Potty training your puppy is not just a task; it’s a commitment that can last several weeks or months depending on your puppy. While the process may seem straightforward, its success relies on your dedication to following three fundamental concepts and understanding the two stages your pup will go through. . Let’s dive into the nuances of each fundamental pillar and the two stage process, ensuring that you and your pup build a strong foundation for a clean and happy home.

The Three Pillars of Successful Potty Training 

1. Timing: A Crucial Element

The cornerstone of effective housetraining lies in your ability to anticipate when your puppy needs to eliminate. By understanding your pup’s schedule, you can guide them to an appropriate toilet area and reward them for their good behavior. This pivotal understanding forms the backbone of a successful training schedule.

2. Supervision: A Watchful Eye

When it comes to supervision is very simple. Your puppy puppy needsto be in one of these 3 places:

  1. In a crate or confined area, 
  2. Under supervision indoors, 
  3. Outdoors where they can release.    

In any case observation is key. If you start teaching your puppy that the bathroom is only outside or only in a designated area In just a matter of weeks, your little furry ball will grasp the art of bladder control and settle into a predictable routine. The vigilant eye you keep during this phase sets the stage for success.

3. Rewards: Reinforcing Behavior

Reinforce by rewarding  every time your pup eliminates in the designated area, reward them with praise or a treat. This not only strengthens the connection between the desired behavior and the reward but also motivates your puppy to repeat the behavior consistently.

The Two Stages of Potty Training Mastery

Stage 1: Puppies can’t hold the bladder too long

– Frequent Outdoor Trips

During the initial stage, when puppies are still learning to control their bladders, take them outside frequently, especially after meals, naps, extended confinements, trips, or play sessions. By staying observant, you can predict their elimination needs.

– Creating a Safe Space

Prevent mistakes by confining your pup to a specific area in the house using baby gates or a crate with engaging toys. Puppies are less likely to eliminate in spaces where they spend a significant amount of time. Most puppies don not eliminate where they sleep. Have in mind that puppies need to sleep 15 – 18 hours a day.

– Consistent Schedule

Follow a consistent feeding schedule (usually three times a day) and take your puppy outside regularly. If they don’t eliminate, bring them back to the crate and try again later, maintaining persistence until success.

– Positive Reinforcement

Refrain from reacting if your puppy makes a mistake initially. Instead, use positive reinforcement when they eliminate in the right spot, creating a positive association with the designated area.

– Avoid Punishment

Avoid punishment or yelling, as this may lead to negative associations and hiding behavior. Stay calm, patient, and focus on teaching rather than punishing.

– Establish a Cue

Use a cue like “go pee” or “go potty” consistently, associating it with the desired behavior. Reward with praise or treats to reinforce the cue.

Stage 2: Teaching your puppy to hold the bladder

– Crate Training

To teach your puppy to hold it, utilize a crate or a confined area where they won’t eliminate. Puppies generally avoid going to the bathroom where they sleep, eat, or spend a significant amount of time. You can start teaching your puppy to hold the bladder by extending crate time 

– Positive and Calm Crate Association

Associate the crate with relaxation, comfort, and security by using it as the designated sleeping area during the day. However, avoid crating for more than three hours at a time unless your puppy keeps sleeping. Do not wake him or her up if they are sleeping. 

– Alternative Confinement

If you don’t have a crate, a puppy-proofed kitchen with baby gates can serve as an alternative confined area. Establish a schedule for outdoor bathroom breaks during specific time windows.

In the second stage, focus on gradually extending the time between bathroom breaks, reinforcing the idea of holding it for longer periods.

By understanding and implementing these strategies, you’re not just potty training your puppy; you’re building a lifelong foundation of good behavior and a structured schedule. Stay patient, consistent, and positive, and you’ll find yourself celebrating your puppy’s successful transition to a well-trained family member.

© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved May 2021. Edited Dec 2023