Potty training your puppy can be a frustrating process, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of worrying about him going all over the house, take your puppy to the potty pad every time he needs to go. And it’s not as hard as you might think!
Set up a crate, dog pen, or dog room with an open door.
Set up a crate, dog pen, or dog room with an open door. The space should be large enough for your puppy to move around in and explore, but not so big that he or she can get into trouble. If your puppy is already crate-trained, use a crate; if not, we recommend using a dog pen instead of a crate (since it can be more easily moved around the house).
Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take his food away between meals.
It’s important to keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule so that he doesn’t go hungry and start chewing off his paws. Take away his food between meals, and don’t give him food if he is not hungry or if he refuses to eat. It’s also important not to give him more than one meal at a time, because this can cause digestive problems.
Wait 4-5 hours after food is taken away.
- Wait 4-5 hours after food is taken away. Food can cause puppies to have accidents, especially if you feed them too much or let them eat throughout the night. To make sure that your puppy doesn’t have an accident because of eating too much, feed him only once a day, and take away any leftover food after 30 minutes. If your puppy has diarrhea after eating too much or while he’s on his potty pad training schedule (more than once in one day), reduce the amount of food he gets per meal until his digestive system returns to normal.
- Use a crate or small room as an area for potty training. If you don’t have access to a crate or small room where you can close off your puppy from other rooms in the house and put down potty pads for him without worrying about him getting into trouble elsewhere in the house, consider using this space instead:
- Put down several layers of newspapers so that it’s easy for him to walk on without slipping around too much (especially helpful when going out into winter weather).
- Put down some water bowls so that he won’t be thirsty while using these facilities (instead of having access only through his bowl).
Take your puppy to the potty pad.
Once you’re sure your puppy is ready to start potty training, take him to the pad. Make sure he has enough time to go, and if he doesn’t go, take him back inside and try again later. If your puppy does go on the pad, praise him and give him a treat. This will help reinforce the behavior so that it becomes more consistent.
You should continue this process until your pup understands what’s expected of him when he goes outside: pee on the designated spot!
When he does go on the pad, praise him and give him a treat.
When your puppy does go on the pad, praise him and give him a treat. You can also reward your puppy with praise, treats and affection.
If you’re using a clicker to reinforce the training, click when he goes in the right place. When you have a good understanding of what “good” means to your dog (for example, if he goes on the pad but not on the floor), then use that instead of saying “yes” or clicking when he does so.
If you catch him having an accident in the house, calmly clap your hands and say “No!” to distract him. Then immediately take him outside to the potty pad to finish.
If you catch him having an accident in the house, calmly clap your hands and say “No!” to distract him. Then immediately take him outside to the potty pad to finish. Never punish your puppy for having an accident in the house. He doesn’t know any better! It is also not helpful to yell at or scold your pup when he has accidents, as this will make him afraid of you and may cause him to feel more anxious about going outside. This can lead to issues with potty training that are much harder for both of you!
Continue using the same pad until your puppy is fully trained. Then gradually move it closer to the door, until you can eventually get rid of it.
Once your puppy has been using the pad for a few weeks, gradually move it closer to the door. You can also move the potty pad around to different rooms in the house. This will help your puppy learn that he or she is supposed to go on this specific pad, not just anywhere in general.
If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, put some newspaper down on top of the potty pad so that no accidents will happen while you’re gone (just don’t forget about it!). If possible, leave something familiar with him—his favorite toy or blanket—in case he gets scared and confused when left alone in new surroundings! If you have more than one dog at home, make sure they are separated while they get used to having their own designated areas; otherwise they may start fighting over who gets what spot!
You’ll have a clean house again in no time!
- Your dog will learn to go on potty pads.
- He won’t go in the house.
- You won’t have to clean up after him. This is great news for your carpet, floors and furniture, which will stay cleaner and fresher longer than they would otherwise.
- You’ll be able to leave the dog alone for longer periods of time without worrying about where he’s going to relieve himself when you’re not there (or how much damage he’ll cause while trying). This is great news if you work long hours or are away from home during the day more often than not; now you can finally take that vacation with peace of mind knowing that your furry friend is taken care of—and doesn’t need an expensive boarding facility!
Congratulations! You should be proud of yourself and your puppy. He’s learned the basics of going potty outside, which will make it easier to transition him to going outside later on. And you’ve gotten through what can often be a stressful period in a puppy’s life. You’ve done good work!