Puppy potty training doesn’t have to be horrible. We know it’s going to be weeks, maybe months before they finally get the hang of it. During that time, there’s finding where they had the accident, cleaning up pee and poop, and making sure there’s no smell leftover. Then there’s wondering why they had an accident right after you just took them outside.
Let’s skip all that and get it right in one weekend.
The mainframe to Puppy Potty Training In 1 Weekend is getting a schedule down and understanding what that puppy has going on in their head.
You’re going to have happier times outside and less cleaning up inside by the end of this.
Be sure to snag my FREE Puppy Potty Training Chart to keep track of your puppy’s schedule!
The smaller the puppy breed, the smaller the bladder. If you have a chihuahua puppy you can’t expect them to hold their bladder for 8 hours. So adjust your schedule accordingly.
Most puppies start out needing to use the bathroom:
- First thing in the morning
- After every nap
- After every feeding
- During and after playtime
- Right before going to bed
After feeding time, you can expect them to have to use the bathroom 5 to 30 minutes after eating. Take them out every 5 minutes until you know their schedule. It won’t take you long to figure it out.
I recommend crate training because it allows the puppy a safe place of their own and it is a place they can focus until they get the hang of potty training.
Place they can focus? What?
Puppy minds wander, just like little kids. Like trying to play a sport, but are really out there watching a butterfly or digging in the dirt.
Puppies have a short attention span just like kids, so instead of thinking about using the bathroom their watching that butterfly that just went by or Woah! That leaf just moved! …because everything is so new to them.
There are so many exciting things going on outside that they don’t get to see all the time so they get distracted easily. They need a place to focus when using the bathroom. As you’re taking them out every 5 minutes, if they don’t go, put them back in their crate for a few minutes and try again in a little bit. Continue this until they use the bathroom then they can play!
Continue this same process when they get up in the mornings, after naps, playtimes, etc.
If there’s still a struggle with the process, take them out every hour until you get to know them and see how long they’ll go before needing to use the bathroom.
When you take them outside stay consistent with the process. Dogs use the bathroom to eliminate and to mark their territory. Take them to a spot you’re comfortable with them going and continue to go to the same spot.
There they will smell their scent and it will remind them of why they’re out there.
Do not play with or talk to your puppy until they have done their business. You can also be a distraction. Help keep them focused on the task at hand, but no walks or pre-celebration.
Save the celebrating until they have completely finished doing the deed.
Praise them with soft, excited tones and treats so they’ll understand they did something good.
If they have an accident in the house DO NOT rub their nose in it. That really does nothing. By the time you find it, they’ve completely forgotten about it and don’t understand why you’re rubbing their nose into something they would’ve sniffed in a few minutes anyway.
Correcting them when you catch them in the act is the best. Clap loudly or make a noise to catch their attention. Then give a firm “No” and take them to the specified place outside.
Clean the accident area well. Don’t leave any smell left behind that they may catch and think it’s okay to use the bathroom there. Get a good cleaning agent to remove stains and smells, like Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator or Nature’s Miracle Pet Stain and Odor Cleaner.
Read Eliminating Stains and Odors: Baby and Pet Safe to make sure you’re getting the smell completely and great spray products.
You CAN potty train your puppy in 1 weekend! When you and your puppy master the routine, it will make life easier for both of you and you’ll have a better relationship. Stay on top of it and get ahead of their schedule.
Have everything you need for your new puppy? Not sure? Check out my New Puppy Checklist to make sure. There’s also a free printable!
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