Everything You Need to Know About Puppy Potty Training

Adding a furry family member to your home is an amazing next step in building your family. While playful puppy antics will be sure to bring you plenty of laughs and joy, it is important to understand that potty training will be a key component of your pup’s life. Make sure you are prepared for this next adventure by keeping these factors in mind with your dog’s potty training process, hopefully presenting you with a smoother process.

Housing Situation

Your housing circumstances can influence your process, as potty train a puppy in an apartment can vary significantly to training in a house with a backyard. While your living circumstances can influence the training process, it is important to understand that there are strategies and tips to help you in either setting. Whether you utilize training pads, cues to alert you or crating, these are important considerations that can be influenced by your housing situation.

puppy potty training


Understanding a timeline for the potty training process is a useful first step, as this can help manage your expectations. Many people begin the potty training process when their dog is between three and four months of age, the entire process can take approximately four to six weeks in duration. The entire process can vary significantly per pup, but setting a timeline can assist you as you plan.

Monitoring Food and Water Intake

While it is always important to monitor your dog’s diet and health, monitoring their food and water intake during potty training will influence their elimination schedule. Try scheduling their feeding times throughout the day, a few hours before going to sleep. Similarly, removing their water 2 hours before bedtime can reduce their need to urinate during the evening hours when everyone is sleeping.

The Importance of Walks

By offering your dog regularity in their day to do their business, you can reduce their need to eliminate and urinate indoors. Especially when they are young, you need to do this frequently. If you are concerned about frequency, try creating a schedule, splitting up the responsibility of who will take your pup out or hiring a pet sitter to assist you in this transitional time.

Know Their Cues

Your puppy will develop cues, and you must observe and become aware of their cues to go potty and respond quickly. Whether they whine, pace by the door or bark, you will need to respond promptly, as your puppy may have limited ability to regulate their bladder, especially at the beginning.


Creating a space that is solely theirs, where they can hide and relax from the day makes a crate a key component of any dog’s life. This should always be used as a space that is safe and not somewhere that they use as a potty. Make sure you create a humane and safe space for them to support their training process and leave them a safe and comfortable place to relax while you are away.

Accidents, Punishments and Rewards

Accidents are inevitable and can occur up to one year of age. You must respond quickly and appropriately when this occurs, as responding incorrectly can cause backsliding and regressions. Avoid punishments, as your pup is learning and finding control of their bladder. Instead, institute a system of consistent rewards and praise for their positive actions and progress occur.

Planning for Time Away

There will inevitably be times where you are away from home where you cannot take your pup. It is necessary to create a plan for your time away from home during this process. Whether you institute crating while you are away, potty training pads, a dog walker or a combination of all of those, it is imperative to create a system beforehand.

Training your puppy to use the potty can be a lengthy and multistep process that requires a great deal of time, attention and planning. The most important note is to be patient. Your pup will be learning to control their body, so make sure you lead with compassion and patience as you navigate this process and you’ll be sure to have a potty trained pup in n
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