Your Complete Guide to Puppy Potty Training

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The joys of owning a puppy are endless, but parenting a poorly behaved pooch can spoil the party. If you are a new dog owner, figuring out when or how to start potty training your pup is no picnic. Owning a pup is not all about games of fetch and cuddles- they need to learn stuff like using a potty. When you buy or adopt a puppy, they don’t come with instructions. It is your responsibility to train your puppy how to live as fast as possible. Finding the right potty training for your bundle of playful fur and fuzz is the first step, and that’s what this post is all about. We’ll cover when to start potty training, how to do it correctly and how to address possible challenges. Potty training involves 3 main stages: learning where to potty, self-control and independent toileting. We will cover the 3 stages comprehensively later in this post.

Potty Training Puppies – Why Is It Necessary?

Before we jump in on how to potty train a puppy, it is imperative that we understand if it is indeed essential to have a well-thought-out potty training process or whether pups can naturally potty train themselves. Puppies relieve themselves more frequently as they have little control over their tiny bladders and digestive tracts. This means that housetraining them is no easy task. They are also clueless of the right and wrong place to relieve themselves. To them indoors and outdoors is the same thing.

If you live in a small house with a big yard, your pup will tend to relieve themselves outside. This is because they see the yard as the furthest point away from where they sleep. But if you live in an apartment, things are different. You have no yard, and without proper training, your puppy will pee somewhere in your house. So if you don’t potty train your pup, they will develop a habit of relieving themselves in the house.

But look at it this way, a little training challenge today will save you time and energy cleaning later. The more effort you put in house training at the beginning, the better things will turn out for you and your pup. Potty training your puppy needs a lot of patience and consistency. You need to be patient with the process and consistent with your strategies. The good thing about potty training puppies is that they are easier to train than older dogs and the habit is more difficult to break.

When Do I Start Potty Training My Puppy?

According to WebMD, the best age to train your puppy is between 12-16 weeks when she has full control of her bowels and bladder. At this age, your puppy will pick up potty training without much difficulty as it is part of their natural programming. The beginning is always the toughest part but also the most important. As you will come to discover later, good things take time. The trick is to start potty training slowly and work your way up. You can begin puppy training your puppy right from day one as soon as their tiny paws start pattering around your living room. If the first place they pee is your kitchen, they will make a habit of peeing there. To avoid such accidents, it is vital you don’t let them make a habit of peeing in the wrong places. In the long run, they will know what is expected of them. With proper training, even the slowest pup will learn soon enough.

How Much Time Will I Need to Potty Train My Puppy?

Well, there is no definite answer to this question as it depends on several factors like your pup’s personality. Some breeds learn faster while others need more time to house train. The method you use to potty train also plays a significant role. Generally, crate training your puppy is faster, and you can finish the training in 4-6 months. By taking small but sure steps, from gradually introducing your pup to the crate, she will learn to love the process, and you will soon both enjoy the results.

Benefits of Potty Training Your Puppy

There are many perks associated with potty training. Your puppy will:

  • Not relieve themselves inside your car.
  • Get a place they feel secure and comfortable.
  • Learn to pee and poop in appropriate places.
  • Be able to visit houses of your neighbors and friends.
  • Be safe when you are not available to supervise them.
  • Be trusted to have a good time with you indoors.
  • Not relieve them on the floor when you visit the convenience store.

How to Potty Train Your Puppy

Indoors potty training is gaining popularity first, and understandably so. Dogs are free creatures that enjoy the stimulation of the outdoors but times have changed, and these days they spend more time indoors. There’s no magic tutorial to potty train your puppy. You have to create the right environment and follow the proper procedures. One of the most effective ways potty training methods is to utilize an enclosed space and cover the area with thick puppy pads. Other materials you require may include a leash, treats, a crate, waste bags and an enzymatic cleaner.

Establishing the toilet area is the first stage to potty training. By restricting your puppy to a selected area of your home, they will learn about the right place to relieve themselves. Ensure that the enclosed space keeps the pup contained without making her feel shut away.

Next, you should mark the occasions after which your pup needs to pee or poop. Such times can include immediately after eating, playing and waking. Supervise your pup every day. The question many new dog owners ask themselves is, “How do I know when my pup’s bladder is full?” Well, there is no direct answer to that question. Observation matters a lot here. If your puppy needs to use the bathroom every one hour, then his bladder will be full again if her last pee was 50 minutes ago. If you’re busy, it is easy to forget. To avoid this, you can use your phone’s alarm to remind yourself of the intervals. Soon enough, you will sync with your pup’s natural rhythms which means progress.

If you decide to use a crate to potty train your puppy, it is vital that you use it correctly. Don’t use it as a form of punishment but instead, make your pup view as a haven. Besides soft bedding, also remember to include toys and clean water. You should ensure that the crate is big and comfortable enough. If you put extra effort and positive reinforcement in the first few days, your puppy will catch up quickly and she’ll have no problems emptying herself when taken there. A little reward or treat when your pup displays her newly-learned potty skills will help fasten the process. A good trick is rewarding your puppy immediately after eliminating, so she attaches her reward with her action. Use a specific phrase or word as a command to remind your puppy of what she’s supposed to do.

The next stage is all about teaching your puppy self-control. It’s essential that your pooch learns to wait for a few minutes before relieving herself when her bladder starts to feel full. Teach your pup to visit the toilet area frequently to avoid relieving herself in the wrong places. Accidents are bound to happen during this stage. Don’t use an angry tone if this happens. Doing this will only make them afraid of you when they need to take a leak. Most pups will be able to last up to an hour, and you will be required to be more vigilant. Different dogs have different signals. Common signs to look out for include barking, squatting, restlessness, sniffing around, and circling. When accidents happen, don’t worry, they’re completely

Congratulations, you have successfully pad trained your pup!


When you welcome a new member into the family, potty training won’t be the first thing that crosses your mind. You might get caught up in the excitement and throw the usual routine out of the window. It is, however, crucial that you resume your normal life ASAP. Use the complete puppy potty training guide above as a blueprint to house train your puppy easily today!

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