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Potty Training Your Puppy

Updated on November 1, 2012

Puppy Potty Training


Starting off with Puppy House Training

Dogs are spectacular pets but the fact of the matter is that they can sometimes be difficult to house train. Cats seem to have a natural affinity for expelling waste in one area (besides hairballs) whereas dogs need some strict teaching and guidelines for where they should and should not go to the bathroom.

Before Starting:

  • Buy a comfortable crate for your puppy as well as house dividers

  • Pick a spot you want your dog to “go”

  • Be prepared for a multi-week training process

First Steps

Crate Purchase

Dogs have a primitive instinct to keep there sleeping areas clean, and that is the fundamental point on how you are going to teach your pet to expel waste outdoors rather than indoors. You want to start by purchasing a nice crate or den for your dog and have it become the puppy's sleeping area. Don't associate the crate with punishment or ignorance. Your goal is to get the dog to love sleeping in its den so that it doesn't want to go to the bathroom in the same area.

Pick a Spot

Choose a spot in your backyard or somewhere else where you would like your dog to “go”. A popular choice is to create a dog run that is filled with gravel or wood chips. Others use a pee post to help the dog remember where it should be going.

The Real Training

House Training

The challenging part comes when you actually have to start getting your dog to choose the spot you've chosen instead of everywhere else. A young puppy sometimes has to go outside up to 12 times day (they have very small bladders). There will be times when your dog starts peeing inside and you'll need to take him or her outdoors immediately. We recommend you take your dog to the pee spot at least every two hours to encourage it go there. When you're dog does go in the correct area, verbally reward him or her immediately or even give the puppy a treat.


There will of course be mistakes and a learning curve. If the dog goes inside, scold it immediately if you catch it, but not if you find the mistake later on. Dogs need instant feedback to understand what they've done wrong. If you do discover the dog has urinated or eliminated indoors. Clean the spot up immediately and apply a new odour to the area to make sure the dog doesn't associate the area with voiding its bowels.

Dog Potty Training Conclusion

The most important aspect of potty training your dog is to ensure that you are patient and understanding, your dog needs to go through this before any other forms of more advanced training such as guard dog training. Send your dog consistent messages and be vigilant about making sure that your pet has an opportunity to relieve him or herself as many times as needed. House training is about rewarding the positive and slowly weeding out the negative.

Bonus Tips

  • Try taking your dog out on a regular schedule to get them used to pooping or peeing on a regular basis and being able to control their bladder until the necessary time.

  • Feed your dog dry food as this will help create solid and consistent stools

  • Don't distract your dog when you are teaching it. Play and rewards can wait until he or she is done the business

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