3 Steps to Potty Training a Puppy

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Potty training is vital in the training process of your new puppy.  Start with “house training” your puppy. This is the first thing you want to do when you get a dog or else you will have a smelly house. There are a few steps necessary in order to successfully potty training your pup. First is to make sure you have a crate. Second is to set up a schedule to follow. The last step is to praise him.



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Being attentive to your puppy in his crate is a very important step to potty training. Training your dog to use the crate will make your life easier and help keep your home clean. Dogs are den animals, so naturally they will seek out a cave-like area in your home for security which the crate represents. Having a crate will become a place your dog loves to go. The reason a crate is great for potty training is dogs are clean animals. They dislike the smell of urine as much as people don’t like the smell of urine. The correct size crate is very important. If the crate is too big, the pup will relieve himself in the corner and go to the other side to get away from the smell. When your puppy has the urge to go to the bathroom, he will start to whine and scratch. That is your cue to get the puppy out and bring him outside. As the dog’s owner, you need to be sure to get your puppy out quickly or he will think it is okay to go in their crate.



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Puppies have tiny bladders. The water they drink will run through them faster than you can imagine. Same thing goes for what they eat. What goes in comes right back out. This is why making a schedule to take the puppy out is an important step to potty training. According to the American Kennel Club, “A 6-month-old pup can reasonably be expected to hold its’ bladder for about 6 hours.” So if your puppy is younger than that you should be taking him out more often throughout the day. When I got my dog, Bruce, he was eight weeks old. My schedule was pretty crazy. I would take him out right before we went to sleep. Then about three to four hours later he would start to whine and scratch and I would wake up and bring him out again. This was usually around two in the morning. We would go back to bed and wake up again at seven in the morning, and I would let him out again. That was usually when I started my day. His bathroom schedule looked something like this.

  • Last thing at night
  • After playing
  • After spending time in a crate
  • Upon waking up from a nap
  • An hour After eating
  • 30 mins After drinking

I was lucky because I was in school and had time between classes to go home and let him out. Most people don’t have that luxury. So I suggest having a dog walker or someone you can call to let him out at least once or twice during the day.


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I really believe this is the most important step when training your dog. Yelling at your puppy for doing something wrong does nothing but scare him. I know people say if your dog pees or poops in the house to rub get their nose close to it and tell them “NO!” but honestly, I never did that. What I would do is put my pup in the crate for ten minutes and ignore him will he whined and scratched. When you praise your puppy they will feed off your positive energy and want to do the good behavior again. If you catch your puppy getting ready to go number one or number two in the house pick him up and bring him outside and let him finish outside. This is where you praise him like he just solved world hunger. Start to cheer him on, clap and give him treats. This is something he will love and will help him learn where he should be going to the bathroom.

House training your new puppy will be one of the most important things to teach him when you first get them. If you don’t start this training right away it is going to be tough to stop other poor habits later on. Don’t think of his crate as a punishment, they are great for the owner and the dog. The crate should be a placed somewhere the puppy will be often in the house as long as you make it a positive place to go. Make sure your maintain your schedule of taking your pup out. This will speed up the training process.  Always praise puppies when they do the right thing. As they learn to go outside to go to the bathroom praise them like they are the smartest dogs in the world. They will love you for it, and you will love that they are not going to the bathroom in your house.


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