Take your pup outside 5-15 minutes after eating, drinking or playing. They are more likely to “go” at this time.
Take your pup outside just before bedtime then close them up in their crate or other small space where they sleep for the night. If you hear them whine or bark during the night take them out right away so they can have a dry spot to lie on when they get up in the morning. Pups under 6 months of age should be taken outside first thing in the morning, last thing at night and any time they wake up from a nap regardless of whether or not you think they need go outside. Routine is the key.
Consider using an indoor training pad set in a small area of your house where you would like them to go instead of outside. There are several brands on the market that can be used over and over again, or covered with newspaper for easy cleanup after accidents occur. Puppies usually lift their legs when they go so even if they have missed the pad completely it seems as though they have gone on the pad because there is evidence of urine having soaked into the pad below. Have extra pads available at all times near areas you want pup to avoid going such as the kitchen or living room rug. Without some sort of designated spot for elimination, chances are good pup will still use spots you don’t want him/her to go.
Make sure your pup has a place where they can go to the bathroom – a small area with digging or potty pads for example. If you have allowed an accident and don’t catch them in the act, they will think it is okay to eliminate indoors if no one says anything.
When you catch pup having an accident, clap your hands loudly and say “no!” Use this word consistently every time you see mess being made so pup learns that this means “don’t do that”. It may take several repetitions of this before pup realizes what is going on but after a few times he/she will most likely avoid making a mess when you are around.
If using potty pads, place them far enough away from pup’s bed that he/she can’t go to the bathroom in that area without getting off their pad. Pups should not have to walk very far to eliminate so keep pads close by sleeping quarters so pup doesn’t feel the need to go elsewhere.
If you have another dog, make sure they are trained first or stay out of your puppy’s way until he/she is old enough to be able to play with others and not become distracted while they are doing their business outside. Older dogs will most likely discourage a new pup from going “potty” by taking over the spot where you want your puppy to go and teaching him an alternate place for elimination will be difficult if not impossible.
If pup is very young, put him on a leash to take outside with you. Ideally, the leash should only be long enough for you to go out with them and not so long that they have room to do their business without being near you. Leash training will avoid any accidents during your absence. When they are old enough to hold their bladder for an extended period of time, let them roam free outside but always close by in case they have an accident since most dogs can’t hold their urine all day long yet.
Talking softly or singing while walking outside with your puppy is helpful if they seem distracted or scared about going potty in front of others. Your calm attitude help set the tone for this activity and they will feel more secure if you are relaxed.
Give your pup a treat after they’ve gone to the bathroom outside or inside on a designated pad. For extra reinforcement, play a game of fetch since this activity is usually done right after going potty. It teaches pup that going potty is good because it means you want to play with them afterward. After playing, go back inside or if using an indoor training pad take pup directly there for their reward as well as praise for doing such a good job next time they have to go out again.
After the initial few weeks of housebreaking a pup, some owners choose to use a crate while at home to ensure they don’t have an accident. There are many styles available from plastic airline crates with drop down doors which fold up for easy storage when not in use, metal cages that can be semi-permanent fixtures in living rooms or bedrooms, and soft fabric crates that look more like large comfy pet beds or even just a designated corner of a room that is blocked off with baby gates to keep pup contained until they learn to go outside again.
Discourage your pup from going potty where other pets have gone inside the house by using baby gates or other deterrents after you let them out of their crate. Pups tend to like to use the same place if their smell is still present so make sure these areas are blocked off with something that doesn’t allow them through.
If you’re not home during the day, keep your pup in a safe area where they can’t get into trouble like an indoor play pen or room that has baby gates blocking off all possible places for accidents. This way, when you come home there won’t be evidence of any messes inside the house before you’ve had time to clean up after your little one’s mishaps. If using potty pads indoors, placing them under umbrella stands or other heavy furniture will discourage pups from peeing on top of them and teach them to go directly onto the pad only.
Do not scold pup for having accidents inside or on a pad. This will make them think it’s okay and they will continue to use the same place over and over again until you’ve trained them otherwise. If anything, simply clean up any messes with an enzyme cleaner like Nature’s Miracle which breaks down urine and feces instead of masking the smell with other harsh chemicals that only tend to entice puppies from going in the same spot again since their sense of smell is much stronger than ours. Once they have been housebroken, keep your pup on a regular schedule so you can tell when they need to go outside by looking for signs such as whining, pacing back and or sniffing around more frequently than usual.
As you can see, potty training a pup is not hard but it does take time and patience as well as dedication to continue the process daily until they’ve gotten the hang of it. Be patient with your new furball and soon you’ll have a clean home again to enjoy for years to come.
Make sure you give them some time to play or relax after having done their business. You want your pup to feel like going outside is a reward and that they will get attention and toys for doing so. They will then learn that going out is fun and help them with the training process.
Don’t show anger, scold only if absolutely necessary since it’s easy for pups to think they did something wrong when you get mad at them otherwise they’ll think they did nothing wrong at all. This means it might take longer for them to get the picture but this can be fixed with more consistency on your part as well as wiping away any signs of accidents in future which should discourage them from reoff without consequences next time around.
While this is a long process, in the end you will have a happy and healthy pup who will love going outside to do their business and being with their new family.
You can also agree to a certain time for them to go out and then place them in their crate or designated area with a few toys and let them play around until the time is up. They will soon come to see going outside as a reward instead of being confined in small spaces when you aren’t home.
Puppies love attention so be sure to give yours lots of loving whenever they’ve been potty trained, have done something good, or managed not to have an accident all day long. This way they’ll associate being clean with being happy which makes for a much better experience overall.
Consider having your pup stay with a friend or family member who either works from home or stays at home so your furry friend will have someone to take care of them whenever you have to leave. This way they’ll be able to go outside during the day and at least have some company while you are away.
If all else fails, consider crate training which gives them a safe place for them to relax indoors without having accidents all over the house. Once they are crate trained, keep them in one room with their food, water, toys and bed until you can start letting them outside again into designated areas that are easy for you to clean up after any messes they may make luckily this is only temporary until they’ve gotten the hang of things but it should help make potty training much less difficult overall.
Once your puppy has learned to go outside, make sure they don’t feel confined by not allowing them near small areas like mudrooms or laundry rooms (where pups may decide to use as a bathroom). Also be sure to keep the yard clean and free of pet waste if possible. Otherwise you can always train them how to poop in one area and then move it into the garbage when it’s time.
Finally, remember that potty training is not an overnight process but something you must continue daily until they’ve got it mastered. Depending on the breed of pup, this could take up to several weeks before you start seeing results so do everything within your power to stick with it without becoming discouraged or frustrated since this will only make things harder on both of you.