Potty Training a Puppy: an Action Plan

You know why potty training your puppy is important and what to expect during the process, it’s time to get down to business (no pun intended). Here is a brief plan of action to follow before you actually start the process of training your puppy.

Before you bring a puppy home

If you are still trying to make up your mind about what kind of dog to bring home, remember that some breeds are easier to potty train than others. If you don’t think you have the patience or don’t have as much time, do your research and find out how the breeds you are looking at rank in terms of potty training.

It is also a good idea to ask the person you get the puppy from if they have done anything in terms of training them. If they have, you can use similar methods to continue training them. The best part is a lot of professional breeders do this and that makes it a tad easier on you.

Outline your plan

As with anything new, preparation is the first step to success when it comes to potty training your dog. Think about what you want your puppy to be able to do by the end of this training process.

Would you prefer that he goes outside or inside the house?  What treats should you give him for a job well done? How much time are you willing to set aside every day to potty train your dog?

Determine whether you will need additional help in order to train him or if you are fine by yourself. Once you have a basic idea of what your plan is, executing it will be a breeze.

When to start

Most puppies are ready to start being trained when they are 6 to 8 weeks old. They should be weaned before you begin training them. Also keep in mind that they have very short attention spans at that age. Work with them in small increments of time and be very loving through all of it.

Basic necessities

A happy dog is certainly easier to train than an unhappy one. Make sure he is well fed with plenty of nutritious food and water. He should have his shots up to date and be examined by your vet. He should also have a warm place to sleep and be getting plenty of rest. Don’t forget to give him lots of love and attention. The more you do that, the more your new puppy will trust you and the easier it will be for you to train him.


One of the most important decisions you have to make is where do you want your puppy to do his business?

Some dog owners prefer a place outside the house while others prefer using a litter box. Yes, believe it or not, litter boxes are not just meant for cats. You can place the litter box in a hallway, in the bathroom, or on the back porch.

Remember to make sure that the litter box is always clean because dogs can be very picky about it. Humans use their toilets as a quiet place to think. Why should it be any less comfortable for your dear puppy?

Keeping an eye on him

In the beginning, you may need to keep a watchful eye on your puppy to ensure that he doesn’t just go anywhere he likes. It may be useful to secure him in one spot using a baby gate or a similar device so that he won’t have the chance to urinate or poop around the house. If you don’t want him to be out of sight but have things to do, put him on a six foot long leash and tie it around yourself so that he has enough space to move around and doesn’t feel constricted.

How do you know when it’s time to go?

Too bad that a dog can’t just open his mouth and tell you that he needs to go. So how does one recognize that it’s time?  Watch closely and you will slowly pick up on various behaviors that your puppy exhibits when he needs to go. Moaning, growling, barking, going around in circles or sniffing corners are all signs that he needs to be taken outside. If you aren’t sure of his actions, pick him up and take him to his spot anyway.

A regular feeding schedule will help you be more in control of your dog’s elimination timings. It helps in regulating his bodily functions and you will soon see a connection between when he eats and when he wants to do his business. Once you recognize the signs, make sure you immediately take action. As stated earlier, consistency is key.  

The importance of routine and repetition

Establishing a routine will be extremely helpful in the process of potty training your puppy. Of course it isn’t always going to be easy for you to do things at the same time every day but do your very best to establish some form of routine with the puppy from the start so that he can pick up on what you expect from him. It may be wise to get a timer to remind you when you need to take your puppy outdoors.

Once you have decided where you want your dog to go and how to recognize the signs, take him there every time he needs to go.  Repetition is the only way he will learn that this is his “potty spot”. In time, you can also introduce him to a puppy door so he can go and come as and when he pleases.

What to do at night

So what happens at nighttime when you can’t afford to watch your dog constantly? For starters, remove his water bowl two hours before bedtime. This will cut down on the need for your puppy to urinate during the night. Still, you should get up every three hours or so to take him outside. This is another reason why you should consider a doggy door because let’s face it, no one wants to wake up at 3 am just to take their dog outside.

Accidents happen

Remember that accidents will happen and you will need to clean up after him multiple times. Keep plenty of newspaper and puppy pads handy. If your puppy does have an accident, use a mixture of half water and half white vinegar to remove all traces of it.

If you use only soap and water, YOU may not smell urine but the nose of your puppy is very sensitive. The use of the vinegar will neutralize those odors rather than just covering them up. As a result, your puppy won’t be tempted to go back to those same locations and do his business again.

Potty Training a Puppy: How to House Train Puppies

Learning how to potty train puppies at the right time and place is one of the most important first steps you can take for a long, happy life together.

Puppy Potty Training Schedule: A Timeline

Find a spot that will become the “potty spot,” and always take your dog to the same spot. Stand quietly and wait until they are ready.

How to Potty Train a Puppy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Using a crate, or confinement, sticking to a schedule, and rewarding them when they go outside are all key to potty training your puppy.

How to Potty Train a Puppy in 7 Days

Setting Up Successful Potty Breaks:

  • Take your puppy out at least once every 30 minutes.
  • Give your puppy five minutes, watching the whole time.

How to house train your dog or puppy

  1. To potty train your puppy, establish a routine.
  2. Take your puppy outside frequently.
  3. Pick a bathroom spot outside.
  4. Reward your puppy every time they eliminate.

How to Potty Train a Puppy or Adult Dog

  • Take Your Puppy Out Often.
  • Stick to a Feeding Schedule.
  • Use Crate Training as an Aid to Potty Training.
  • Always Practice Positive Reinforcement.

Tips for How to Housetraining Your Puppy

Do’s and Don’ts in Potty Training Your Puppy — Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when they are between 6 weeks and 12 weeks old.

Housetraining 101: How to Potty Train a Puppy

There are three courses of action for potty training your new canine arrival: Train your pooch to eliminate outside (housetraining)