How To Potty Train A Puppy

January 04, 2021 5 min read

Golden retreiver potty training

Getting a puppy is exciting because you're bringing home an adorable new companion and family member. It'll be important to feed them the right foods, learn about what to expect, and to train them properly. 

Potty Training: Made Easy

Potty training can be daunting, tiring, and time-consuming. All these things make first-time puppy owners nervous and can even lead to puppy blues. Potty training puppies is by far the hardest step of housebreaking your new family member because they'll pee and poo where they shouldn't for the first couple of times. Luckily, it can be made easy with a few simple steps.

Choosing Your Best Method to Potty Train

Potty training pups are not easy and the first step to ensuring a positive potty training experience is to understand your own surroundings. While it's ideal for our puppies to do their business outdoors, we understand that not everyone has the luxury to make frequent trips outside.

If you live in an apartment building or can't go outside every few hours, training pads are definitely your best bet. Long workdays and extreme climates are also reasons to invest in warmer attire for your puppy and go towards a potty pad solution!

If you live in an area that has yard space or have easy access to grass patches, you may want to designate and take your puppy to a specific spot for them to go potty. Eventually, they will go out on their own through a doggy door, paw your door, or push a button if that´s how you train them.

Best Potty Training Tips

Training your dog to do their business on a pad or outside can be stressful, but potty training tips can help the process. 

1. Set Boundaries

The first step of any project is establishing boundaries. Establish where your puppy can go potty and where their play areas are. When taking them out, make sure they aren’t playing for an extended period of time, or else they may associate going potty with play.

2. Setting a Schedule

Set a schedule of when they are eating and going out to potty. Feeding at consistent times equates to consistent potty times. The general rule of thumb is that puppies can hold off needing to potty for the number of months they are plus an hour. So if your puppy is 3 months old, they can hold for 4 hours.

If you have decided to crate train your puppy, make sure they are able to go potty every time they’re out of the crate, after every meal, playtime, the first thing each morning, and the last thing each night.

When using training pads, it is also important to follow the same schedule in terms of when to take your puppy to their training pad. Keep an eye out for signs that they need to potty included sniffing and circling around the same areas. Be sure your pup completely finishes their business on the training pad before praising them .

3. Verbal Cues

While your puppy is going potty, make sure to use a phrase to associate the act with. As your puppy grows older, they will continue to associate the phrase with going potty and they will eventually be able to go potty on command.

4. Praising & Rewards

By far the most important part is praising your puppy after they’ve done their business. Praise them like there’s nothing more important in the words so that they can look forward to their potty breaks. Treats are also a good way to positively enforce good potty behavior.

5. Consistency

Consistency is KEY. Many pups regress in their housebreaking process when they lack consistency. Make sure everyone in your household is aware of the routine you have established for your pup and that they are going by the routine you set. Use the verbal cues you set and reward them after!

6. Supervision

Supervision is a key component to successful housebreaking. Allowing your pup to roam and explore under your supervision is important in helping them understand what they are allowed and not allowed to do. Additionally, supervision can help you track your puppy’s habits and help you better understand the body cues they show to indicate discomfort and the need to potty.

When You Can’t Be Around

Not all of us can be with our pups 24/7 to make sure they are getting the attention they need or have enough time to keep an eye out for mischievous activity. If you are a working professional with long workdays, be sure to assign someone to come by and take your puppy out for a walk so they can relieve themselves.

Accidents Happen

So you thought your puppy was house trained. What happened? Accidents happen! As much as we expect our pups to be potty trained, there isn’t a 100% guarantee that they can hold till the next time they are able to be let out! Like us, our puppies aren’t perfect and the best we can do is be patient with the potty training process and make sure you are consistent with feeding and potty schedules.

To avoid mid-night accidents, some pet parents will opt to take away their pup’s water bowl a few hours before bedtime. So if your dog’s desired sleep time is at 10 pm, pick up their water bowl at 8 pm.

When Will My Puppy Be Potty Trained?

Puppy training timelines vary case by case. There are many factors that go into how fast a puppy can get trained whether that is how old they are, your puppy’s past, and how effective and consistent your training is. Some pups just pick up cues faster and can learn in just a few days. Others can take months to get a good grasp of the correct potty training guidelines especially if they are coming from non-ideal situations. Patience and persistence really hold the key to a smooth house training period.

A puppy is a lot of work but their companionship and cuteness all but make up for it! Patience is key and don’t give up! There are many puppy support groups out there if you need any advice and of course when it comes to feeding your puppy the best, CaliRaw is here for you every step of the way. Potty training is hard, but feeding your puppy should be easy. Our raw food is complete and balanced, don’t worry about anything other than housetraining your pup!


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