Potty Training 101


“Puppy potty training 101” is the first in a series of videos I’m creating on puppy training.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Know all young pups need to go (they don’t have the physical capability to “hold it,”) after getting up in the morning, after waking from a daytime siesta, after eating, after drinking water, and after play sessions.
  • Take your puppy outside on leash. An off-leash puppy may sneak into a corner of the yard, and you’ll never know what has or has not been done. On leash, you have control, and you can take your pup to the same place consistently.
  • If puppy does the job, instantly reward with praise and a tasty treat (like Vita Bone ‘Lil Trainers).
  • Say “good potty” or “happy wee-wee,” or whatever you like (as the dog is going). Over time, your pup will pair the positive words and inflection with action. On a rainy or snowy day, wouldn’t it be nice to ask your dog to go “happy wee-wee” fast?
  • Puppies will sometimes learn to do their business more slowly because they’re taken indoors and often left alone (people going to work) right after they do their business, and they want to stay outside. So, after your pup does what he is supposed to do, have a play session. If you have time, the playtime can last for 30 minutes. But, if you’re in a hurry, even a 60-second play session will do the trick.
  • With young pups, house training goes faster when the dog is on a consistent feeding schedule.

If, after a few minutes, it’s apparent that your puppy just wants to sniff around or play, take him back inside. But remember, if you do that, you likely have a “loaded weapon” on your hands. So, tether the dog to you or put the leash on, so when he begins to squat, you can quickly interrupt with a hand clap and scoop him up to give him the opportunity to finish his business outside. And when that happens, don’t forget another treat and lots of praise.