How to Potty Train a Puppy Fast and Easy Guide

Potty training, otherwise known as housebreaking, is a very important part of the training that you will provide your puppy. This is how to potty train a puppy fast with easy steps.

It helps keep the house clean, and it is a difficult job that always pays off in the long run.

Puppies have very small bladders, so it’s vital that you housebreak your new puppy as soon as possible to avoid accidents and a lot of messes. Here’s how to potty train a puppy, fast!

Crate Training

It can be difficult for a dog owner to imagine confining their little puppy to a cage-like device, but the truth is that it is likely not going to be possible for you to be around to keep an eye on the 100% of the time.

In the event of an emergency, a crate can be life-saving – and it can also help keep your puppy safe when you’re away.

Using a crate for potty training and housetraining is one of the easiest techniques as most dogs naturally seek a small, confined space – sort of like a cave – that can provide them with a sense of security.

These crates usually also have items they like, such as a blanket, a few toys, or even a chewy treat, and dogs like clean spaces. This will make a puppy reluctant to soil their crate and hold out for as long as they can.

Just make sure the crate isn’t so much bigger than your dog needs that they find it’s okay to soil a corner.

A crate should be roomy enough for a puppy to lie down or stand at full height comfortably, and also turn around without an issue, but not so big that they’ll find a side to use as a toilet.

When a puppy or dog wants out of the crate so they can use the bathroom, they usually make it very known. They will scratch at the door or whine.

The moment you hear this, immediately rush to let them out and bring them outside to do their business.

If you delay or dismiss them or try to make them wait longer, you’re sending them the message that it’s okay to soil their living space – and therefore, okay to soil the rest of the house.

How to Potty Train a Puppy Fast

For a general guide, assume that your puppy can be left alone for as many hours as months to their age – a two-month-old can be left for two hours, a three-month-old for three, and so on (Don’t apply this beyond the age of eight months!).

A puppy should never be left in a crate for too long, however, and every dog and their limit is different.

Push it too much and they may associate the crate with being trapped.

As a rule, try not the leave them in there for more than two hours – less if they’re a smaller breed – unless you absolutely have no choice, and don’t leave them without water for longer than two hours.

Every type of breed take a specific amount of time to grow up, to teach them before they grow too old and it’s too late to do training.

Most important, make sure you know how to crate train your puppy properly. Never use a crate as a punishment and always reward them for being inside.

Schedule Training

Having a good idea of your pup’s daily bathroom needs and creating a schedule that’s easy for you to follow and accommodates those needs is a very good training technique not just for a potty train but for obeying, lying down, sit and so on.

Sticking to this basic schedule will also allow your dog to get used to going outside to use the bathroom at specific times. Here are the potty times you should add to your schedule:

  1. First Thing In The Morning

As soon as you wake up, greet your puppy in a very soft and calm manner so they do not get overexcited. Bring them outside immediately.

  1. Final Thing At Night

Right before you go to bed, bring your puppy out one more time so they can use the bathroom and be able to sleep longer without needing to go.

  1. After Meals

You should take your dog out anywhere between five minutes and half an hour after they eat each meal. How long you need to wait before your puppy actually needs to go will soon become apparent, and you can adjust your schedule accordingly.

  1. After Being In A Crate

If your puppy has been in a crate for a while when you were out or unavailable to supervise, bring them out to use the toilet as soon as you let them out again.

  1. After Naps

Every time your puppy wakes up from a nap, expect them to want to use the bathroom once they’re awake. Bring them out once they’ve begun to stand up.

  1. After Play Time

Play makes puppies excited and can cause them to need to use the bathroom. Bring them out to do their business after each play session or after they’ve tired themselves out from playing.

If all else fails and your puppy doesn’t seem to subscribe to these typical potty times, then take them out at regular intervals every few hours.

A good way to guess how often this is needed is based on your puppy’s age: the hours they can hold it usually corresponds to their age in months, up to about eight months old.

So, a three-month-old puppy can hold it for about three hours before needing to go.

Admittedly, all this scheduling does mean that you’ll be running in and out of the house multiple times a day.

This might seem tedious, but once your puppy understands that there is a specific area they can use the bathroom in, this will become less frequent and they will be able to inform you when they need to go.

Puppy Pad Training

Using puppy paper or puppy pads is a method of training that is rather debated among experts.

Some believe that attempting to train your pup to use the bathroom in two different places – outside, and inside on a specified puppy pad – can be confusing for a young puppy.

To train your puppy with pads, place the pads – or some newspaper or similar materials, if you prefer – on the ground and teach them to start using the bathroom there.

Once they know this is their “potty”, start moving the pad closer to the door. Eventually, they will be going outside to get to the pads.

The next step in this will be to then change the training so your puppy learns to go outside without pads. This can also be quite confusing as you need to teach them the same skill twice.

With that being said, even if you’re not a fan of potentially confusing your dog, there’s a chance that there are times the puppy will be left alone at home and will have no choice but the use a puppy pad.

After all, a designated spot for using the bathroom is much better than them going on your carpet or floor. This may also apply in areas with very brutal winters, where a puppy cannot safely go outside to use the bathroom.

So, while we do believe it is much simpler to just teach one single behaviour if you have no other option, this is a solid technique.

Catching Your Puppy Before They Need To Go

If your puppy is just wandering around the house freely, you have to keep an eye on them and supervise them.

Even with all the scheduling, your dog is still a living creature and will not always feel the need to use the bathroom at the exact expected times.

It’s important to watch and make sure you notice signs that your puppy needs to use the toilet, especially when they haven’t figured out that there’s a specific place they have to do that.

Some signs are more obvious, like scratching at the door and whining or barking near it, but other signs are more subtle.

A puppy who begins to sniff around the floor and circle a certain spot is signifying that they are right about to use the bathroom right there. Once you see this behaviour, immediately rush and take them outside.

Supervision is mandatory if your puppy has free reign of a room or two and have not yet been potty trained.

If supervision is not possible over large stretches of the house, confine them to the room you are in with a baby gate or something similar. If you can’t supervise at all, consider using a crate.

Once Outside

Catching your puppy’s need to go is a very good step, but then you need to deal with making sure they learn to go properly outside.

Many dog owners make the mistake of assuming a dog will instinctively know how to use the bathroom once outside.

To some degree, they will, and for some dogs, it comes naturally – but this isn’t the case for all puppies! Here’s a guide on what to do once you get your puppy outside to use the bathroom.

  • Go To The Same Spot Each Time

The scent that the area has after a use or two will allow your puppy to regularly associate that spot with their bathroom, and this will form a good habit that they will follow naturally.

  • Use A Cue

Say something like “go bathroom”, “go pee”, or “do your business” each time they’re getting into a position which means they’re right about to use the toilet. After a few times doing this, you saying this cue should give them the idea that they’re expected to use the bathroom now.

  • Don’t Distract

Don’t talk to your puppy or play with them until they’ve finished doing what they have to do. Stick to using the cue you’ve chosen earlier and said nothing else.

Try not to go for a walk through the yard, either, as this can lead them to investigate new smells – stay in the same place and walk in circles.

  • Maintain The Pattern

Even if you’re away from home with your puppy and need to take them outside to use the potty, try and have them use the bathroom on the same type of surface that they do back home so they don’t form new habits.

  • Middle Of The Night Pees

If your puppy wakes you up to use the toilet in the middle of the night – which is common for young dogs since their bladders are so small – be silent and fast about it. Don’t excite them into thinking it is time for play. Once they’re done, go straight back to bed.

  • Be Patient

Your puppy might not go right away or things simply may not work out. In that case, bring them back in and take them out again in a few minutes. Do not punish or become angry at your puppy, and don’t rush them or try to make them use the bathroom faster!

This will only frighten them and make it impossible for them to want to do their business properly, and it will create a negative association with going outside to use the toilet!

  • Reward

Once your puppy is done using the bathroom, give them a treat or some glowing praise. This will help them understand that they’ve done something correctly. Positive reinforcement is very important in potty training!

Be Patient and Reasonable

Potty training isn’t necessarily a fast process. Even if you follow all rules to a T, what might take one puppy a week to master could take another month. And even as you go along, no matter how careful you are, accidents are going to happen. There’s no way around that!

Keep calm and cool and do not punish your puppy if they go anywhere else at home. Simply clean up the mess and try to catch the signs of them needing to use the bathroom again next time. Your puppy is not at fault for being unable to control their bladder!

Make sure you make it easy for your puppy to learn where the bathroom for them is. Don’t only take your puppy out when it is convenient for you, even if you’re tired, busy, or entertaining guests. If potty training is very important to you, you should not compromise.

You must make it clear that you want to give your dog the ability to use the bathroom outside and that you need them to tell you when.

Secondly, remember to keep a cool head – you’re the trusted adult here. Your puppy is a child in dog terms and you must be a consistent parent. Your policy should be to go outside with your puppy when needed and not just when it suits you.

You also must go out with them when you’re tired or would much rather talk to your friends. Or even when you think it’s not your turn and you’re busy doing something else that seems more important.

The idea is to catch them when they need to do their business and get them outside fast so they make the connection.

Don’t have unreasonable expectations of what your puppy can or can’t do. Every pup is unique and the goal is to train and teach through positive reinforcement. All that hard work will pay off!

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