Schnauzer puppy and urine puddle in dog diaper.
Home training dogs.

Knowing how to potty train a puppy is one of the most important parts of dog ownership. It’s a critical first step in establishing dominance, obedience, and trust that ensure a healthy start to a long, happy relationship.

Before we get into the specifics, you should know that potty training a puppy is no easy feat. There are few people who want to invest the time and patience that potty training requires.

Let’s look at what the puppy potty training process looks like so you can save your home — and your sanity!

How to Potty Train a Puppy in 3 Simple Steps

There’s more than one way to potty train a puppy. Different techniques work for different ages, so it might take some experimentation to find what works for your pooch.

In any case, the key is to be consistent in your actions. Sending mixed signals will only confuse your puppy and could prolong the process.

For the best start to your potty training adventure, follow these three easy steps:

1. Purchase an Appropriately Sized Crate

Experts swear by crates as effective potty training tools.

Purchase a crate that’s just big enough for your dog to stand up, lie down, and turn around in. You don’t want to give them too much space, as they might use their extra real estate to do their business.

Though some pet owners balk at the thought of confining their dogs, remember it’s a temporary solution to your potty training problems.

2. Develop a Schedule

Put your pup on a potty schedule to ensure you give them plenty of opportunities to potty in the right place.

A good rule of thumb is to relate the number of hours in between potty breaks with your dog’s age in months up to 9 months old. For example, a three-month-old puppy should be taken outside every three hours.

This isn’t a set-in-stone rule, but it can offer a foundation to start building your potty schedule.

3. Reward Good Behavior

Keep plenty of treats on hand to reward successful potty time. Puppies can begin to associate their potty breaks with delicious kudos.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of praise. They might have no clue what you’re saying, but they’ll buy into your positive emotions.

How Long Does It Take to Potty Train a Puppy?

With consistent effort and lots of praise, your puppy can be potty trained in a few weeks or a few months. However, some dogs take up to a year before they’re fully potty trained.

Keep in mind that the actual training time will vary. Your puppy’s age and your consistency in training will have much to do with their success.

There is no magic number when it comes to housebreaking your dog. But one thing’s certain: it won’t happen overnight.

Give Your Puppy the Best Start to Life

Knowing how to potty train a puppy is simple to understand, but putting it into practice takes more work.

Remember, it’s a team effort between you and your dog. By the time your home is puddle-free for good, you’ll both have a new love and respect for each other.

And that’s the best way to start your relationship on the right foot (or paw).

For more words of wisdom on raising puppies, check out our featured articles.

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Family man and dog lover. I know two things: anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like has never washed a dog, and there are no bad days when you come home to a dog's love.


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