How to potty train a dog

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Tips for potty training a puppy!
Puppies need to go to the bathroom after they play, chew, drink, eat or sleep.

Start by putting them on a leash and tethering them to you. That way you can be aware of them when they start sniffing the ground (usually a cue the puppy needs to go potty). Pick them up and carry them outside.

When they go potty, tell them “good potty” and give a cookie as a reward. Do not let your puppy off leash until they have finished going so they get into the habit of going potty, then playing. Many puppies will want to go outside just to play if you let them off leash first.

Learn how to potty train a dog quickly
potty train a dog

What if my puppy has an accident?

He will. Do not punish your puppy though. If you catch your puppy in the act then clap your hands or pick them up – this will make your puppy stop going. Get him outside FAST and let him finish up out there. Reward him for going outside. Clean up the mess with petzorb (or some other odor removing cleaner) which will remove the odor completely.

Do NOT rub their nose in it, swat them with a newspaper, or isolate your puppy. It will only teach them to not go in front of you.

If your puppy is going frequently in the house you are probably not supervising them enough. Watch and learn their cues. If you feel you are watching and your puppy isn’t getting it you can always have them checked for a Urinary tract infection.

If your puppy piddles when you greet them, this could be submissive urination. This would be a problem that is usually cured by ignoring the behavior and letting your puppy calm down before touching them when you first see them.

This article not only applies to puppies, but shows how to potty train a dog of any age. If you can’t supervise your dog, please put them in a crate to help curb accidents. Remember, dogs go where they go most!

This can be a trying time, so have patience and you will get through it.

How to potty train a dog that is older

Training an older dog can actually be more difficult because the behavior has been learned. The best advice I can offer is to treat them like a puppy. Start from square one. Keep the dog on a strict schedule and reward heavily for going potty outside. If they have an accident, clean it up appropriately and make sure you don’t punish the dog. After all they haven’t clearly learned not to go in the house. Always ask yourself if you missed some cues.

You can try hanging a bell on the door and teach the dog to ring the bell. Hold it just in front of their nose, and let them out when the bell rings. Beware of dogs wanting to just go out to be out instead of going to the bathroom.

Author: Amy Dunphy

18 thoughts on “How to potty train a dog

  1. Our dog is 18 months old and we CANNOT train her. We have tried EVERYTHING! I am to the point I want to give her away. HELP!!!!!

  2. just adopted a dog and dont know how old she is yet, it has been 6 days and she doesnt get that outside is her bathroom. i want to give up

  3. I have German shepherd 11 weeks old and today was a week she step into my house and I have use this method and it really work now she can make sound if she feel to go potty…….i encourage other GSD owners to use the method as well.

  4. My boxer female was potty traind but she is getting lazy after having a litter of puppies she is 2yr old her puppies are all gone and have been for 2 months now . I let her out to go potty , leave her out for 30 mins at a time , yet she still comes in and pottys on my floor . Like this morning at 3am I let her out and I woke at 9am to a mess on my floor . I’m so upset I dont know what to do with her , its getting really old really fast!!!!

  5. i have a 6 years old bijon , we walk him 3 times a day and he still pees on any carpet he sees . im tired of washing all the carpets and moving the big carpets . i leave him in laundry room when im not home and im about to give him away but my kids are crazy about him and thats the only thing is stoping me 🙁

  6. 3 times is not enough. Treat him like he is a puppy and take him potty more often and use a crate when you cannot watch him. He should be going potty every hour when he is not crated.

  7. Hi, I’m 13 and I have a 2-year-old pomeranian. We tried to potty train him at first, but now we’ve pretty much given up. But now my dad is BEATING the dog, and he’s only 5 pounds. I mean, even when the dog yelps, whines, barks, and bites, my dad keeps beating him.I’m afraid he’s going to get seriously hurt. I tried to tell my dad to stop but he got mad at ME. I’m in school and I can’t be with the dog all the time, what do I do?

  8. Need Advice!!! I have a 4yr old Basset Hound male (not nuerted) that is not potty trained & is usaually an outside dog but I would like him to be more of an inside dog but for that to happen I have to potty train him of course. Any advice & helpful tips will be highly thanked. Also have a 2 1/2 yr old min daushound that isn’t potty trained either & she pees whenever someone gets home & greets her or strangers come over, she barks then accidently pees, any advice??? Please e-mail Cassie at please, THANKS!!! =)

  9. Aero, I am sorry to hear about your story with your Dad and the dog. I have a dog that we just adopted from an animal shelter and he was abused. He gets scared if we get too close to his face even three weeks after we have gotten him. I don’t know exactly what to tell you to do but I know that what your dad is doing is not right. The only thing i know to do is to talk with your mom about it and ask if she can talk to your dad. The other thing is to keep him in your room with a box and toys and news paper. If he’s locked in your room there’s no way your dad can hurt him and that way he doesn’t go pee in the house any other place. Sorry to hear about it again I hope this helps.

  10. OMG AERO call the police station not 911 but the one that is used for things that are not as important like your dog or a robbery

  11. Oh Aero……I’m really sad to hear this. Is there a way to keep the dog in your room while your at school? Your dad is wrong in beating your dog. That will only make things worst. The only time I have ever touched my dog like that was when he bit my son. I just softly tapped him on his mouth. Probably not the best thing but it really scared me.

    We too are having potty training issues. We have a 3 month old male boxer puppy. He is the sweetest puppy. For the first week he potty’d on the pee pad or outside. Then he just started going anywhere. At first we scolded him. But after reading this I see that’s wrong. Hopefully business these techniques will help. We are signing up for a training class soon at our pet store. Good luck to everyone else.

  12. Aero – you get that dog out of the house as fast as possible. Your dad is unlikely to change his behavior and that puts the poor puppy at risk.

    If you can get him to a pound or perhaps to a friend who could get him to a pound and explain the situation. You won’t have a dog, but that’s a better alternative to having it spend it’s life suffering.

  13. I have two dogs that drive me nuts. My four year old male and two year old female, never listen. When there in heat they pee in my house even more. I let them out and the older one pees while the two year old barks at the parking lot and then pees on my kitchen floor. There puppy pees on newspaper no problem but the parents just don’t stop. The stress it causes me makes me want to sell them all. How can I stop them from doing this, and stop the four year olds from barking at everything that moves whenever my spouse isn’t home?

  14. I have to say, I’m a little relieved to see these comments (but sorry you folks are experiencing the same thing). I have a 5 month old Wapoo puppy that I got about a month ago and he is just not getting potty training at all. We have him on a schedule, we crate him, praise him, give him cookies, but he still pees (and sometimes poops!) all over the house. Ready to give up too, how long does this take? I read some other posts online where people said “I potty trained my dog in 2 days.” Uhh what? Are you kidding me? Starting to think this dog will never get it.

  15. I am so frustrated at the point, i just had a melt down and cried for the past 30 minutes because it has been 7 months I have been trying to train my chihuahua and he will not learn how to
    a) hold his pee
    b) go in the correct spot

    he has a mat in the bathroom he used to go on, in fact he was potty trained for about 3 or 4 months, his only problem is whenever we would come home he would pee out of excitement. But now he pees ALL OVER the place again. And I know he knows its bad because he hides in his bed right after. he pees on my bed all the time and then gets off….WTF!

    I am just so tired of it i feel like there is no hope i want to give him away. but we’ve had him since he was 3 weeks old. which i now realize is waaay to young to take a puppy from its mom.

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