for about 5-10 minutes.

In a calm, friendly and encouraging voice repeat a command like "go potty" or "go peepee" several times. Your puppy will later associate this phrase with the act of relieving himself. Remember that puppies often relieve themselves more than once in one go. Don't rush him.

Step 4: When your puppy starts to eliminate, praise him softly so as not to distract him. Immediately after your puppy has been successful, praise him enthusiastically and offer him a small treat. This should be something that he's really crazy about such as dried liver. You can also use play or affection as rewards.

Always accompany your puppy outside - even in the cold and rain. If you don't do this, you won't not know if the pup has done his business and won't be able to praise him if he has. And your puppy won't have learnt anything!

Puppy Potty Training Advice - How Do I React to Accidents?

You can be sure of one thing - 'accidents' in the house will happen! You shouldn't see this as the puppy's fault. Your carpet seems about as good a place as any for him. That's why keeping your puppy under constant supervison is so important in the beginning. It's up to you to prevent accidents.

If you do discover a puddle (or worse) in your house, don't scold or punish the pup. And never! push his nose into it. A puppy only lives in the present and will have no ideawhat he's being punished for. At best he'll be confused. At worst he may start to fear you. None of this will speed up his potty training. On the contrary!

If you catch him just before or in the act, again don't yell at, chase or punish him. Just say 'NO! NO! firmly and then take him outside to the potty area immediately. If he continues to relieve himself there, again praise and reward him.

Thoroughly clean up his mess in the house without further comment. You should use an enzymatic or deodorizing cleaner to make sure that no smell remains. Otherwise your puppy may continue using that same spot.


You'll find a lot of different puppy potty training advice and every dog trainer has his own approach. From experience with my own and other dogs, my puppy potty training advice gives good results, especially if you apply it repeatedly and consistently. Best of luck!

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