How to potty train a dog

Although you can train a dog at any age not to pee or poop in the house, it is much easier to train a young puppy. House training your puppy can be frustrating, and at times you may feel it is never going to happen, but it requires patience and consistency on your part.

As your puppy grows, so will his ability to control his bladder and bowel. However, in those early weeks, expect your puppy to pee and poop shortly after consuming food/water. Dogs generally don’t like to eliminate where they live, this makes house training a lot easier, as long as the puppy isn’t locked up outside most of the time.

Reward your puppy

A puppy’s instinct is to not soil its den (your home), but this will only happen when he gains some control over his bladder. For most dogs, this will be around 12 weeks of age. During this time, your puppy will need loads of encouragement and positive feedback when he eliminates where you want him to. After every meal, bring your puppy outside and to a spot where you would like him to eliminate. Once he eliminates, give him loads of praise and a treat.

Mistakes will be made

Occasionally, as you and your puppy’s potty training progresses, mistakes will be made. It’s not until your puppy is several months old that he will be fully house trained, though, at that point, even if training has gone really well, accidents may still occur.

Staying consistent

Creating and abiding by a routine will speed up house training. However, sticking with a routine isn’t for everyone, especially those who have busy lifestyles. Even if you can’t make a routine, you should try your best to feed your dog at the same time each day, followed by taking your puppy outside to go potty. Eventually, your puppy will learn that after he eats, he must go outside to his spot and potty. Watch for signs of your pup telling you he needs to eliminate. This could be in the form of barking at the door, sitting at the door, crying, and so on.

Remain Positive

NEVER punish your puppy for peeing or pooping indoors. Punishment can lead to unwanted behaviours and an unstable adult dog. Keep a watchful eye on your puppy when he is not in his cage/playpen, if you see him eliminate in a place that he shouldn’t, pick him up and move him outside.

House training a dog takes time. Stay positive and know that working through this phase will bring you and your puppy closer together.