Getting a new puppy is so much fun, until the moment when you realize it’s time to start puppy potty training.
Maybe you found a puddle on the floor, or your puppy left you a more solid “treat.” Either way, you know that’s not going to work! Puppies are cute, but cleaning up their accidents aren’t.
With three dogs in the house, we know that we’d have to get the puppies trained, and quick!
Through the process, we learned a lot about how to house break and crate train a puppy. We learned that it’s not easy: but it’s so worth it!
We talked about the process of potty training and crate training our dogs on an episode of the Leisure & Leashes podcast, but wanted to share some of that good information here too. Here’s some of our best puppy potty training tips.
Content for this blog post was inspired by episode 9 of the Leisure & Leashes podcast. You can listen to the full episode HERE.
Consistency is Key When Puppy Potty Training
Your puppy gets used to a schedule quickly! You can actually potty train your puppy in about two weeks: but you have to be consistent.
It’s inconvenient to do that, but it pays off. Being consistent meant that we had to learn that our dogs needed to go out every two hours (more frequently if we gave them a liquid treat, like broth).
Most of all, consistency requires communication, especially if more than one person is involved in the training process.
Since Travis and I were both working together to train the dogs, we had to make sure that we were both 100% on the same page, or else we would be training bad behaviors into the dogs!
If you’re partnering with someone to train a dog, here are a few things you should make sure you’re consistent on:
- How often do you take the dog out?
- Are you praising the dog if it signals that it needs to go outside? If so, how?
- What do you do if the dog has an accident?
- Do you give the dog a treat if it successfully goes to the bathroom outside?
- If you’re crate training, how long do you leave the dog in the crate?
There’s a lot to communicate, but the more consistent you are, the more smooth the process will go.
Learn Your Puppy Behaviors
Your puppy’s behavior is trying to tell you something. Since they can’t use words to tell you when they need to go to the bathroom, you’ll have to learn their signals.
We learned that our dogs needed to go out about every two hours while we were potty training.
If Elliot needed to go to the bathroom, he’d go sit near the door. In fact, he still does that!
“Do you need to go to the bathroom?” one of us will ask. If he perks up, we know that is Elliott signaling that he has to GO!
The girls were different. We actually tried a potty bell: a bell that we attached to the door handle that they could ring when they needed to go outside.
When they would ring it, and we’d successfully take them out for a bathroom break, we’d give them a treat when we came back inside.
Those girls are too smart for their own good, though: they started ringing the bell if they just wanted a treat!
Use Your Puppy Crate
A dog doesn’t like to eliminate in their safe spot, so many puppy owners crate train at the same time as they potty train their puppy.
A crate should be big enough that your puppy can comfortably fit in, and turn around. If your puppy is small, and you don’t have budget to buy multiple crates, you can purchase a divided crate: you can remove the divider as the puppy gets bigger to give it more room.
You may have a job that allows you to be a stay at home dog mom: that’s the kind of job that I have! I love it, and it means that I don’t have to crate the dogs all day.
The crate can be a valuable tool in helping your puppy. Since the puppy won’t want to eliminate in her living space, it helps your puppy learn to hold it and wait.
Additionally, the crate is a valuable training tool because your puppy will learn to signal that they need to use the bathroom. They’ll typically whine and scratch to get out, and you can immediately take them outside to go eliminate.
If you continue to take your puppy to the same spot, then your puppy will get used to that being where they eliminate. Like I said – consistency is key, and if you stay consistent, that will help you have your puppy potty trained in no time!
Talk to Us
How was your puppy potty training experience? Was it an easy experience for you, or do you have a stubborn puppy?
Tell us more in the comments! We’d love to hear more about your puppy potty training experiences.
Also, if you have a brand new puppy, we’d love to share our new puppy shopping list with you! We’ve listed out all of our puppy essentials into a printable download. Download the new puppy shopping list HERE.0