How Should You Potty Train Puppies?

How should you potty train puppies?

One of the main reasons why puppies and dogs end up in shelters is because the owners are not successful at training them. Having said that, you cannot expect to train your puppy fully before he is six months old. You can, however, begin the training when your puppy is at least two weeks old. Your puppy needs to know that he cannot relieve himself anywhere around the house. You must train your puppy since this will help to strengthen your bond with him.

When your puppy is only a few weeks old, he will not have sufficient bowel and bladder control. This means that you need to be vigilant during that period because he just cannot hold it in. You cannot, however, start training him the moment he sets foot inside your home. Bear in mind that there will be a handful of accidents. But do not fret.

Some owners are under the misconception that it is easy to train their puppies. They think that maintaining a routine will help them train the puppy easily. Or they believe that their puppy will be housetrained in just two weeks. This may work for some puppies, but many puppies who are taken through such a shortened and easygoing potty training will only be half-trained. These puppies will continue to have these mishaps for months. Puppies will understand that it is good for them to go potty outdoors, but they do not understand that they cannot go indoors.


Learning The Basics

When you bring your puppy into a new home, you need to ensure that you stay calm and patient. Your puppy is in a new environment, and he will have accidents. You need to bear this in mind when you train your puppy.


Introduce your Puppy to your Home

You must introduce your puppy to your home. You need to introduce him to his new role and family. Your puppy is going to be excited about the new house. He may also be bursting with curiosity, fear, joy, and excitement. It is a good time to lay the foundation now with your pet. Give your puppy enough time to learn to respect and trust you and his new family. This is the only way you can set the right expectations with your puppy. You also need to make sure that you are consistent with them.

You should show your puppy the areas where he can be. You should never let your pet explore the area on his own, especially if you do not want to let them poop or pee in the area. For instance, if you do not want your puppy to go to your bedroom or other areas in the house, you cannot allow your puppy to walk towards those areas.


Understand the Needs of your Puppy

You need to understand your puppy’s breed. Make sure that you understand the behavior and are aware of it. For example, if you have a Shitzsu at home, you know that these puppies have small bladders. They will need to urinate more often, and there will be some accidents even if you train them well. Dogs are very intelligent, but they do not think of the way human beings do. You cannot expect your puppy to tell you when they need to poop or pee. Therefore, you need to understand how they communicate and look for clues.

Be Watchful

Make sure your puppy is always where you can see him when you are training him. When you can see him, you can look for signs or signals that your puppy is giving you, so you know he needs to go. This will help you prevent accidents from happening. Some signs that they may give you are scratching, sniffing, and circling. Some puppies may also whine or bark. If you see these signs, take him to the spot where you want him to pee or poop and let him ease himself.


Interrupt Accidents

If your puppy pees or poops inside the house, you need to make a sudden noise to tell him to stop. You can also use a command to do this as it will remind him that he needs to go outside to relieve himself. Keep the following points in mind when you do this:

  • You do not want to scare your puppy, but only want to startle him. Your intention should only be to gain his attention, so you can let him know that you do not want him to pee or poop indoors. Remain consistent – this means you need to use the same action or word every time.
  • If he is pooping indoors, you cannot stop him immediately because he will not be able to stop this. You should still use the same action or command, so he knows what he is doing is wrong.
  • Do not punish your puppy when there are accidents. The little one does not know right from wrong. You should not remind them constantly about their actions. If you are aggressive, they will be scared of you.
  • You should never use punishment during potty training. This will either confuse the puppy or lead to more accidents. If your puppy sees that you are mad when he poops or pees, he will be scared of you. He will not tell you when he needs to go and will most likely poop or pee in places that you cannot reach.


Find A Spot

You must choose a spot where it is okay for your puppy to pee or poop. Make sure that other dogs do not visit this spot, and it is easy for you to clean.

  • When your puppy smells the urine, he will associate that spot as his bathroom.
  • You need to choose an easily accessible area. Remember that you will visit this area quite often when you train your puppy.
  • Do not choose spots where other dogs come until your puppy has been given all the rounds of vaccine. You can discuss this further with your vet.
  • When you take your puppy outside, keep him on a leash. This way, you can teach him to go in a specific location. You can also keep an eye on him to know when he is done.


Choose a Command or Word

As mentioned earlier, you should stop your puppy from peeing or pooping inside the house using an action or command. You should also use a command to indicate to them when they need to go. Use this command when you take your puppy outside to relieve himself. This will also help him understand that he needs only to use that spot to relieve himself. Your puppy will soon recognize the command and will know what he needs to do. Do not use this command to indicate anything else. Otherwise, you can confuse the puppy.


Appreciate your Puppy

When your puppy learns to pee or poop in the right area, you should praise him. Make sure to use a happy and cheerful voice to let him know that you are pleased. Always be consistent with how you show emotion.


Make the Process Relaxing

Your puppy should associate peeing and pooping as a rewarding activity. You should encourage your puppy to be patient while he controls himself until he reaches his area. You can set a routine. Your puppy should enjoy going for a walk and relieving himself. You should never interrupt or hurry your puppy when he is relieving himself. Let him relax and take his time.


Always Clean Up

Your puppy is bound to have accidents inside the house. You need to clean the area immediately and thoroughly. This will tell your puppy that he should not relieve himself in the same place.

Timeline And Tips


You need to teach your puppy never to make a mess inside the house. You can fully train your puppy in seven days if you establish a timeline and stick to it. When you adhere to this timeline, it should include information about where your puppy can and cannot relieve himself. As mentioned earlier, you can use crates or even puppy pads to make your training more effective.


In the Morning

Your puppy needs consistency. This means that your days should start the same every day. When your alarm goes off, you need to get out of bed and take your puppy out for a walk so he can finish his business. Do not wait to drink coffee or check your phone for any notifications. Try to keep the crate or puppy pad near the bathroom or close to your room. When you hear your puppy whine in the night, you can take your puppy out so he can relieve himself. When your puppy is small, you can pick him up and carry him outside. This will let him know that he should not pee outside the crate or anywhere on the floor in the house.

Make sure that you always walk out of the same door to the same spot where you want your puppy to pee or poop. As mentioned earlier, you can keep him on a leash, so you know when he wants to go.


After Food

You need to take him out for a walk after every meal. This is another thing you can do in the morning. The minute you are done with breakfast, walk out of the door with him. Make sure that you always stick to the schedule. You can slowly regulate your puppy’s bowel movements in this way. Do not wait for too long after you finish a meal to take him out for a walk. You can give yourself a gap of 5 – 30 minutes after any meal before you go out. When your puppy is younger, you need to be faster. Make sure that you take your puppy out immediately after a meal. As your puppy grows older, he will learn to control himself. Puppies eat almost four meals every day, and they definitely need to poop after their meal. So, you need to pay attention to this period. You need to be careful about how much water your puppy drinks. You need to consider this also a meal and take him out to poop or pee


After Naps and Playtime

Puppies will also need to go out at other times. They may need to go after playtime and naps. Their naps will be a smaller version of your morning routine. You must take your puppy out for a walk immediately after they wake up from a nap. When your puppy is playing, his digestive system will be stimulated. This will make him want to poop. Make sure that you understand the signals and lead your puppy away from the house to his spot. Some signs you need to be aware of are:

  • Scratching or sniffing the floor
  • Walking away from family
  • Whining
  • Pawing



As you and your puppy establish a routine, you need to pay attention to what you are doing outside. As mentioned earlier, you need to find a spot that will become your puppy’s spot. Make sure to use a command or sound to indicate to him that he can do his business in that spot. You should also appreciate him for easing himself in the right spot. You need to do this every time you are outside. When you do this, your puppy will understand that he will receive a lot of treats when he does his business in the right spot.

If your puppy does not like pooping or peeing in front of you, you may need to head in for a few minutes and then head back out. You may also need to take him out a few minutes after he is done. So, stay vigilant. As mentioned earlier, you should not punish your puppy if he has accidents inside the house. Remember to use a command or sound to stop him. If you want, you can also place a bell on the door. Teach your puppy to ring the bell when he needs to pee or poop. This way, you will know when you need to go outside. When you walk your puppy outside to do his business, ring the bell with your hand. Do this until your puppy learns to ring the bell when he needs to go out. As soon as your puppy learns to do this, praise him.


Last Call

If you need to leave home for a long time, maybe to go to the office or out for dinner, you need to plan ahead. If you do not know how long you will be away from home, you should use the month-plus-one rule. This rule will help you calculate the number of hours you can leave your puppy alone for between potty breaks. Calculate the month of your puppy in months and add one to it. This is the total number of hours you can leave your puppy alone for. If you have a two-month-old puppy, you can leave him alone for three hours with the certainty that he will not create a mess. Remember to take your puppy for one last break before you all go to bed. Your puppy cannot hold on to her bladder for a long time.

About the Author:

Natalie is a homeschooling mom of two and a food blogger for  She uses her spare time sharing personal experiences on the parenting struggles she faces every day and how she tackles them.


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