Potty Training a Puppy

Jandon writes to me about potty training a puppy:

I’m about three weeks into potty training my (four month old) puppy and now he comes and sits in front of me as a signal to go out. I take him out and he usually does his buisness rather timely. The problem is that he does this about every twenty minutes now. I don’t want to ignor him because the one time I thought I would just wait because I know he can hold it for hours when he is in his crate,he wizzed in the house. I do give him a treat/praise every time I take him out.Any suggestions? Do you think he will get tired of this?

Adam replies:

Hi, Jandon:

Make sure he does get a correction (every time!) if he eliminates in the house.

The trick is to set up a very strict feeding and watering schedule. Do not let him free feed. And if you’re home with him all day, do not let him have free access to water. Take him out at regular intervals (every 2-3 hours or so) to drink and then afterwards, let him urinate.

Because he’s learned that he can tell you “let’s go outside and play” I recommend keeping him on a “place” command. Or in the crate, when you can’t interact with him.

But the real key at this age is to set up a strict schedule, and that way, his routine will adapt to the schedule you create.

– Adam.

Jandon responds:

Thank you…I allow him to have free access to water except one hour before bedtime. I’ll change it up a bit and put him on a water schedule. I thought maybe he was just toying with me because he could get a treat more often by reliving himself more frequently. Thanks again.

Adam replies:

Hi, Jandon:

Yes, he is toying with you. Exactly. But he may be toying with you 9 of 10 times, and 1 of 10 times it’s real. By putting him on a strict schedule, you’ll know. Also, by correcting him when he does eliminate in the house, you’ll see him get uneasy when he really needs to go outside, so it’ll be easier to tell when he really needs to “go”.

– Adam.


2 thoughts on “Potty Training a Puppy”

  1. Hi Adam,
    I have a 3months old Labrador which i got gifted just about 8days back. have read alot of your posts n comments as well.
    I would like to ask you the vest way to Potty Train my pup as she just eliminates anywhere in the house no doubt i also do take her out at times but not at regular intervals as we all are working. I very much like her but just want nothing except she adapts to potty outside can u plz suggest me

  2. Dear Adam,

    I have a four month old puppy who came from a shelter and has had two owner before me. Both owners got rid of the puppy because she was having ‘trouble’ potty training. I don’t think it was trouble, I think the persons were impatient and didn’t research how to properly potty train the puppy. I believe one of the owners prior to me used to hit the puppy when she had accedents. I know you are supposed to praise and reward when the puppy goes potty where she is supposed to, but what is the proper way to correcting her when she goes on the floor inside in the house. I have only had her one week but she has had accedents every day. I am very patient with her and do not give her free flow food or water, but it seems like she is still having between 1-3 accedents a day. Should I eliminate use of the ‘puppy pee pads’? What exsactly is crate training in relation to puppy potty training?

    Thank you for all your wisdom and help.

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