Potty Training Your Puppy: 5 House Training Tips

5 House Training Tips

Anyone bringing home a puppy for the first time knows it’s a rollercoaster. You’re excited about your new best friend and cute little fluff… but you’ve also got problems to solve. One of the most urgent problems a new dog owner faces is house training. 

The question is, how do you get started? In today’s blog, we’ll give you a plan for teaching your puppy how and where to use the potty.

Potty Training tips

Where Do I Start House Training My Puppy?

First, when do you start house training a puppy? The sooner you get a routine in place, the better. You can start a routine as early as 8 weeks old. 

There is something important to keep in mind here, though. Puppies don’t get control of their bladder until around 12 – 16 weeks old. Starting a routine sooner can help your puppy learn quicker, but they can’t truly be house trained until then. 

Now that you know 
when to begin training, what will you need? Here’s a checklist to refer to:

  • Carpet/Floor cleaner
  • A crate — The Association of Professional Dog Trainers has a chart if you need a sizing guide.
  • A place for your puppy to eliminate that you can get to easily and quickly
  • Treats and/or a clicker

Now that you have the 
when and the what, let’s get into 5 tips on how to start.

House Training Tip #1: Be Consistent

It’s important to stick to a schedule when house training. You’ll need a schedule so that you can predict when your puppy will need to potty.

You also want to include set times for eating, drinking, playtime, walks, and bedtime. The more stable and consistent your 
puppy’s schedule is, the easier house training will be.

House Training Tip #2: Be Attentive

Your puppy will have cues when they need to potty, so keep your eyes peeled.

These cues might be whining or pacing in a crate, restlessness and extra sniffing when roaming the house, or losing interest in toys. Stick close by your puppy and don’t give them a chance to have an accident. 

When you’re attentive to your puppy, a pattern should quickly emerge. Finding this pattern as quickly as possible will set you both up for success.

House Training Tip #3: Be Positive

Positive reinforcement is significantly more effective than negative reinforcement. When potty training your puppy, make a big fuss over them when they succeed. This includes pets, treats, or using a clicker. 

When your puppy has an accident, try to catch them in the act. Move them to their potty spot as quickly as possible, and praise them for finishing there. If you miss the accident, clean it up and move on. 

House Training Tip #4: Be Clear

When praising your puppy, be clear. Use short words. “Good boy!” “Well done!” “Yay!” “Attagirl!” The same goes for training. Choose a short elimination word or phrase and stick with it. 

Start by only using the elimination word while your puppy is actively relieving themselves. After a while, use it just before they potty. Over time, you can switch to using the word as a cue.

House Training Tip #5: Be Patient

Finally, don’t expect things to happen overnight. Most puppies will be house trained in around 4 – 6 months. However, younger puppies or dogs from difficult situations can take up to a year.

Accidents are sure to happen, but be patient and persistent. The accidents will become less frequent with time. Don’t give up, your puppy will be fully house trained before you know it.

When Should I Hire A Trainer to Help House Train My Puppy?

When do you need to call in the cavalry? Just like any other training, it’s not uncommon to need some help with house training. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I unsure about how to house train?
  • Do I lack confidence with house training?
  • Have I been working with my puppy for longer than a year without success?
  • Is this my first time house training a puppy?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ll want to start looking for some help.

Potty training can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips and don’t be afraid to ask 
The Dirty Dog for help. Before you know it, the stress of house training will be a thing of the past. 



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