Tips for Potty Training

Potty training is one of the most important things to teach your dog. Puppies don’t know any better so it’s up to you to teach them where they need to go potty. Here are some tips to make potty training easier.

photo of brown and white boston terrier puppy sitting on grass
Photo by Melissa Jansen van Rensburg on
  1. Dogs typically do not like to go potty in their den (living space). The idea is to get you dog to learn that the entire house is his den. The first step in doing so is restricting their space. A puppy playpen or crate is a good starting point. Once they learn to not use the bathroom in a confined area you can start increasing their space. Soon enough you dog will be able to free roam without incident.
  2. TREATS! Dogs love treats, and they love doing things that will get them treats. When your dog goes potty where you want them to, whether it’s a pee mat or outside, give them praise and their favorite treat. Training treats work great for this since they are small and easy to eat. Your dog will learn that going potty in a designated area gets them a treat and a “good boy/girl!”
  3. Get your puppy on a potty schedule. Puppies have small bladders and they can’t hold it for long. Start by taking your dog for a potty break every hour. Then you can slowly increase the time between potty breaks. As a general rule a 2 month old puppy can hold their bladder for 2 hours, 3 months for 3 hours and so on. Puppies usually need to use the bathroom 15 minutes after eating or drinking.
  4. After your puppy eliminates in the correct spot you can allow them to free play for some time without fear of them going on the floor. Afterwards place them back in the area you set up for them. Playtime should be based on their potty schedule.

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