Do you have an exciting new puppy but you’re not sure where to start with potty training!? This guide is for you and is basically fool proof when followed correctly and consistently!(This guide will also work for an older dog that is still having accidents in the house.)
Things you will need for successful potty training:
A nylon leash (not retractable)
A potty bell (can be bought at a pet store or you can use a string with a normal bell)
The potty training and really puppy training in general starts with umbilical cord training, which means having your dog on a leash attached to you at all times for a couple weeks when she is not crated. The reasoning behind this is if your dog is constantly with you they won’t be able to get into trouble. I would recommend having them drag the leash around as the second phase of the umbilical cord training. This way you can administer a little leash correction if needed. Some examples of when a leash correction would be need is:
-chewing on baseboards
-jumping up on guests
You will also need PATIENCE and CONSISTENCY. Everyone in the house must be working as a team towards the same goal. Potty training the puppy! At times this can be frustrating but it is worth it!
You will want to monitor your puppies food and water. What goes in must come out, so if you know when your dog is eating/drinking you know they will need to go outside give or take 15 minutes. Also, cutting off your dogs food/water at 6:00 PM will help them to sleep through the night!
A general rule of thumb is that however many months old your puppy is she should be able to hold her bladder for an hour per month. Ex: 4 months – 4 hours and so on.
Now the good stuff! If you follow this guide your puppy should be potty trained within a week or two.
First, you will need to choose a door that you will primarily be taking your puppy outside from. For instance your back door. You will want to hang your potty bell either on the door handle or on a command strip right by the door. If you use your back door frequently I recommend putting the bell on a hook by the door so that your dog doesn’t become desensitized to the bell. Every time you take your puppy outside to potty YOU will ring this bell. This will work by Pavlovian law. She will soon learn that for the door to open for her to be let outside she will need to learn to ring this bell on her own.
Before you take her outside put on her leash. Once her leash is on, take her to the designated “Potty door”, ring the bell and walk her to a specific potty area. Give her a minute and thirty seconds to potty. Once she starts to pee/poop mark the behavior with a word. I typically say “Good girl, good potty.” (Careful not to startle her by being TOO excited or she may become scared to pee/poop in front of you.)
Now, the last step, whether she goes potty or not is to crate her for 15 minutes once you come inside. After the 15 minutes is up repeat the process of taking her outside. (We do this because as a puppy even if she went potty outside the first time she may have gotten distracted and not gotten it all out.) Now, if she doesn’t potty the second time but did the first time or if she went potty both times she can have some supervised play time. If she did not go potty the first or second time you took her out, crate her again, after the 15 minutes in the crate is up, take her back outside and repeat the cycle until she goes potty outside.