Potty training typically starts when the dog is a puppy, but many of these tips can be applied to adult dogs as well. When it comes to puppies, what they put in their mouth comes out the other way quickly, so they need to be taken out often.

Getting Started with Potty Training a Puppy

When you are home with your puppy, keep an eye on them at all times. Make sure to block off other rooms of the home and keep the puppy within eyesight at all times. This will give you a chance to catch them before they go to the bathroom in the house, so you can take them outside.

It’s important to take your puppy out frequently, before and after meals, immediately after naptime, and playtime. When you have a puppy, it is like having an infant. You need to be fully engaged with the puppy to ensure its needs are met while instilling the proper foundation training.

When you take your puppy outside, it is important to take them out the same door of the home and to the same spot in the yard. This will help them form a connection about where they are supposed to go potty. When they go to the bathroom outside, be sure to praise them with a phrase such as “good potty.”

For people who live in climates where there is snow, the puppy may not use that spot at first. If they have never seen snow, they may be unsure that it’s okay for them to go there. Use a tarp to cover their usual potty spot, and then lift the tarp when you bring them outside so they can use their dedicated spot.

How Often Should I Take My Dog Out?

We recommend taking a puppy out before and after eating, before and after playtime, and immediately after their nap. Keep an eye on the puppy, taking them out frequently.

Adult dogs can typically go a few hours in between potty breaks and can often go overnight without needing to go out. Puppies will need to go out more often and may need to go out during the night.

If you work and are away from home during the day, be sure to make arrangements for your dog to be taken outside. You can arrange to have someone let them out, install a doggy door, or come home during your lunch break. Leaving your dog for hours with no potty breaks can cause health problems such as bladder and kidney issues.

What do I Do If My Dog Has an Accident?

If they have an accident, you can tell them “no” if you catch them in the act. You can’t discipline them if you don’t catch them in the act. They will not make the connection about what they did wrong.

They will know the mess is theirs, and they will know you are upset, but they won’t be able to connect that the mess is why you are upset. Things like “sticking their nose in it” are very outdated and offer ineffective training.

When you clean up an accident, take the used paper towel out and place it where you want them to go in the yard. Use an enzyme product that is specifically designed to clean up pet urine or feces. If you don’t, the smell will linger and attract the puppy back to that place.

Questions about dog training? Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today!

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