Puppy Potty Training Problems

Puppy potty training is a crucial part of the training process when you bring home your new puppy. Problems you encounter are usually a training error and can be easily remedied.

Medical Problems

When beginning a potty training regime, first ensure that your puppy has no bladder problems that may prevent him from keeping a normal schedule. If your puppy suddenly stops being able to hold it all night or has accidents in his crate, this may be caused by health problems, such as food allergies or urinary tract infection.

Training programs won't be effective if a health problem is preventing the results you want.

Eliminating in the House

If your puppy is sneaking off to relieve himself where you can't see, your puppy has too much freedom. Your puppy should either be under your direct supervision or in his crate at all times during potty training. You even need to go outside with him to see when he is going.

Get him on a schedule and be sure to take him outside before he needs to go. Anticipate so he never learns to go in the house. If you see him start to sniff around, rush him outside. If you aren't supervising, you can't catch potential mistakes.

Eliminating in the Crate

If your puppy is eliminating in the crate, you are leaving him in there too long. This is stressful for the puppy and should be avoided. With a young puppy, even an hour may be too long.

Puppies raised in pet stores or puppy mills often become comfortable eliminating in their crates because they have never had other options. However, you don't want to clean out a crate. Thus, clean the crate very well and leave it outside to air out for a few days.

Develop an alternative place for your puppy to stay like an x-pen or small room with a baby gate. Put potty pads in this area so your puppy can begin to make a choice that you like.

If the Puppy Won't Eliminate Outside

If your puppy won't eliminate outside, he may not have been properly socialized to do so as a puppy. Puppies have very strong imprinting, and if the breeder never took him outside, he may have only learned to go on newspaper or puppy pads.

Only give your dog the option to go outside by rushing him out each time he sniffs around. Spend time outside with him, waiting it out. When he goes, praise profusely and reward with treats and a game.

To make him more comfortable, bring a potty pad or newspaper, whichever he is trained to eliminate on, outside and place it on the grass. Gradually, make the potty pad smaller and smaller until he can't help but to go on the grass. Only reward when he goes on the grass, not the newspaper.

Instead of using potty pads when you aren't home, consider switching to sod boxes or other grass-like substances. This will reinforce where you want your puppy to go and not create any inadvertent associations with potty pads.