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How to Potty Train a Puppy

I Need Your Help . . . Potty Training Tips For a New Puppy

This troublesome question comes from our newest community group, PetSugar Q and A:

I just got a new puppy; he is about 10 weeks old. He is the sweetest thing but I am having such trouble trying to train him to pee on the newspaper or pee pad. I want to train him to eventually only pee outside when I let him out. I have tried giving a treat when he uses the designated space but it is few and far between.

Anyone have any tips?

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kateerc kateerc 6 years
I got my puppy when she was 8 weeks old and she is now 6 months. She was almost completely housetrained by 10 weeks (with only a few accidents weekly). Even though she was housetrained, up to about 4 months, if we werent home and she really needed to go to the bathroom she would look for a white square area to pee on (anything that resembles the pee pads). This is what I suggest you do. Stick to one brand of pee pad and get the spray from the pet store that has pheromones to attract the dog to the area where it should go to the bathroom. Every time you catch him peeing on the pad praise and treat. Dont yell and shove his face in the mess, it will only make him think going in front of you at all is bad. It takes patience and a lot of time spent with him but he should learn pretty quickly.
Kat-E Kat-E 7 years
I definitely agree with Reggaecupcake that you should ditch the pee pads and paper if your real plan is to get the dog to go outdoors to do the business. Here are the 4 most important things to remember: 1. House breaking takes time. My roommate is a dog walker/trainer, and it took her over 2 months to housebreak her dog. Your dog is barely 2 months old as it is! My guess is, you've got a good month to go (hopefully less though!). 2. Praise and reward your dog like crazy when it goes outside, and I mean the exact second the dog squats to pee (or, ok, poop). Sometimes I think my dog just pees extra times outside now to get more treats. 3. Be extra vigilant. It's important to learn your dogs behaviors and cues just as much as it's important for the dog to learn your commands, so look for the signs. Dogs will often pace and sniff the ground before they go to the bathroom. When my dog does this, I take him out, just to be sure. He almost always has to go. 4. Crates are great for many reasons, but crate-training your pup is good for those times when you can't be around to keep an eye out. Make sure the crate isn't overly huge though; the point of crate training is that dogs won't typically go to the bathroom where they sleep, so if the crate is too big, it may decide to go on one side and sleep on the other. Good luck, and hang in there!
wandaroo wandaroo 7 years
Hi there! I understand the frustration of having a little puppy. (I have one mutt and sometimes foster other pups). 1. I agree with Reggaecupcake, the pee pads tend to extend the potty training period. Try to get to the grass whenever possible, and if that's not possible, then a designated area. 2. Keep a schedule and take them to the pee area pretty frequently (at least every few hours). Minimally, first thing in the morning, an hour after feeding, and before going to bed. 3. Try limiting the areas the puppy can get to initially. Let them play in a small play space. It's easier to spot signs of having to go - sniffing and wandering. I also practice crate training for sleeping and when I'm not at home. When you take them out of the crate immediately pick them up and take them outside. Immediately! They will generally not pee on you (generally...haha) and make sure when their feet touch the ground it's outside or in your designated pee/poo area. Then encourage them to go with your key word. Like "potty". Good luck! Don't worry, she'll get the hang of it soon!
reggaecupcake reggaecupcake 7 years
my tip is nix the pee pads and paper! when i got reggae my little chi i took him out about every hour the first few days i had him and then let the time in between get longer, he has only gone in the house twice since i got him over 2 years ago, and he was sick when that happened so i do not blame him at all! but i think pee pads kind of say its ok to go inside - so i say get rid of them! also they have a spray to spray the areas that you want to them to go in, that also helps them train, so if you spray outside where you take him and then spray your pads it might help him learn, but i really think pee pads confuse dogs when you are trying to train them to only go outside
kitkatherine kitkatherine 7 years
We took her out from the crate everytime we got home, before bed, and after eating. In addition, if she got up we watched for the signs, like sniffing (hard if it's a hound like ours and ALWAYS sniffs), circling, and in general looking like she's gunna go. If she did go, we just took her by the collar as soon as we saw it (usually they stop if you pull them from it) and put her outside (we taught her by bells so we had her hit the bells) then we said "no go outside" and it took less than a month. When cleaning it we never let her see, we had her stay outside until it was cleaned. We didn't shove her face in it or spank her, we just took her outside and repeated "outside" a lot and got REALLY really really happy when she did go outside of the house. She got it quick, and the ringing the bells on the door came even quicker. Also - this is with a mixed breed that about 50 percent of the time people ask me with a smirk "how'd the potty training go with that?" because they are typically really stubborn and take months and months to learn. this method worked so quick and well with her.
kmbieker kmbieker 7 years
You might just have to wait this out. My puppy is nearly 4 months old and we're just now being able to trust her to only have an accident only once a week or so. When we first got her a month and a half ago, she was peeing everywhere all the time!! You could try getting a kiddie pool and filling it with cedar chips... I've heard the scent attracts dogs to pee there? My older dog's bed had cedar chips in it and we couldn't figure out for the longest time why the puppy was peeing there, but that was why. What worked with my first dog was to pick him up every time he started going to the bathroom in the house and running him outside. If you tuck his tail under his body, he won't pee in your arms, but you still might get some on you from when he started in the house. There's still a mess to clean up, but a stern no, and then showing him where to go, it should fix the problem quickly. But you do also have to wait until he grows out of it and has more control over his bladder!
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