How To Potty Train Your Dog

How To Potty Train Your Dog

Puppies pee frequently sometimes 12 times a day! Your task is to teach them to do this in a special place and at a special time.

We’ll tell you how to speed up the learning process and understand that it’s time for your pet to go outside. Potty training a dog is a labor-intensive process that requires endurance and patience from the owner.

You’ve done a fantastic job outlining potty training strategies along with the importance of positive methods. Here’s a breakdown of the key points and some additional considerations to remember.

Key Takeaways on Potty Training

  • Start Early, Be Patient: Training can begin the moment your puppy comes home. Young puppies need frequent potty breaks but learn quickly with the right approach.
  • Consistency is Key: A regular schedule of feeding, walks, and potty breaks builds predictability and helps your puppy understand what is expected.
  • Focus on Supervision: Closely watching your puppy for signs they need to go (sniffing, circling, whining) lets you take them out before accidents happen.
  • Celebrate Success: Lavish praise and treats on your puppy when they go in the right place. This makes them eager to do it again!
  • Accidents Happen: Don’t punish your puppy for mistakes. Clean up calmly and try again. Punishments damage trust and make the process harder.

Additional Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Medical Check-Ups: If a seemingly trained puppy struggles, rule out any health issues with your vet.
  • Environmental Factors: Changes in routine, a new home, etc. can temporarily disrupt potty training. Be extra patient during these times.
  • “Oops” Moments: If you catch your puppy in the act, a firm “NO!” followed by taking them outside can be helpful.
  • Seek Professional Help: Don’t hesitate to consult a dog trainer if needed. They can address specific issues and help you create a tailored plan.

Do you have a specific potty training setback or challenge you’re facing? Let’s find strategies to overcome them!

Here’s a breakdown of potty training tips and techniques, focusing on patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Designated Potty Spot: Choose a quiet area indoors (tray, diaper) or outdoors that is always accessible.
  2. Frequent Breaks: Take your puppy out first thing in the morning, after meals/play, and every 20-30 minutes while awake.
  3. Positive Reinforcement: When they go in the right spot, go overboard with praise and treats!
  4. Command Word: Use a consistent word like “potty” when your puppy is eliminating in the right place. This helps them associate the action with a command.
  5. Crate Training (Optional): Crates can help, as dogs don’t like soiling their sleeping space. Be sure to take them out frequently for potty breaks.

Additional Tips

  • Watch for Signs: Learn to recognize when your puppy needs to go. This means less cleanup and faster learning.
  • Night-time routine: Limit water intake a few hours before bedtime, and schedule a final potty trip right before lights out.
  • Older Dogs: Though a bit harder, potty training an adult dog is possible! Be patient, use the same methods, and don’t hesitate to seek help from a trainer if needed.


  • My puppy won’t go outside: Don’t rush – sit quietly near the potty spot and wait. Reward them profusely when they finally go.
  • Regression Happens: Don’t panic if your puppy seems to forget their training. Go back to basics with lots of positive reinforcement.
  • Medical Issues: If training is a constant struggle, rule out any medical reasons with your vet.

Remember: With patience and a positive attitude, you’ll help your furry friend master this important skill in no time. The result is a happy, well-adjusted dog and a mess-free home!

Do you have any specific potty training challenges you’re encountering? Let’s work on them together!

At What Age Should A Dog Be Potty Trained?

Training begins as soon as the dog is in your home. This usually occurs at 8-9 weeks of age.

Experienced breeders do not recommend walking small puppies outside for the first two months of life. Vaccination is carried out during this period.

Until all the necessary vaccinations have been completed, it is better to keep him at home to eliminate the risk of infection for a puppy that does not yet have sufficient immune protection.

Toilet training should begin from the first day your pet arrives in the house. The owner needs to allocate a separate place in the toilet, where there will be a special tray with filler.

Ready-made wood compositions can be used as filler. At first, small puppies can be covered with a disposable absorbent diaper or newspaper.

How Long Does It Take To Potty-Train A Puppy?

Each puppy needs its own time – the main thing is to train regularly. On average, after 4-6 months the dog is in full control of this delicate process, but the exact period depends on the size of the dog, its age, and abilities.

How Can You Tell If Your Dog Needs To Go To The Toilet?

The puppy fussily looks around, walks in circles, and sniffs corners in search of a suitable place.

  • Set up a place
  • If you live in a private house, separate the garden toilet area from the play area. The dog will get used to the zoning and will stop walking under the apple trees.
  • If you live in an apartment, look for a green place in the yard in advance to take your dog out. Most pets like to do their business in the grass rather than on concrete or pavement.
  • If the baby goes to the diaper, to the tray, or to a special place in the house, clean up after him promptly. Even if the smell encourages him to use this space for its intended purpose, the dirt will push him to look for something new. Nobody likes bacteria!

How To Potty Train Your Dog During The Day

  • Take your puppy out as soon as he wakes up and eats or drinks water. And also every half hour during games. Set a timer so you don’t forget!
  • Despite their strong desire, puppies often forget about their needs when they find themselves outside. There are so many interesting things here! Wait until he gets things done, but don’t yell at him or make demands.
  • As soon as your puppy goes to the toilet, reward him with a treat and praise him. Do this regularly and the process will go faster.
  • Never punish your pet for toilet missteps – it’s not his fault. Any punishment will slow down progress and also damage the relationship. Accustoming to such an intimate activity should only be positive! Have you noticed the puddle? Just remove it without making a tragedy. Use a special enzyme-based cleaner from a veterinary pharmacy or a neutralizing spray – they will kill even the most subtle odors.
  • Once you have set up a place in the house or have chosen a corner outside, take your puppy there regularly. And then reward him with a treat. If your puppy sniffs the litter box but doesn’t use it, be patient.
  • Teach your puppy to the signal command. For example, “business” or “toilet”. Use it to show him the toilet area when you are in a new place. For example, while visiting or on a walk far from home.
  • Accompany your puppy to the toilet every time, regardless of time or weather. This way you can immediately reward him and build confidence that he is doing everything right.

How To Potty Train Your Dog At Night:

Breeders usually keep kittens in a large pen. And the mother dog tells them where to sleep and defecate. If you zone the sleeping area, the puppy will be more likely to try to “keep” everything to himself so as not to get the bedroom dirty.

  • The pet’s dinner should be early – at 18-19 hours. Digestion takes about four, which means going to the toilet before bed will last until the morning.
  • However, water cannot be limited. If the water is clean and always in the bowl, the puppy will not get too drunk before bed.
  • Play with your dog an hour before bed – movement stimulates the digestive system and will ensure a successful trip to the toilet in the evening. And a tired puppy is more likely to sleep long and soundly.
  • Half an hour before bedtime, let your pet relax. And then, when you are ready for sleep, quietly put him in the cage and turn off the light. He may ask to be held in your arms or bed, but do not give in to temptation – you will disrupt the regime.
  • If the puppy is awake, wait a few minutes. If his squeaking becomes more insistent, he wants to go to the toilet. The first few weeks you will have to get up in the middle of the night often!
  • Contamination of the sleeping area is stressful, which negatively affects toilet training. This means getting up in the middle of the night and taking the puppy out is a must! And small breeds even ask twice. Place your puppy close to your bed so you can wake up immediately and have time to take him out.
  • Don’t interact with your puppy during bedtime, but be sure to give a treat for success. Do not get involved in the game and do not provoke it yourself. Otherwise, the dog will start waking you up out of boredom.

Why Does A Dog Shit At Home?

If training does not help, the dog continues to defecate at home, do not punish for this, but try to understand the reason for this behavior.

  • Incorrect Training: If you pay little attention, a positive bond will not be able to form in the puppy. Completely different skills will develop.
  • Rare and Short Walks: If you walk little or infrequently, the animal will find a secluded place in the living room.
  • Temperament: Some animals do not handle stressful situations well. If the dog is in constant excitement, it ceases to control its behavior.
  • Health: If there are diseases of the digestive and urinary system, then this can also cause unpleasant behavior.

To avoid such problems, take your pet to the veterinarian regularly, and do not forget to praise and extend your walks.

How To Potty Train A Small Breed Puppy?

Small breeds take longer to get used to the toilet. Their bladder and digestive system are smaller than those of larger dogs. A high metabolism allows you to digest food faster.

They wean themselves off milk longer, which means they end up in their owners’ homes later, without having had time to learn toilet literacy from the breeder.

Take your dog outside every 30 minutes. If a small breed dog wants to go out, it physically cannot stand it. Train your dog to toilet, crate, and sleep at the same time.

Small breed dogs wake up much more often at night than large ones: 1-2 times or more on average. Therefore, it is better to make all processes parallel.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog training particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behaviour but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. Programs like those offered at Brain Training for Dogs provide in-depth insights and practical approaches to dog training. Their methodologies emphasize mental stimulation that goes beyond the basics, ensuring a well-trained and mentally agile pet.”

How To Potty Train An Adult Dog?

When an adult dog moves into your home, he does not yet know where to relieve his needs. Study her behavior in advance: daily routine, needs, and habits.

Act as if the dog were a puppy: as soon as the animal gets into the house, show it to the toilet. Be patient, take your dog out regularly, and reward consistently.

The main rule, which applies to a dog of any age, gender, and breed – is never to scold the dog, and not use violence or punishment for violating toilet discipline. This way the process will become traumatic for her, which means she will never master it.

How To Choose A Litter Box For Your Dog?

Many dog owners make the mistake of choosing a model designed for cats. Such trays are not suitable for dogs, as a tray that is too deep can be perceived as a sleeping place. For puppies, it is better to choose specialized dog toilets.

Important! Particular attention should be paid to the height of the sides. A small pet may find them uncomfortable. Trays for large breed puppies should have sides.

Main Types Of Toilets For Dogs:

  1. Artificial grass-covered tray. Suitable for adult small breeds that, for whatever reason, periodically relieve themselves at home. They are used to the fact that grass is a suitable place for the toilet, so this tray is perfect.
  2. Pallet with a post. Necessary for male dogs who lift their paws when going to the toilet. The post will only be used for its intended purpose if the dog’s scent remains on it, so it is not recommended to wash it frequently during the training period.
  3. Flat tray with grid. Preferred option for females and puppies. At first, you can put a diaper on the tray, then the pet will learn to do without it. If necessary, bedding or filler is also placed under the grate to eliminate odor and moisture.

The tray should be installed in a quiet place where the pet will not be disturbed. If a bathroom or toilet is chosen as such a place, make sure that access there is always open.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog training particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behaviour but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. Programs like those offered at Brain Training for Dogs provide in-depth insights and practical approaches to dog training. Their methodologies emphasize mental stimulation that goes beyond the basics, ensuring a well-trained and mentally agile pet.”

How To Train A Dog To Toilet Using A Diaper, Tray Or Newspaper

Let’s consider the options for toilet coverings:

  • A diaper is a disposable and reusable cover that can be washed. This material is sold at the pharmacy.
  • A tray is a plastic or metal tray into which filler is placed. The filler can be cat absorbent, grass, or torn paper. But if litter is important for a cat because there is a need to bury excrement, litter is not so important for a dog.
  • Newspaper is a versatile option. To protect the floor from moisture, you need to lay down an oilcloth or a reusable diaper.
  • The main thing is to place the toilet in a place convenient for the dog. It is important to keep the diaper, tray, or newspaper clean.

How To Train A Puppy To Go To The Toilet At Home

A puppy is a small child who cannot endure for long. At first, you will have to bring your baby to the toilet up to 12 times. And it is very important not to scold the puppy if he goes to the wrong place.

  • First of all, you should remove floor coverings and indoor and outdoor slippers. If you are training your puppy to go to the toilet on a hard surface, you should not let him do it on the carpet. The dog enjoys the soft surface, so it will be difficult to get rid of it later.
  • A violent reaction or screaming can frighten your dog. The puppy will hide and walk in a secluded place: under the bed or behind the closet.

When a small dog wants to go to the toilet, his behavior becomes restless (whining, treading water, walking in circles). If you notice such signals, take him to a diaper or tray. In addition, the puppy wants to go to the toilet after sleeping or eating.

How To Train An Adult Dog To Wear A Diaper

An adult dog is more difficult to train; you will have to be patient and persistent. As with puppies, it is best to remove shoes and soft surfaces until your dog is toilet trained. Immediately remove excrement from the diaper or tray; the animal may refuse to go to a dirty place.

Almost all dogs, when they want to go to the toilet, begin to look for a place, whine, and stomp around in one place. If you notice this behavior, immediately take the animal to the tray.

After the dog does his job, praise him and treat him to something tasty. An adult male pees while raising his paw, so he needs a tray with a post.

If you see that the dog is approaching chair legs, corners, or door frames, take the animal to the right place. This will protect you from permanent marks.

Possible Problems With An Adult Dog:

If taken from the street or enclosure, it is worth considering that an adult animal is not used to living in a confined space (house or apartment).

Tray or diaper training is a difficult task. At the same time, it can tolerate between 2-3 walks. Unlike kids, a dog can and should be scolded for incorrect behavior. But only blame if you catch the dog committing a “crime.”

If the punishment comes later, the screams may be perceived as a bad mood because the dog cannot build a chain and understand the cause-and-effect relationship.

But when scolding an animal, it is important not to overdo it, not to resort to physical punishment and ignoring it. For a dog, the main fear is a lack of attention from the owner.

How To Accustom A Puppy And An Adult Dog To The Street

It makes no sense to require your child to go to the toilet all the time outside. Until 3-4 months, the animal is physiologically unable to go out for a walk; up to 6 months, unpleasant moments may occur indoors. You can only go for walks if you have received all your vaccinations. If not, it can be dangerous for the baby and others.

3 months – quarantine ends after vaccinations, you can leave the house.
4 months – the dog can tolerate between 3-4 walks. It is important not to scold because it is difficult for him to endure for six months.
6 months – can be patient, but needs to be walked at least three times a day.


  • To develop a good habit, you need to set aside a few days to devote to training your puppy. Any useful action must be supported by food or words.
  • Positive reinforcement is the path to success.
  • If the puppy shows anxiety, then you need to take him outside. It is advisable to choose a place that is not very noisy so that the dog is not afraid of loud noises. Under no circumstances should you pull the dog’s leash or yell at the baby.
  • You should not end your walk after going to the toilet; the dog will remember this “toilet-home” chain. This means that to run and walk longer, you need to be patient.
  • It is quite simple to accustom a puppy to the street; it is enough to repeat these actions several times and reinforce the positive actions with treats.
  • It will be more difficult with an older dog. As with the litter box, the dog can and should be scolded for unwanted behavior. If the dog whines, walks near the door, scratches with his paws, take him outside, praise him for every bowel movement, treat him with a treat, and don’t stop the walk right away. The training process may take longer, depending on the owner’s behavior and the animal’s background.

Methods Of Influence For Toilet Training For Puppies And Adult Dogs

Globally, two types can be distinguished: positive and negative. The first can be played, praise, stroking, and treats – everything that causes joy and pleasant sensations in the dog.

The latter can be used when training an adult dog. But you cannot spank, beat, or shout at the animal, otherwise it will stop trusting you.

There is an interesting method – the magic bell. The idea is that when an animal wants to go to the toilet, it rings a bell. The first thing you need to do is accustom your dog to the sound so that it doesn’t get scared.

Teach to ring your paw or nose – it’s not difficult. The main thing is to reinforce this action with a tasty treat. Then hang a bell on the door.

When the animal begins to restlessly ask to go to the toilet, bring it down and call. When the dog repeats, reinforce this action with a treat. The pet will remember and use this trick in the future.

Another way is to reinforce a word in your dog’s memory when he goes to the toilet. For example, “write.” Hearing this sound on the street, the pet will immediately do “its business” and then go frolic.

There are special sprays that work based on smell. The aroma causes pets to defecate where the product was sprayed. Manufacturers claim that the dog is toilet trained within 10 days.

How To Use Sprays For Toilet Training A Puppy:

To speed up the process of training your dog to use the litter box, you can use special sprays and lotions. They contain special components that develop in the animal the skill of relieving itself in a certain place.

You can spray the product on a piece of paper and place it in the tray. After the puppy goes to the toilet, replace it with another piece of paper sprayed with the same composition.

Sprays for toilet training dogs are safe for animals and people. They can be sprayed on any surface where the dog can relieve itself.


As soon as the puppy crosses the threshold of your home, begin toilet training. You can use a tray, disposable diapers, or newspaper.

Choose a litter tray based on the size and gender of the dog. Be patient. The training process may take several weeks. Focus on the animal’s behavior. Gradually, a certain schedule for walks will be developed, which must be adhered to.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog Training (Course) is particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behavior but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. It offers an extensive course that is cost-effective, with the entire course priced at just the equivalent of what a dog trainer might charge for a single hour ($40 to $120). It covers a wide array of behaviours including Potty Training, Lunging, Jumping, Digging, Whining, Chewing, Excessive Barking, Impulse Control, Hyperactivity, Ignoring Commands, and much more. Plus, they provide a 100% money-back guarantee if you cancel within 60 days, ensuring that your investment is risk-free.”

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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