How to Potty-Train Your Puppy

Nothing is as cute as a puppy, and every heart melts at the sight of those loving eyes and that little tongue sticking out to give you a lick. Then, you step in the puddle — or worse — that your cute puppy left on the floor and suddenly the cuteness wears off!

It is not challenging to potty-train your puppy, and most pups learn very quickly if you are patient and disciplined in your approach. Put yourself into the pup’s shoes and you will see that when he wants to relieve himself, he will simply go wherever he is. He will not understand why you are so angry with him when you look at the mess.

If you yell, smack him or rub his nose in it, you will just let him know that you don’t want him to relieve himself. Therefore, he will start trying to hide his mess, which will be even worse in the long run.

When it comes to teaching your puppy, timing is the magic word. Anger after the fact does no good, as he just won’t understand why you are angry. You will need to work out when he is most likely to want to relieve himself. The likeliest times are just after he wakes up, after a meal and after playing for a while.

Recognize that he has a tiny bladder and will find it very difficult to hold it in, so try to take him for a toilet break when you think he is reaching his limit. A two-month-old pup should be able to hang on for two hours, a four-month-old for five hours, a five-month-old for six hours and seven months and up should be able to hang on for eight hours.

To get your pup potty-trained

  1. Make sure you watch your pup after meals, naps and playtime. Know how long it has been since he last went and make sure you get him outside or to his designated spot before an accident occurs. Look for visual clues that he is thinking of going. These include walking in circles or sniffing one particular place.
  2. Dogs respond to olfactory cues, so make sure you take him to the same place each time. He will smell the previous ‘deposits’ and will be more likely to make a new one.
  3. Do not be tempted to play with him when he is supposed to be taking care of business.
  4. Puppies will not enjoy living with their mess, so if he still won’t go after a quarter-hour of waiting in his designated place, put him in his crate and leave him there. If he goes in the box, he will not enjoy being confined there with his mess, which may teach him a lesson.
  5. If he starts to squat in the wrong place, pick him up immediately so that he stops. Put him in the correct place and praise him when he performs there.
  6. Ensure that any accidents are well cleaned up and the area is deodorized. That way, he will not be tempted to go back to that place again.

Keep up a disciplined approach and you will soon have your pup trained to go to a designated place rather than leaving a mess anywhere.