Potty Training Made Easy and Efficient
Potty training for puppies doesn’t have to be horrible! When adopting a puppy we know it’s going to be weeks, maybe months before they get the hang of it and can be fully trusted in the house. However, during this time of training there is always finding the occasional accident and making sure there is no smell left over. Sometimes cases of the puppy blues hit and then the feelings of giving them up start to set in which can all be so challenging! And of course then there’s the wondering if they had any other hidden accidents or if they themselves are dirty too!
So maddening isn’t it!
So let’s skip the headache and get on the right track from the start.
The objective of Quick Puppy Potty Training with Muddy Paws is getting a consistent schedule down and understanding what that puppy has going on in their head.
The goal is to have happier times outside and less time cleaning inside! And no puppy blues here!
Be sure to grab my FREE Puppy Potty Training Tracker to help keep track of your puppy’s new schedule.
Part One: Getting started & Making Schedules
Let’s begin with identifying when our puppies typically need to go to the bathroom. These times often are:
First thing in the morning
After every nap
After every feeding
During and after playtime
Right before going to bed
After feeding times, more often than not, puppies need to use the bathroom 5-30 minutes after eating.
Our first part of identifying the schedule is to take them out every 5 minutes after they eat to see how quickly things are moving through their body. Are they an - eat and go immediately or eat and go 30 minutes later? Same with playtime and nap times!
Luckily this won’t take you too long to figure it out! I would recommend crate training during this journey as well because it allows your puppy a safe place on their own and it is a place they can focus until they get the hang of potty training.
How to use the crate:
During potty training we want to use the crate if our dogs are not going to the bathroom outside quickly. Use this sequence for a little more control. Start with taking your dog outside. If they don’t go → bring them back inside into their crate for 2-5 minutes → immediately back outside to go to the bathroom. Repeat this sequence until your puppy goes outside and reinforce reinforce reinforce!
Finding a place they can focus:
Puppy minds wander, just like little kids, meaning their attention spans are crazy short. So instead of thinking about using the bathroom they are watching that butterfly that just went by, and then woah some blades of grass moved, and then wait… a leaf just fell, and then back to the butterfly. You can see how easily your puppy can be distracted and how much they aren’t focusing on going to the bathroom right!
This is where the crate can come in handy again! When you are noticing your dog getting a little distracted bring them back inside into the crate for a couple minutes and then take them back outside to potty.
Continue this same process after meals, after naps, after playtimes, etc.
Part Two: Actually going outside yay!
When your puppy is finally going outside, pause and have a little celebration! But also remember to stay consistent. Just because your puppy is learning outside = the bathroom does not mean there might not be an accident here or there, so stay on the schedule.
As your puppy ages you can begin adding time in between bathroom breaks but don’t jump up in time too quickly. Once your puppy is going outside more consistently you can begin following this rough time schedule based off your dogs age:
2 months - every 2 hours
3 months - every 3 hours
4 months - every 4 hours
5 months - every 5 hours
6 months - every 6 hours
7 months - every 7 hours
8+ months - every 8 hours
Of course it is not recommended to let your dogs go 8 hours without a potty break at any age but technically speaking once they hit 8 months they should be able to hold their bladders for that amount of time.
If you adopted an older dog (older than 2-4 months) and are just starting out with potty training begin with 2 hour potty breaks and increase time as they get the hang of it!
Remember to not play with your puppy outside until they have done their business. This will help keep things consistent and help your puppy know what to expect when going outside.
Rewarding Potty Behaviors
When reinforcing potty behaviors we want to reward with yummy treats and praise them with soft, excited tones. This will let them know they did something good and want to do it again!
If your dog does have an accident in the house DO NOT rub their nose in it. This truly does nothing. Usually by the time you find it, your dog has completely forgotten they have gone there and don’t understand why you are rubbing their nose into something that they probably would have sniffed later anyway.
If you happen to catch them at the moment try to intervene by picking them up and quickly taking them outside. Try to refrain from clapping or yelling NO! Again this is not teaching your dog to not go potty in the house but to not want to go in front of you again.
Body Language Signals
Most, if not all dogs have certain signals that will indicate their bladders are full and need to go to the bathroom.
Try monitoring for these signals:
A lot of sniffing around
This could indicate that they are looking for the perfect place to go
Abrupt change in activity
One moment they might be playing and another moment they are looking for a place to go
Dogs often start forming tight circles when they are about to poop!
Going to a previously soiled area
At you, at the door, etc.
Waiting by the door
Pacing between you and the door
Scratching at the door or your leg
There are of course many other signals your dog may give before going to the bathroom which is why it's important to watch body language during the times you are taking your dog outside.
Potty training is a journey so don’t feel bad if you need help! Every dog is a little different when learning new behaviors. Remember that consistency = success so stay on your schedule as much as you can until you know without a doubt your dog only wants to potty outside. Soon your puppy will be pottying outdoors and all those nasty messes and puppy blues will be a thing of the past!
Don’t forget to download our FREE Puppy Potty Training Roadmap & Tracker and schedule time with us virtually for any further assistance you might need!
The Muddy Paws Training Co.