Puppy Potty Training Simplified

Contrary to popular belief, puppy potty training or housebreaking can be simple when done right. It requires plenty of patience, constant monitoring and dedication. Expect urine accidents from your young dog, as puppies do not gain complete control of their bladder until they are about 6 months of age. However, the more time you spend with your new puppy, the faster he will become trained. Here are some pointers, tips and things to consider while potty training your puppy.

Monitor and Praise

Most puppies give off warning signals when they are about to eliminate. This may take the form of circling, sniffing around, pacing, etc. Monitor your puppy and learn to recognize his warning signals. When you see him making the signs he uses before relieving, act quickly. Excitedly ask if he wants to go "Outside", or "Potty" or whatever word you may use for it, and immediately take your puppy to his designated bathroom spot.

Once outside or at the litter box, remain there to witness him eliminate. Once he does, praise him or reward him with a food treat or play. With this processes, he will learn to expect praise and your excitement when he eliminates outside at his "toilet". In turn, he will come up with a way to inform you that he needs to go, perhaps by looking up expectantly at you after circling or going to the door.


When you can't monitor your puppy, confine him to a crate, old playpen, or a small area of the house with baby gates. It is easier on you if this space is tile or linoleum, such as a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room (with chemicals moved safely out of harm's way). Put paper or training pads down. In a confined space, he will be more reluctant to relieve himself.

Schedule Potty Times

It is best if you keep your new puppy on a strict schedule. Take him out first thing every morning, and make his potty routine the last thing you do every night. He will have to relieve himself 15 minutes after every meal and drink. He will also have to go immediately after play, exercise, and waking up from a nap. If you keep these activities on a schedule, his potty process will become more predictable to you. If he does not relieve himself within 10 minutes of being taken to his assigned spot, confine and monitor him for 10 to 15 minutes, then take him to his spot again. As a rule of thumb, a puppy will have to eliminate about every 2 hours even if he has not done any of the above activities.


Expect them. If you catch your puppy eliminating in the house, interrupt him by picking him up or clapping your hands to distract him, and immediately take him to his designated spot. Praise him if he finishes there. Never punish your puppy for going potty in the house. If you yell or rub his nose in the soiled spot, he'll become afraid of eliminating himself in front of you. If an accident should happen, it is necessary you clean it up immediately with cleanser, as puppies tend to relieve themselves where they have soiled previously.