PAWTY POINTERS – Potty Training Tips

(DISCLAIMER: We are dog trainers and pet sitters. Any tips or information in these blogs are things we have found helpful in our years of experience. We are not veterinarians and any questions about health or nutrition should be directed to your veterinarian.)

Brining a new puppy or dog home is typically one of the happiest events in a family’s household.  With it comes many challenges, potty training being one of them!  Here are some tips to help with this ever so important task.


  • Keep your dog on a schedule. For young puppies, depending on how many weeks old and their size, taking them out every thirty minutes to every hour is recommended if they have an area large enough to move around and play in. At night time or when you are away from the house, they don’t have to go out as often if crated in an appropriate sized space. A good rule of thumb to follow is one hour for every month old they are, plus one. (i.e.) A nine week old puppy may be able to stay crated for three hours. The more opportunities you give them to go outside and go potty the less likely they are to have accidents in the house or crate. Your dog should also be taken outside immediately after waking up from sleeping, after eating, and after vigorous playtime.

  •  Pick an area of your yard that you would like to use as the potty area. Take your dog out on a leash to that same spot in the yard every time. Take your treats with you so you can give your dog a treat and praise him immediately after he goes potty. After your dog goes potty you can give him some playtime off-leash if you have a fenced-in yard. This will help teach your dog to go potty as soon as he goes outside. It is important to praise him immediately after he goes potty rather than waiting until he goes into the house. By waiting until he goes into the house, your dog will think you are rewarding him for coming inside rather than for going potty.

  • Crate training your dog is also helpful with potty training. Your dog’s crate should be just large enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down sideways. If the crate is too large, your dog can go potty in the corner of the crate and then curl up and sleep in a different part. Most dogs will not potty where they sleep. Remember, the crate should always be a safe place and never used as punishment.

  • Supervise your dog at all times so they cannot go into another room and have an accident. If you cannot keep an eye on your dog, for example while you are making dinner, put him in his crate.

  • NEVER scold your dog or rub his nose in it for having an accident. Your dog will not understand that you are angry that he went potty in the wrong place, your dog will think that you are angry that he went potty. Scolding him for going potty in the wrong place can also create an aversion for him to go potty in front of you outside which can make it very difficult to praise him for doing the right thing. If you notice your dog about to have an accident indoors, clap your hands or whistle to startle him. Usually this will stop a puppy from what they are doing, take him and immediately go outside with him. Be sure to stay outside with him so you can praise him when he goes potty outside.

  • Clean up any accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes such as Nature’s Miracle. Bleach or cleaners without enzymes will kill the germs but will not break down the urine or feces and get rid of them completely. If your dog can smell where he had gone potty previously, he will be more likely to return to that spot and have an accident again.

  • Keep a notebook by the door where you can write down what time you took your dog out and what your dog did while he was outside. After a couple of days you will start to notice patterns and your dog’s potty habits. This will help you plan when your dog’s potty breaks should be. The most important part of potty training is patience. Every dog is different in the amount of time it takes, but consistency in schedule and routine is key!

Cuteness brought to you by "Aspen" the puppy!

Cuteness brought to you by “Aspen” the puppy!

Have a topic that you would like us to blog about? Please leave a comment on our Facebook Page under the link of the latest blog announcement! We just may pick the topic you ask for!