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How to Potty train a puppy: Get the job done in 5 easy steps

How to Potty train a puppy: Get the job done in 5 easy steps

One of the first questions new dog owners ask is: How to potty train a puppy?
It’s a perfectly logical question since your new best friend has all the love in this world, but no manners at all.

You have all probably already had to clean your puppy accidents, and it’s safe to say that this is no easy or fun task whatsoever.

After some time you get frustrated at the inability of you and your puppy to solve this problem, and it seems you will never be able to accomplish this.

Frustration leads to undesired actions, and you might think that punishing or scolding your puppy is a good idea.

But that’s absolutely not the case, and this course of action can only lead to a bad relationship.

Put Yourself In Its Position

You might think you are a bad owner or your puppy is bad. But remember that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The first thing you have to do is to put yourself in a puppy’s position.

What we need to understand is that a puppy coming into our house is equivalent to us discovering a new world.

You might want to go to the toilet in that new world, but you don’t know the language. You don’t know where the toilet is, you don’t even know what a toilet looks like.

A dog and a woman on a couch

Once you come to this realization you start searching for solutions to this problem. And contrary to popular belief solution is actually quite straightforward and simple.

Before we go into the steps you need to complete please understand that this is a process. And it can last from two weeks to a couple of months.

The time it will take to potty train your puppy is directly connected to the diligence and effort you put into this task. Also, remember that every puppy is different, some may need more time and some learn quickly. Important thing is that you don’t despair and give up, but continue to follow the plan until you succeed.

These are 5 easy steps that helped me to learn how to potty train puppies , and will most certainly bring the same results to you.

1. Take Your Puppy Outside Often

The fastest way to potty train your puppy is to never give opportunity for accidents to occur inside your house.

The best way to accomplish this is to take your puppy outside often before it needs to go. Young puppies can hold their bladder for approximately an hour per their age in months.

This means that a 3-month puppy can hold it for about three hours, 2 months for about two hours, etc. A new pet needs help in forming good habits in a new home. 

So to always stay one step ahead and never let accidents happen inside your house, you need a plan. Start by taking your puppy outside every 20 minutes to do his/her business.

If you take them out every 20 minutes and they don’t go, extend that interval to every 30 minutes and keep doing that until you find that “sweet spot”.

Let’s say you extended the interval to about an hour and they still have some accidents inside the house, consider taking them out every half hour or 45 minutes instead.

Remember, every accident inside your house is a step back in an effort to potty train your Golden Retriever puppy. Therefore it’s best to put more effort now so you can reap benefits later. Housetraining is the first step for sure.

Common mistake people do and you should be aware of:

Remember, it’s potty time not playtime! Don’t let your puppy play and forget it needs to go, puppies have the short attention span and will forget why they came out in the first place. Do not forget positive reinforcement.

If you do this mistake your puppy will come inside the house and suddenly remember that it needs to pee and you have another accident on your floor or carpet.


2. Take Them To The Same Spot Every Time

As you probably already noticed dogs love to go potty in the same spot every time. They like to do it where they can smell others pee and poop.

This can be particularly frustrating for owners that don’t clean accidents inside the house correctly. Dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans do! Even if you cleaned the accident area that doesn’t mean your dog can’t smell it.

So, the puppy will constantly return to the same spot to potty again and again.

This can be a vicious circle that will leave you frustrated, but as always there is a simple solution to this.

When cleaning the soiled area, you need to use enzymatic cleaner instead of regular soap and water.

Enzymatic cleaner breaks down and removes the smell of poop and pee so your puppy won’t be able to smell it.

This behavior to go to the same spot to potty every time can also be to your advantage. You can take your puppy to the same spot outside every single time, it will smell poop and pee and remember this is the spot where it needs to go.

3. Praise Your Puppy And Give Them Treats After Job Well Done

It is of utmost importance that you praise your puppy every time it goes outside and potty.

It is also preferable that you award it with treats as it will soon start to associate that kind of behavior with a reward.

Common mistakes people do in this situation and you need to be aware of:

You might be too excited your puppy started to potty outside and you start praising it too soon. Remember, do not praise your puppy until it has finished, that is not the right thing to do.

You will startle it and draw its attention which will result in another accident when you come back inside your house.

Instead, calmly praise your puppy as it is going, and when it’s done throw in a proper praise party and let your puppy know it did a fantastic job.

4. Crate Train Them And Keep Them Constrained

Never leave your puppy unmonitored, that is the one mistake that can be very costly in term of health and life of your puppy. But also in material damage your household can sustain.

There are a lot of bad things that can happen once you leave the puppy alone and unconstrained. It can potty inside your house, swallow objects that will require surgery to be removed, find a box of raisins, eat them and die.

This is where Crate training is great for you puppy. It will be safely constrained while you are not in the house, and since dogs don’t like to potty where they sleep this is also a fantastic way to potty train them.

When you don’t have time to monitor or play with your puppy, put it in dog crate as it will stay away from the trouble and at the same time, it will not go potty inside the crate.

Then when you take your little friend out of the crate, take it outside immediately to potty and praise it.

There are also crates made with two separated sections, one is for the puppy to sleep and play in it and the other one is exclusively for the puppy to potty in it.

Be careful to choose the right size of a dog crate and check which crates rank high. Look for genuine reviews of dog owners and crate buyers. Also, crates rank high when it comes to potty training tools so a good news is that this might become a standard procedure for your housetraining schedule.

A beautiful woman walking a dog on a leash while drinking coffee

5. Learn To Recognize What Your Golden Retriever Puppy Is Trying To Tell You

Accidents can be prevented and stopped once you, as an owner, have clear idea what your puppy is trying to tell you through its behavior.

As time goes by and you get accustomed to each other you will start noticing sings your puppy needs to go.

Here are a few common ones:

  • Circling
  • Sniffing the ground more than normal
  • Barking, or biting, asking for attention more than normal
  • Sitting at the front door

It is also important that you know the times when your puppy typically needs to go out and have a consistent schedule 

  • First thing in the morning
  • After eating
  • After playing
  • As soon as the puppy comes out of the crate
  • After drinking
  • After nap
  • Last thing at night

If you follow the steps mentioned above your puppy will go outside in no time. But, please remember that every puppy is different and accidents will happen. This is a long process and it will take some time. What you need to do is to stay focused on your task and don’t give up. A bit of trouble now will make life easier for you and your best friend in the future.

Real also: Having and Caring for Pets at Home Q&A: Tips and Advice from the Experts

I'm Michael, and I absolutely adore dogs. My faithful companion, Toby, is a Corgi who means the world to me. I'm passionate about building strong bonds with dogs and providing them with all the love and care they deserve.

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