Beginner Potty Training

Learn to train your dog where to go potty, and where NOT to go!

Introduction - Read This First!

Potty training is actually very simple! Your biggest goal is to make sure your puppy (or adult dog!) has access to grass when they need to go potty (either #1 or #2!). After that, they take care of it themselves! And all you need to do is let them know they did the right thing (treats and praise of course!) So how do you make sure they’re outside when they need to be, and don’t potty inside??

Recommended Products In This Lesson:

Overview: Crate, Schedule, and Communication​

The first thing to know about potty training is that short periods of crate-time are absolutely necessary. So you should make sure that your dog loves spending time in the crate by following the CRATE TRAINING lesson. After this, potty training is really just a matter of having a solid schedule and using stinky delicious treats to make sure your puppy knows they’re pottying in the right place!

#1 Potty Training Rule: Follow The Schedule! ​


The first thing to decide on is how long your dog can already go before needing to pee. Usually with puppies it's safe to start with every 2 hours. This is A LOT of pee breaks, but don't worry, we'll stretch that out very quickly! When your dog has just peed, you can start the schedule from the beginning. Here are the steps you'll need to follow:  

1. Starts With Potty

The timer starts from the last time your puppy peed. Make sure they get an awesome treat and praise because you want them to know peeing outside is a very good thing!

2. Safe To Play Now!

If your puppy has just peed, they likely won’t go potty in the house since their bladder is empty. Let them play inside for a while! If you’re using a 2 hour schedule, then 1/2 to 3/4 of that time (1 to 1.5 hours) is good for them to stay loose (or in a play pen).

For some dogs, teething and other destructive behaviors may still be a problem, so an exercise pen like these will be a good management option for when you can’t watch them all the time.  

3. Crate Time

A your puppy gets closer to needing to potty, you’ll need to pout them somewhere where they won’t want to pee. So for the next 30 minutes to one hour, they should go in the crate where they will hold it until they can go outside. 

Pro Trainer Principles:
Use The Crate Whenever Your Dog Is AT RISK For Pottying, Because Dogs Don’t Like To Potty In Their Crates

4. Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Take your puppy outside and walk around with them to find the right spot to go potty. Give lots of praise and treats when they do it, and start the time over again!

Communication is Key!​

When your new dog or puppy is just starting off with potty training, they need to be super consistent with being able to go outside. So everyone in the house needs to know what’s going on when it comes to the schedule! It doesn’t matter how you do it – signup sheet at the door, group chat on your phone, or just plain telling someone when to walk the puppy – but they need to have a consistent schedule to learn how to potty!

What To Expect In Potty Training ​

Time Between Potty Breaks

Potty training takes time, and it will be a while before your puppy can hold it in for as long as you can! We recommended starting with a schedule that repeats every 2 hours. You should be able to expect from your dog:

For every month, a dog should be able to hold their pee for 1 hour.

This means that a 3 month old dog should be able to go 3 hours between potty breaks!

However, this is just an estimate! Every dog is unique, so you may want to start at more time than 2 hours, and may be able to progress faster.

Potty Training Schedule

A written schedule like this one can help you stay on track with your dogs daily pottying. 

Should I Use WeeWee Pads?​

Management Tool

WeeWee pads are useful if you have very specific reasons to need to use them. Trainers usually don’t recommend them unless you are going to be out of the home working for long hours. This is because they can be a bit confusing to your dog about whether they should be going potty inside or outside. 

Pro Trainer Principles:
Fixing Behavioral Problems Requires Both Training and Management

Weewee pads are a good MANAGEMENT tool if you need to leave your puppy or dog for a long time and they’re not 100% potty trained yet. 

Available Options

Weewee pads come in different sizes, smells, and thicknesses. You may also want to purchase a frame for the weewee pads, as some puppies like to tear the pads apart as a game! There are also options for larger pads and using an exercise pen for your pup while you’re away for long periods. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Goes Potty In The House?​

Most forms of punishment in training are not very effective, and potty training no different. Punishment can be used sometimes, but you can only scold your dog if you catch them in the act and then must take them out immediately to finish outside. If you find a poop or pee in the house, you cannot punish them because they will have forgotten about it by then, and won’t understand why they are being punished.

What About #2? Is There A Schedule For That??​

Adults dogs will usually poop 15-30 minutes after they have a good sized meal. And puppies will usually poop 10-20 minutes after a good sized meal. So if your dog needs to learn to do #2 on time as well, just try to feed them in the crate before they go outside and they should be able to do both #1 and #2 at the same time. 

Still Have Questions?

Still Have Questions?

Ask About Anything Not Covered In This Lesson

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