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Best potty training methods for puppies

The joy of bringing a new puppy home is hard to beat. However, there are some challenges that come with a puppy and one of the biggest among them is potty training.

Getting your puppy house trained quickly and effectively doesn’t need to be as difficult as you might think. With the right methods and products at your side, you’ll soon have a mess-free house.

When to start potty training a puppy

Start putting potty-training methods and routines in place as quickly as possible. Allowing your puppy to go to the toilet anywhere at all in the beginning can create some bad habits that are hard to break.

However, you’ll need to accept that accidents in the house will be a likely occurrence for a little while. The sooner you start implementing potty training with your puppy, the quicker you’ll see results.

How long it takes to potty train a puppy

The duration of potty training is hard to predict. It depends on numerous factors, the most important of which is how consistent you are with your training methods. Some dogs take to house training very quickly while others require a little more work.

It also can depend on how long the puppy is left alone in the house. Puppies have a harder time controlling their bladders than older dogs.

Methods for puppy potty training

Take them outside frequently

It’s important to establish a routine as quickly as possible with a new puppy. Take them out frequently during the day and shortly after they eat or drink anything. The amount of accidents you have in the house will give you an indication of how frequently you’ll need to let your puppy outside.

It’s also a good idea to establish an “outside” routine early on. Dogs are very good at setting their internal clocks to the rhythm you establish for them. For example, letting your puppy outside as soon as you get up in the morning lets them know what to expect and makes them more likely to wait for that time should they need to urinate during the night. As with any routine or training method, consistency is absolutely crucial.

Use indoor grass patches

Part of toilet training your puppy is showing them which areas are suitable for going potty. It’s likely they are going on grass when outside, so creating the same environment inside helps to reinforce this and keep any indoor incidents off your floor and carpets.

Fresh Patch Disposable Dog Potty with Real Grass

You can buy either fake grass or a real indoor grass patch and train your dog to use them if they absolutely need to go inside. Real grass may be more appealing for your dog to use, but this means replacing them pretty often. Fake grass is much easier to clean off and reuse, but your puppy may not take to it as easily.

Use puppy pee pads for training

Puppy pee pads are made of synthetic, highly absorbent material. They’re available in different sizes, but the idea is to provide a pad large enough that you can train your puppy to go on the pad rather than the floor. Puppy pee pads are particularly useful for people who live in condos or apartments, where toilet time may not be as straightforward as simply opening the door to a backyard.

Place your puppy on the pad directly after they eat, when they wake up or as soon as you start seeing them prepare to go on the floor. Keep them on the pad and if they go, provide a lot of praise and reward.

Train your puppy to indicate potty time

Potty Bells Housetraining Dog Doorbells for Dog Training

Another method you can use as part of your house training includes dog potty bells or chimes. The idea is to place a chime or bell at the door so your puppy can tap it to tell you when they need to go.

Start by ringing the bell or chime every time you bring your dog outside to go potty. Encourage them to sniff and play with the bell on the way out the door. Over time, your dog will associate the bell or chime with going outside to potty and will start using it to let you know they need to go.

Use special potty-training sprays

Another product you can incorporate into puppy potty training is attractant and urinating repellent spray. Use attractant potty-training sprays in areas where you want your dog to go to the bathroom. This includes any puppy pads or grass patches you have indoors. You can also spray around the outside of the door your dog exits to go potty outside.

Repellent sprays have the opposite effect and should be used anywhere you don’t want your puppy to pee. This includes your sofa, bed and floors, especially patches where your puppy frequently has accidents.

What you need to buy for potty training a puppy

Hartz Home Protection Odor Eliminating Scented Dog Pads

Hartz Home Protection Odor Eliminating Scented Dog Pads

These puppy pee pads are big enough for puppies of all breeds and are scented to remove any lingering urine smells after use. They’re super absorbent to avoid leaks.

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Bodhi Dog Potty Training Spray

Bodhi Dog Potty Training Spray

With a few regular, liberal sprays of this product on pee pads or your grass patch, you’ll be better able to attract your puppy to the area you want them to go.

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Downtown Pet Supply Dog Pee Potty Pad

Downtown Pet Supply Dog Pee Potty Pad

This soft artificial grass mimics the real thing as closely as possible while still making it easy for you to clean and reuse. The grass blades are treated with an odor-control solution to keep odors to a minimum.

Sold by Amazon and Chewy


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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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