House training your puppy is one of the first and most important things you do when bringing your new pup home!
While you may think the process is difficult and somewhat overwhelming, it’s a fairly straightforward process, especially if you follow the correct schedule and use the right training techniques.
To make things easy, we’ve provided this in-depth puppy potty training schedule and guide to explain everything you need to know to potty train a puppy!
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What Will You Need to Potty Train Your Puppy?
Unfortunately, house training a new puppy is a messy process. You’ll need a few cleaning supplies. You can also use a few training aides to make the process go smoother.
To get started, make sure you have the following:
- A puppy-friendly leash or harness
- A crate
- Puppy-safe reats
- Carpet cleaner for pet stains
- Plenty of paper towels
You’ll also need plenty of patience, consistency, and a positive attitude!
For more information on puppy training, stop by our When to Start Training a Puppy guide!
What to Do Before You Begin House Training Your New Puppy
1. Create a House Training Schedule for Your Puppy
Creating a schedule that you can stick to is essential if you want success house training your new puppy.
A puppy’s bladder is small and they have notoriously sensitive stomachs, so food and water will run right through them.
Unless you have a schedule that you can follow, you’ll deal with plenty of accidents.
Watch your puppy for a few days and try to understand its current habits.
On average, a puppy will pee once every 2 to 3 hours while they work on bladder control. The same goes for solid waste.
A good schedule for taking the dog outside that many puppy parents find works for them is as follows:
- First thing in the morning
- After eating each meal
- In the afternoon after taking a nap
- Last thing at night before the puppy goes back into their crate
You and your family might have to take your dog outside 10 or more times a day for a potty break, but if you want results, you must be consistent!
If you have a busy work or school schedule and nobody is home during the day, you may need to hire a dog sitter or a dog walker to come by and take your puppy out at your chosen intervals throughout the day.
2. Observe Your Puppy’s Behavior
Before you come up with your house training schedule, you need to watch your puppy for signals they make before peeing or pooping.
Try to understand how frequently your pup goes, as some dogs will hold it for longer than others.
Once you’ve picked up on a few cues, you’ll be much better prepared to help your dog learn where it’s okay to go.
3. Carefully Control Your Puppy’s Diet and Feeding Schedule
The more control you have over what and when young puppies eat, the easier it will be to potty train a pup.
Since puppies have such sensitive stomachs, they can’t handle a lot of variety in food.
Sticking to a strict diet of healthy puppy kibble will make things a little bit more predictable.
A strict feeding schedule will also give you more control over when the dog will be ready to go potty, making the training process much easier.
While treats are always nice, you may want to avoid giving your pooch anything outside of its standard diet during the training phase, as any variety in what they eat will make their potty habits more difficult to predict.
You should avoid giving your puppy human food during this time, as this will almost certainly lead to unpredictability and make the whole house training process far more difficult.
Read our related article on How to Stop Dogs From Peeing On Beds. Protect your home and your dog’s accessories with our quick training guide!
Puppy Potty Training Schedule – Step-by-Step Guide
Now that we’ve gone over the training schedule and some of the tips you should follow before getting started, let’s go over the 9 steps to successfully house-train your new pup.
1. Take the Puppy Outside
This needs to happen as soon as you wake up. If you tend to sleep in, you may need to set an alarm.
Puppies are light sleepers and tend to wake up with the sunrise. There’s a good chance your puppy’s little yelps will wake you up.
2. Take the Puppy to a Location Where You Want Them to Go
This location will be important, as you’ll want your puppy to keep pooping and peeing in the same spot.
Remember, consistency is critical when teaching a puppy anything new
If you live in a high-rise apartment or don’t have constant access to a patch of grass, an indoor dog potty place might be helpful.
We reviewed the Best Indoor Dog Potties, so be sure to check it out!
3. Let the Puppy Get Familiarized with the Spot
A potty training puppy should choose its toilet area. Let the puppy smell the area and find a particular patch of grass where it feels comfortable going.
While it’s a good idea to keep them going in the same toilet area over and over, you can allow some flexibility.
Let the puppy choose the spot it wants to use as a potty area, so it becomes more attached to it
READ MORE: How Do I Know if My Dog is Housebroken? It can be hard to tell when a dog is housebroken. Here are some signs!
4. Let the Puppy Pee and Poop
This step is fairly self-explanatory, as you’re just waiting for the puppy to hunch over to pee and poop.
However, it’s also critical that you offer the dog plenty of praise and positive reinforcement.
If this step takes a while, don’t worry, almost every puppy will eventually go first thing in the morning, so it’s just a matter of waiting the pup out.
It’s also important to say a verbal cue when your dog is pooping and peeing, as this will help associate the action with the praise.
The cue you use is up to you, just make sure you’re consistent. “Go potty”, “Go poop”, or just about anything else will work.
5. Take the Puppy Back Inside to Eat
Now that the puppy has successfully gone outdoors rather than in the house, it’s time for the first meal of the day.
Give your puppy its morning meal.
Remember, healthy, puppy-specific dog food is key.
If the food contains all of the calories and nutrients your puppy’s little body needs to grow, the whole house training process will run much smoother.
High-quality dog food will also help support your young dog’s growth and development.
6. Take the Puppy Back Outside 20 Minutes After Finishing Their Morning Meal
After your dog has finished eating, allow them to play or rest for 20 minutes, then return outside to the same spot where the dog previously went.
7. Let Your Dog Wander and Explore the Original Outdoor Spot
You want your puppy to be familiar with this spot, as the sooner they begin to associate it with going potty, the faster they’ll complete their house training.
8. Using the Leash, Walk the Puppy Around the Area
You should walk the dog very slowly and keep circling the area where they originally went potty.
Use the same verbal command from earlier. Keep repeating the cue from earlier and point to the spot where they originally went.
This may take some time, but eventually, the dog will go. When they do, shower them with praise for their good behavior.
You can even offer a treat to reinforce the good habit.
9. 2 Hours After this Step, Repeat Steps 6 to 8
2 hours after the dog has gone outside for the second time, it’s time to go outside again.
After they’ve been out and successfully gone potty, you can go indoors and feed the puppy its second meal of the day.
Once you’re into the rhythm of taking your dog out, you need to be consistent.
The name of the game is drilling routine into your puppy’s brain.
You want them to know that going outside is met with praise while going indoors is met with no praise.
Remember not to yell and get angry with your puppy after an accident.
Don’t praise them, but quietly clean the mess up. Dogs operate on positive reinforcement, rather than negative reinforcement.
They react to our positive emotions and want to do what they can to please us.
Consistency is essential. If you can’t stick to a schedule, you may need to ask for help or hire someone to help you.
The puppy needs the consistency of a strict routine to learn.
READ MORE: The Best Pooper Scoopers. Check out our complete guide on the best pooper scooper picks!
How Long Does it Take to House Train a Puppy?
House training a puppy can take less time than most people think, but it does require patience.
Some puppies are slower learners than others, which has a lot to do with breed type, the skill of the trainer, the age of the puppy when you started the training, and the dog’s unique personality.
Remember, puppies learn at their own pace and the key to their success is your patience and consistency.
If everything goes well, it’s possible to house-train a puppy in as little as 3 weeks. However, some puppies can take as long as 6 months.
It’s also important to remember that puppies have extremely small bladders, so if your puppy has an accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve had a major setback.
The more you work with your puppy, the better you’ll understand its needs.
You can adjust your potty break schedule to better fit your puppy’s unique needs.
Most puppies will need to go at least once every couple of hours, so be prepared for plenty of trips outside.
You can do many things to make the house training process run smoother.
For example, using a crate while your dog sleeps is a really easy way to control them from having accidents around the house.
While there are certainly plenty of tips and tricks out there, nothing beats consistency, patience, and plenty of love.
Puppies are young and still learning, and we can’t expect them to learn everything immediately, so treat them with care.
While cleaning up accidents around the house is certainly frustrating, puppies will learn the dos and don’ts of your home in no time.
By following a consistent puppy potty training schedule, making sure you’re taking your dog to the same spot, and offering plenty of praise when they go you’ll be well on your way to having a fully house-trained pooch!
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