When it comes to puppy potty training there are two important variables at play. First is the size of your puppy. If you added a small breed dog to your family they’re going to have a smaller bladder which means they’ll need more frequent trips outside than a larger dog.

The second is how consistent you are with training them. The more consistent you are in sticking to a plan the quicker your puppy will become fully house trained. Of course, the opposite is true if you’re having difficulties being consistent.

Another situation that’s more unique that impacts your puppy’s ability to be potty trained is if you adopted them a little later and they’ve learned some bad habits. If this is the case for you it’s going to take a little longer for your puppy to unlearn some of their bad habits and learn new good ones.

With all that being said, when potty training is done well a puppy can be house trained in as little as 4 months. But, some puppies will take 6, 8, even up to a full year until they’re fully potty trained.

In this post we’ll discuss 5 ways to ensure the length of time it takes to potty train your puppy is as short as possible.

Know The Most Important Times For a Potty Break

When it comes to house training your puppy there are certain times throughout the day they’re more likely to need a potty break. These are after eating or drinking, after playtime or physical activity in general, after a nap, and first thing in the morning.

So be sure you’re prepared to take them out to the backyard or for a short walk in these situations. This will help tremendously in preventing any accidents happening indoors.

Proper Cleaning Of Accidents Is Crucial

If your puppy does have an accident, which is bound to happen at some point, it’s important you know how to properly clean it up. This helps prevent your puppy from being able to smell where they’ve gone before and think that it’s okay for them to do their business there again.

When accidents aren’t cleaned up as well as they should be, your puppy can develop the bad habit of marking. Which will only extend how long it takes to fully house train them.

The most important thing when it comes to cleaning up your puppy’s accidents is the stain remover you use. It needs to actually get rid of the odor as opposed to simply masking the smell (as that masking doesn’t last).

Once you have the right pet odor remover the process is quite simple. First you want to remove as much of the pee or waste as possible. Then you’ll want to clean the area with your pet odor and stain remover. After that’s done you can use a regular cleaning solution to finish up.

Pick a Schedule And Stick To It

As mentioned earlier, one of the most important things you can do to potty train your puppy quickly is to be consistent. Specifically with when you take them out and showing them where it’s appropriate to go. Once you know the most likely times for a potty break, create a schedule around it and stick to it as much as possible.

If you work long hours and can’t be home during the day to let them out, consider hiring a dog walker or taking them to doggy daycare. This way they’re not sitting in their crate all day waiting for you to come home and will have plenty of opportunities to use the restroom.

Be Mindful Of Their Food And Treats

More and more dogs are born with genetic conditions that give them stomach sensitivities. Dr. David Littlejohn (I call him dad), DVM, believes it has something to do with how dogs are being bred nowadays. Because of this owners need to be more mindful of what foods they’re choosing for their dog’s main diet source. As well as what treats they’re giving them.

If you’re accidentally feeding your puppy something they have an intolerance to they’re much more likely to have an inconsistent bathroom schedule. Which unfortunately means more accidents inside and having a harder time getting your puppy completely house trained.

If you’re noticing your puppy having diarrhea quite often and signs of a sensitive stomach Dr. Littlejohn typically recommends an elimination diet as well as some probiotics to help regulate their stomach until you’ve found a food that agrees with them. It’s also important to note that diarrhea isn’t uncommon in puppies and can sometimes simply be a phase. It’s always best to speak with your local vet if you have any concerns.

Go Over The Top With Praise When They Potty Outside

This is seriously important. Dogs love praise and positive reinforcement. It lets them know they’re doing something right and encourages them to keep doing it.

So when your puppy goes to the bathroom outside, make sure you give them lots of verbal praise, petting, and even a small treat if you have one on hand. This will let them know they did a good job and make them want to do it again the next time they need to go.

If you make it seem like they just won the Nobel Peace Prize every time they successfully do their business outside it’ll help tremendously.

Keeping these 5 things in mind as you go through the journey of potty training your pup will ensure they become fully potty trained as quickly as possible!


About the author: Alec Littlejohn grew up in a family of vets where pet care & training were discussed on a daily basis. He’s also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a recognized author by the Dog Writers Association Of America and now the lead editor at Pawscessories.