How to Potty Train a Puppy 

Learn how to potty train a puppy in a few simple steps

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How to potty train a puppy is probably the most frequently asked question when it comes to pets. The problem is that new puppy owners have no idea where to start, are bombarded from all angles with useless tips, and usually end up getting too stressed and then give up. Here's a free, simple 4-step guide on how to potty train a puppy.

(Alternatively, If you're interested in buying a full puppy training course click here)

First of all it is never a good idea to get a puppy before the age of 8-10 weeks. The reason for this is that dogs are den animals and are usually taught by their mother to go potty away from their bed, and the longer they stay in a litter the greater their socialization will be. However by nature dogs should keep their sleeping area clean. Potty training does not go by how old the puppy is, but by how mature it is. Larger dogs take longer to mature than a smaller dog. When you're learning how to potty train a puppy always remember that no two puppies are the same and one puppy may grasp the concept earlier than another one. BE PATIENT!

Rule of thumb when learning how to potty train a puppy

Take him/her outside:

- when they wake up from a nap.
- after they play for 10-15 minutes.
- after they eat
- when you notice them looking around.
(Take them outside as often as possible to get them used to it)


How to Potty Train a Puppy - Step 1
Feed your puppy at the same time each day. This will help regulate when his next potty time will happen. As the owner you will know your puppy best, watch her constantly so you learn to recognize when she needs to go potty. Remember, you want to know how to potty train a puppy, if you don't have time to teach her, you don't have time for a puppy.

How to Potty Train a Puppy - Step 2
When it's time to take your puppy outside go with him. It is important that you go with in order to make sure that he has actually done something! Take him to the same spot each time. Your puppy at 8 weeks has a very small bladder and bowel so you'll probably find that you are taking him outside a lot. This is a good thing though, because the more you take your puppy outside the faster it learns. Every time he does his job, praise him and give him a treat or play for a short time afterward. He will associate the praise with going potty.

How to Potty Train a Puppy - Step 3
To prevent mistakes, closely supervise your puppy. In the beginning it's your responsibility to make sure your puppy gets outside to go potty so don't get angry with her. Young puppies WILL have "accidents", this is unfortunately just part of learning how to potty train a puppy, don't punish or scold your pup or rub his nose in it. Contrary to popular belief, rubbing their nose in it is not how to potty train a puppy. If anything it will just prevent her from going potty in front of you at all. All you need to do in this case is very calmly pick her up and take her to the designated spot outside... Then come back inside and clean the floor :)

How to Train a Puppy - Step 4
Clean up the soiled area well with a cleaner that removes the odor. If a smell lingers, the puppy may try relieving himself there again. Remember to keep praising your puppy for going outside, and don't scold him for pooping on your floor.

If you'd like a more in-depth puppy training guide there are several books/courses available on how to potty train a puppy that you can buy which go into much more detail about various types of training. I've selected three of the best:

Dove Cresswell Puppy and Dog Training (My favorite because they use videos to guide you)
Kingdom of Pets - Sit Stay Fetch
Potty Train in 7 Days

A video on how to potty train a puppy