Potty Training Puppies: 5 Steps to Successfully House Training a New Dog

Puppy dog potty training

The joy of bringing a new puppy home can be quickly dampened—literally—by their tendency to do their ‘business’ in the house. While dog potty training can be an ongoing process, owners can get their pup on track generally within a couple of weeks with the right approach, consistency and lots of praise. In addition to training tips, a dogs poor potty habits may be attributed to poor intestinal bacteria. In those cases, good dog probiotics may help in house training. Assuming your dog has great intestinal bacteria and “goes” regularly, the below training tips may also help new owners avoid common dog house training mistakes and propel the house breaking process.

1. Go On 24/7 Puppy Patrol

Owners need to know where dogs are constantly during the potty training stages. This is especially important during the first week or two in order to intervene during eyewitness accounts and prevent “accidents” from happening, which can set training back. Time together allows for bonding, but most importantly it lets owners begin to catch on to their new pet’s cues that it may be time to head outside. Sniffing around, doing circles, looking out the door or pawing at it are strong indications that the dog needs to relieve himself. Keep track of pets indoors with a tether, leash, baby gates, or shut doors, and consider crating while away from home. Many of the same types of good dog leashes, harnesses & collars used outside can also be used indoors.

2. Be Generous With Outdoor Time

As dogs become oriented with their new environment and owners, they need to go outside every hour or so during waking hours. Frequent outings are the best way to prevent accidents and help pups understand the proper place to do their business. Walk the dog to the same spots regularly to further help them correlate the process of relieving themselves in specific places that aren’t within the home. Remember, puppies have small bladders, so make pre-bedtime walks a priority every night.

3. Understand That Accidents Will Happen

The point in 24/7 puppy watch is prevention, but those accidents will happen and punishment isn’t the best option. Many new owners are inclined to rub the pup’s nose in their mess spank or shout which can actually be counter-productive to the house training experience. Once the deed has been done, it doesn’t hurt to get the dog’s attention and point to the tainted area with a firm look and a scolding tone of voice, then placing them outdoors. However, dogs don’t speak in sentences and yelling confuses them, so keep any reprimands and commands brief, firm but free of spanking and yelling.

Clean up accidents thoroughly with a proper pet stain and odor reliever to prevent attracting pets back to the same area.

4. Express Over-the-Top Puppy Praise

According to many experts, there’s no better way to succeed quickly with potty training than through positive dog training reinforcement techniques. Every time the dog does their business outside it’s time for owners to do their business by lavishing the pup with praise and treats. Once they understand that relieving themselves outdoors brings rewards, they’ll be more likely to give signals when their urges arise.

5. Keep an Eye on the Prize… and for Signals

Owners have to keep up their roles as watchful fans and encouraging supporters, as after the first week most pups have caught on. However, they will still be dependent on their two-legged friends giving them constant attention for a bit longer. During this time, it’s likely that the new pet will have exhibited their telltale signals that they want to go outside. After a couple of weeks of success and minimal accidents, it’s time to let the puppy off the watchful eye leash with confidence.

Looking for a local dog trainer or animal behavior expert to assist with house training? You’re likely to find several reputable sources near you.