Potty training tips for Puppies and Adult Dogs
- Choose grass! Make it easy for your puppy to understand which substrate you prefer them to potty on. If you need to use an alternative indoor potty area, use fake grass or a litter box with pellet litter. The difference in texture will make it easier for your dog to understand.
- Use baby gates or playpens to make it easy to supervise your puppy. This way the dog can’t wander off and leave a mess for you to find later.
- Due to the lack of activity, puppies will not need to go potty as frequently when they are sleeping or in a crate versus when they are active.
- Puppies under 12 weeks of age typically need to be taken outside to go potty every 30-60 minutes when they are active. Puppies over 12 weeks typically need to be taken out to their potty area once every 60-90 minutes when they are not sleeping. Puppies over 4 months of age typically need to go outside 4-6 times a day.
- Feed your dog or puppy on a schedule. Take your puppy outside to go potty when the puppy is done eating. For puppies under 4 months old, take the puppy outside 15 minutes after drinking water.
- Write a log to figure out how many times a day and when your dog typically needs to go outside.
- While your puppy is going potty, say “go potty” to teach the puppy to go potty on cue.
- Reward the puppy with a treat for going potty on the correct surface (i.e. grass, fake grass pad, in litter box). When the puppy is signaling you consistently wean off the rewards for going potty outside.
- Watch your puppy for signs of needing to go such as sniffing, circling, being antsy or leaving the room.
- Pick one door that you will use to bring your puppy outside to go potty so the puppy learns to signal you there.
- Feed your puppy in the crate or kennel to reduce the likelihood of accidents in the crate.
- Use the crate or a puppy playpen when you cannot supervise your puppy.
- Teach your puppy to signal you to go outside by ringing a bell. Purchase a bell on a string. Place the bell next to the door that you will use to take the puppy outside. Every time you take the puppy outside, take a treat and encourage the puppy to hit the bell with his nose. Repeat for 6-8 weeks. The puppy will start signaling you by hitting the bell.
- Clean up all accidents immediately with a dog or cat urine cleaner.
Charlotte NC Dog Trainers can potty train your puppy!
Mariah Hinds is a professional Charlotte NC dog trainer. She is CPDT-KA certified and she offers puppy training classes in Charlotte. Learn more about how to puppy potty train your dog with our group dog training classes. Yes, you can potty train your dog!