Teaching your puppy how to go potty correctly is one of the first big things you train your new family member to do. There are many things to think about and do to make the potty training process easier for you and your pup.

When should I begin puppy potty training?

It’s recommended to start house-training when puppies are 12 to 16 weeks old. At that age they have enough control over their bladder and bowel movements to learn how to hold it.

How often should I take my puppy out?

Puppies need to go to the bathroom more frequently than adult dogs. They should be taken out:

  • when they wake up
  • before they go to bed
  • after they eat or drink
  • at least every 2 hours

What are the signs that my puppy needs to go potty?

Typical signs that your puppy needs to go to the bathroom are:

  • whining
  • barking
  • circling
  • sniffing

If you notice your dog needs to go potty, take them out right away.

What should I NOT do when I house-train?

Do not punish your puppy for having an accident, it could lead to your puppy fearing you and making the process more difficult. Instead, praise them properly when they do something good.

What are some house-training tips?

  1. Choose a location. When you take your puppy to the same spot every time they go potty, the scent will be a signal for them to do their business. This also makes it super important to thoroughly clean any spot your puppy has an accident in the house, as they tend to pee in the same spot if they can smell it.
  2. Reward good behavior. Once they finish, give them a treat to reinforce good behavior.
  3. Keep it regular. Keeping your puppy on a regular feeding schedule (and removing their water dish about 2.5 hours before bed) will decrease the chances of accidents.

If they continue to go potty at inappropriate places, or more than once every hour, consult your veterinarian to rule out possible medical issues.

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