Potty Training Dogs


Authored by Crystal Crowder in Dogs 
Published on 12-03-2009

Dogs make wonderful pets and are considered to be man’s best friend. However, potty training a dog can sometimes prevent someone from owning a dog. Potty training doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little patience, you can train your dog to potty where you want.

Understand Puppies

Puppies are different than grown dogs. Puppies don’t have full control over their bladders until they’re at least twelve weeks old. Some puppies may take up to sixteen weeks. During this time period, there may be accidents, even with extensive potty training. Be especially patient during this period and remember that accidents may not be your puppy’s fault.

Establish Routines

Feed your dog only at certain times during the day. This includes giving your dog water. During the training process, you must take your dog outside or place them in the designated potty area within twenty minutes of eating or drinking. Establish feeding and drinking times to help you remember when to take your dog to potty.

Pay Close Attention

Dogs in the potty training process count on their owners to help them understand when and where to potty. Most dogs need to potty after eating or drinking, after naps, before and after bed time, first thing in the morning and anytime they get especially fussy. Pay close attention to your dog. If they start sniffing the floors or appear antsy, take them outside or to their potty area immediately. This is a sign they need to go.

Be Strict

Stay with your dog until they do their business. If you rush the process, the dog will more than likely need to potty after they come back into the house. Don’t allow your dog back into the house or into the rest of the house until they’ve at least peed.

Say a command, such as “Go Potty,” when you want them to use the bathroom. Continue to repeat this command every few minutes until your dog potties.


Positive reinforcement is the key to successful potty training. If you constantly yell or whip them when there is an accident, your dog will associated going to potty as a bad thing and try to hide when they need to go. This will only result in more accidents. This can also cause nervous behavior in your dog.

Instead, praise them when they successfully go where they are supposed to. Give them a treat after each successful potty break and when they ask you to go. For outside training, let your dog play outdoors after going to the bathroom. This will associate potty time with sometime fun and positive.

Potty Locations

Most dog owners teach their dogs to go outside to potty. However, some owners are teaching dogs to go in litter boxes, on pee pads and other indoor potty materials. All of these are appropriate and require the same techniques.

Pee pads can be used during the training process to catch accidents. Some older dogs may have health problems. If you notice sudden issues after successful training, contact your veterinarian. All dogs can be successfully potty trained. Owners should be persistent and patient. Potty training can take up to six months or even more depending on the dog.


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