How to potty train your puppy in 7 easy steps

Go from “oh no, not again” to “who’s a good dog?” in no time!

First things first, before you try to figure out how to potty train your puppy, make sure you are ready to take on the task with patience, and more importantly, ensure you remain calm. If you get angry and freak out, your little puppy will panic and probably end up urinating out of sheer terror.

So, the best thing to do is remain calm at all times. Experts suggest that you start house training your puppy between 12 and 16 weeks of age, at this point in her life, she will have enough bladder and bowel movement control to learn to hold it and go outside first. Of course, housetraining a puppy takes some trial and error for them to get the hang of it.

Puppies need to go to the loo after every meal, playtime and nap. Depending on their breed and age, most dogs eat a few times during the day so you can prevent accidents by knowing when he needs to go.

How to potty train your puppy

1. Make a schedule

The first place to start is to create a schedule with potty breaks based on your pup’s age, level of activity and mealtimes. The general rule of thumb is that a two-month-old pup will need a loo break every 2 hours. And at 3 months, every 4 hours. Different breeds will have different schedules. Giant and large breeds tend to have bigger bladders and can hold it a bit longer compared to smaller breeds.

2. Pick a location

Your dog will rely on the scent of a place to remind him what to expect. This means that it helps to take your dog to the same place each time outside when it is his time to use the loo. He will start to associate the smells of this area in your garden (or an indoor toilet spot with pee pads or a doggy litter box – yes, these are a thing), with doing his business.

Read more: Puppy Socialisation: 7 Simple Steps to Doing it the Pawfect Way

3. Pay attention to what your pup does

There is no point in you taking your precious pup to his toilet spot and he then just runs away or starts to play. Make sure you stay with him while he is doing the deed.

4. Use a cue word for the action

Every time your dog squats, then use a cue word to name this action. The trick is to make sure your entire family knows it too. This might sound strange, but it works! After he is done, then congratulate and praise him and even give him a little treat so that he associates doing his business outside with reward.

5. Keep an eye out for warning signs

When your dog starts to bark, whimper, whine or even howl he probably wants to do the deed, this is your cue to take him outside or to his indoor toilet spot, so he knows where to do it. Puppies will often sniff the ground and walk around in circles before they want to go. If your dog starts to squat inside, then pick him up as this will stop the process and move him to the right place. Give your cue word and then praise him after he has done his business.

6. Clean up any accidents that happen

Try to use an eco-friendly cleaning spray designed specifically for dog messes. There should be some options available at your local vet or pet store. This odour-neutraliser will stop your pet from going back to the scene of the crime.

(P.S. If you’re a Oneplan Pet Parent, you can get odour-neutraliser, puppy pee pads, and TONS of other pawesome puppy supplies at up to 25% discount for the lifetime of your policy!)

7. Be patient and kind

The biggest mistake that puppy parents make us yelling or hitting their puppy when they have an accident in the wrong place. This will make your puppy associate going to the bathroom with punishment and seeing as all dogs want to do is please us (bless their kind little souls), they will then end up doing their business where we can’t see them.

That’s why you need to know when your puppy might need to go and take him outside or to his indoor toilet when this time comes and be diligent about it!

8. Bonus tip – Get pet insurance for the accidents you can’t control

And lastly, make sure you have pet insurance for the things out of control. You might be able to housetrain your dog to no make accidents in the house, but you can’t stop the real accidents and injuries from happening. We highly recommend Oneplan Pet Insurance because they do it all, routine care to emergency cover, and they even pay you before you see the vet.

Happy house training, pawfect pet parents!

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