S*#t Happens!

Let's Talk Potty Training

By Sandra Roosna / June 14, 2022

Whether you just got a new puppy or adopted an older dog, you will likely run into moments here and there where your pup gets a little confused and has an accident indoors. Accidents happen and are a part of the potty training process! Your puppy is not going to have full bladder control until they are about 20 weeks old. So a little patience and understanding will go a long way!

Let’s talk about the most important steps you can take to ensure your potty training routine is quick and efficient:

1. Do not give your pup access to the entire home right away. Introduce them to new rooms one by one over a longer period of time. We want to ensure your pup doesn’t wander off and potty in inappropriate places without your immediate knowledge.

2. Take your dog out every hour (or every 15-30 minutes, if accidents are more frequent). Gradually increase the time between bathroom breaks if there have been no accidents for at least a week.

3. Every single time your pup potties, reward them *instantly*. Timing and consistency are crucial in this process.

4. If they haven’t pottied on your walk, wait 5-15 minutes and take them out again. Keep them in the crate, play pen, gated off kitchen, or any other smaller area of your home until they’ve gone out again. Watch them like a hawk!

5. Don’t wait for your pup to tell you when they need to go out. By the time they bark, scratch or whine at the door, their bladder is so full they are in pain. Not only is it unpleasant for your dog, it increases the chances of UTIs.

6. If your pup does have an accident, don’t make a fuss about it. It’s on you, not the dog. Raising your voice, saying "no" sternly, or anything that can be perceived as a punishment by a puppy will lead to them hiding their accidents better, and simply not going to the bathroom when outside with you.

7. Clean up any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner. No other cleaner will efficiently get rid of the smell, which is a neon sign to your dog that this is where the bathroom is located.

8. Keep a log of the times your dog goes to the bathroom. This will help you fine-tune your potty training routine.

9. Pay attention to the times your pup is more likely to go to the bathroom, such as:

💜 right after eating or drinking

💜 during or right after prolonged & hard play

💜 they look confused and are looking around

💜 every time they sniff the floor (especially the areas where they’ve gone in the past)

💜 they suddenly stop what they’re doing and get up

💜 after they’ve been released from confinement