Potty training a puppy can be a daunting task. Never is there a more appropriate time to call yourself a pet parent. Potty training a puppy requires a lot of you as well as your puppy.

In order to successfully potty train a puppy you will have to establish a schedule for their eating and potty breaks. You must also be very consistent with the schedule and your own behavior. That can be much more easily said than done!

Let’s take a look at how to potty train a puppy and some tips and tricks that will help you along the way.

How to Potty Train a Puppy

You can begin to potty train your puppy when it reaches three to four months of age. If by circumstance you must start later than this, the puppy may have already established bad habits that you have to address, and training them may take longer.

It usually takes about six months to potty train a puppy. However, some dogs may take as long as a year before they are fully potty trained.

The whole purpose of potty training is to get your puppy to use the bathroom outside. You will need to feed them on schedule and take them out on schedule to make this work.

Additionally, you will need to recognize the signs that the puppy needs to go to the bathroom so that you can take them outside. Common signs include barking, whining, and either scratching at the door or their cage or crate door.

Should I Use a Crate for Potty Training My Puppy?

You can use a crate to help potty train your puppy, but this doesn’t work for everyone or every puppy. Some people don’t like the idea of crate training and that is okay, too.

If you want to use a crate to help train your puppy, here are some important things to consider:

  • Use the correct size crate. If the crate is too large the puppy will simply eliminate inside the crate.
  • Make sure the puppy is old enough for crate training. If they are too young they won’t be able to hold it whether they are in a crate or not.
  • During the first year, you will need someone to give the puppy a break during the day if you are away working. All day is too long of a time period for a puppy to be able to wait.

Tips & Tricks for Puppy Potty Training

It would be nice if puppies taught themselves to go outside, but they just don’t. However, there are some hints and tips that may help.

  • If you do have an older dog to model good behavior, that will certainly help expedite things, but be careful that an older dog isn’t modeling bad behavior.
  • Control your emotions. Losing your temper over an accident doesn’t teach your puppy anything except to be afraid of you.
  • Routine is king when it comes to potty training: routine in feeding, routine in going out, and even routine in taking the puppy to the same spot every time.
  • Don’t punish a puppy for accidents, instead, reward them for going outside.

Patience is the Key to Potty Training a Puppy

As is true of so many things when raising a puppy, you must have patience. It is not unusual for a dog to have accidents for the first year of its life and even after that when its routine is disturbed or there is other upset.

If potty training just isn’t working or if you have a dramatic setback you should consult a veterinarian.

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