How to Potty Train Your Puppy

Now that you've got a new puppy, it's time to teach him or her the "trick" of going potty outside! The faster you're able to train your new canine friend, the less accidents you'll have to clean up, so mastering this should be a top priority once the new pup is home with you for good.

When you follow these quick tips, your new pooch should be potty-trained in no time!

When should you start?

Most experts recommend that you begin the potty training process when the puppy is between 12 to 16 weeks old. If you start too early, they may not be able to adequately retain the training and continue to have accidents. Starting too late may present more of a challenge to breaking old habits that have already been formed.

Potty training tips and tricks

Keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule. Keeping up with a feeding schedule helps the pup adapt to when it should need to go outside, and can help you manage when to take them out.

Always take your puppy out first thing in the morning. After a night of rest, if the puppy hasn't had any accidents, they'll need to go pretty urgently. It’s helpful to make sure you take them out first thing upon waking.

Taking the pup to the same spot outside. The scent in a familiar spot signals the puppy to use the bathroom again. This will help them recognize what they are supposed to do there each time you visit.

Keep an eye on what happens outside. Don't let your friend run outside unattended. Make sure they're doing their business so that you can let them back inside with an empty bladder. If your pup is playing or on a walk, however, don't turn around to go home or go inside immediately. Continue the walk a little further or keep playing a little longer so that they don't associate doing their business as time to end their fun.

Use a word to signal when they should go. Just like saying "sit" or "stay", a command word helps your puppy understand what they should be doing when they goes outside. Saying something like "go" or "potty" can let the puppy know it's time to do their business. You can use any word at all, even "abracadabra!" Just make sure you're consistent. Don't overdo it; use the command once and then wait patiently. Repeating the command as they relieve themselves and following up with lots of praise can help them associate the act with the command word.

Reward good behavior. Giving praise or a treat can help your puppy to understand that they're doing a great job by going outside to do their business. Ideally, this method works so that you don't have to scold your pup when they go inside, but rather reward them for doing the right thing outside.

Don't let the puppy on carpet until they're trained. The feel of carpet underneath a puppy's paws makes them think they're standing on grass and are allowed to use the restroom. If you're able to, keep them on tile or hardwood until they've been properly trained.

If your pup goes inside, eliminate the scent. Wiping up a mess sometimes isn't enough - you'll want to use a strong stain and odor eliminator spray to fully eliminate the scent. If the scent sticks around, the puppy will associate the place where they had an accident with the restroom, and they'll be likely to do it again in the same spot.

Make sure to interrupt any accidents. Letting a pup know that they're making a mistake when they have an accident inside is key to making sure it doesn't happen again. Use a raised voice to startle them, but don't yell so loud that you scare them. The intent is to ensure that they realize they're doing something wrong, then reinforce good behavior by taking them outside to finish.

When training your pup, make sure to follow some of these simple rules that can make your life a whole lot easier and have you cleaning up less messes. Keeping them on certain schedules and showing them affection can train them in no time! To help keep them on track, give your growing puppy specially formulated the Love At First Bark Chicken, Potato & Apple Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This highly-digestible formula is made with chicken as the first ingredient, along with functional superfoods and probiotics to provide gut health and overall immune support along with healthy growth and proper bone development from the beginning.

Save up to $4 on Love At First Bark, Wolf Cub, and other great Solid Gold new pet products!

Visit your local pet store to speak with a knowledgeable sales associate and find out which diet is right for your pet! Don’t forget to call ahead to see if any curbside pickup or delivery options are available.

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