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Successful Potty Training Tips

Our mission at PupAlert®is to make your lives and your dog's lives easier. Our Doggy Potty Alert System should be used as part of an integrated potty training program. 

To aid you in your success we've written 15 top tips for training. 


One of the biggest mistakes in potty training a new puppy or dog is leaving your pup unattended for any amount of time. If you are not directly interacting with your pup and have eyes on him/her you need to utilize your crate or small playpen area. Before putting them in their crate or small area we suggest you give them a potty break first.


We always suggest using a crate during your potty training process. The crate offers a sense of consistency, safety & teaches your pup bladder control. Most dogs do not want to potty where they sleep. They key to successful crate training & potty training is making sure your crate gives your dog enough space to comfortably lay down and turn around. They should not have enough space to lay on one side of the crate & then potentially potty on the other side. Use a divider in your crate to limit your pup’s space. Increase the space as your dog gets bigger. If you have increased the size too soon it may lend your pup to having an accident in the crate.


Depending on the age of your pup or your inexperience with potty training, your pup may not be able to hold it as long as you would like. We recommend using our Doggy Potty Alert System schedule to set reminders for you on how often your dog should go out. Consistency is the key!


Setting a schedule based on the age, development & experience in potty training is key! Check out your potty & feeding schedule in your Doggie Potty Alert System to get the best schedule for you & your pup!


Stay consistent when scheduling your pup’s feeding, water & potty times. For a puppy under the age of 12 weeks we recommend feeding 3-times a day. The amount will be dictated by your dog food brand. We DO NOT recommend free feeding, over treating or over feeding your pup. A pup will poop 2-3 times the amount of times it eats in a day so keep that in mind when scheduling your potty breaks. Pay attention to your pup’s natural routine as well. Some pup’s need to go #2 immediately after eating; others may need 10-20 minutes for things to get moving before they’ll need to go. If your pup is struggling with more pee accidents then you’ll want to pay attention to the amount of their water intake. If anything seems excessive you may want to consult your veterinarian. If you have a water player (a pup that plays with its water bowl), you’ll want to take the bowl up then give a few cups of water 6-8 times per day, – always with exercise, always with feeding & limit water after 7pm.


Some people take for granted if they have a fenced in yard; they don’t take the time to take their pup outside. We recommend always taking your pup outside to THE SAME SPOT, stand still, and use a potty command or phrase to let them know what they need to do such as “Go Potty”. Wait to praise your pup until they have completely finished. Premature praise can cause them to get distracted & they may not empty their bladder or finish. If your pup is prone to getting distracted by trying to play or run around you may have to utilize your leash as a tool to teaching them the job at hand. Give them plenty of time! Remember we do not recommend walking around. Stand still & occasionally remind them with your potty command or phrase what they are there to do.


I’ve heard it time & time again – “I’ve taken my dog out and they pooped & then they came in the house & pooped again”. This is what I call the double pooper. A dog that is stimulated to go a short time after they have already gone. If you have a double pooper, you are going to want to go through your regular potty routine, then walk with or let your pup run around the yard again for a few minutes. Then take them back to their potty spot and give them their potty command. If they do not do their #2 again and you know they still need to go, you can also put them in their crate for just a few minutes and then take them back outside.


Potty training your new pup can definitely be a family affair but it’s important that whomever is in charge of taking the pup out is capable of following through with the potty training routine. Consistency is key! If there is any inconsistency in the routine or someone does not allow the pup the amount of time they need, you may be setting your pup up for failure.


Potty training a new pup can often be like having an infant in the house. A young pup may need to get up every 2-3 hours of the night but as your pup gets older it is important that you start pushing them to sleep through & hold it through the night. Some people have older pups (6 months+) that are still whining to go out in the middle of the night because their routine & schedule tells them it’s time. Remember we’re teaching bladder control so at some point you need to push your pup for a full 8 hours of sleep.


We do not recommend potty training pads inside the house. A dog can & will get confused with the difference between your nice rugs and its potty pads. If you’re allowing any pottying in the house, you are setting yourself up for confusion and potential failure.


It is not uncommon for a new dog or pup to have a bladder or urinary tract infection. If your pup is squatting frequently with only small amounts of urine, you may want to call your veterinarian to have them checked.


During the potty training process it’s best to limit your pup’s availability to your entire house. As their bladder control gets better and they are having less and less accidents you can allow them more freedom in your home.


Have patience when potty training a new pup or new dog in your home. Every pup learns at their own pace. Our Doggie Potty Alert System offers a guideline or feeding & pottying routines based on the age of your dog but accidents are still going to happen.


If and when your pup has an accident they can only be scolded if you catch them in the act. If you find an accident later we do not recommend putting their nose in the accident. Remember, it’s your job to set them up for success. IF you can catch your pup in the act you only want to startle them to interrupt the pottying behavior so you can scoop them up and run them out to their designated potty spot immediately. This interruption can happen by loudly stomping your feet and clapping your hands saying “No, no, no” or using a shaker can (you can make this yourself by using an aluminum can or bottle filled with rocks or pennies) to create the loud startling noise. Never hit or strike your pup with anything. We aren’t correcting them for pottying, we are correcting them for where they are pottying. We just want to interrupt the brain long enough to get them outside so we can then encourage them with your potty command. They may be a bit startled and shy to continue pottying once you’ve gotten them outside so, again, be patient and encouraging. Praise accordingly and better luck next time. Make sure you’re using your Doggie Potty Alert System schedule to help keep you in a routine of when your pup needs to go out.


Accidents are going to happen so making sure you clean them up properly. If you can avoid carpeted areas that is definitely best. Cleaning tiled areas with a bleach solution is best. Make sure your pup is not in the area while you’re cleaning. Hardwood & carpeted area have to be cleaned more carefully. We recommend 2 products – Simple Solution or Natures Miracle. It is important to follow the cleanup instructions on the bottle. Also, check your pup’s bedding every day to make sure they aren’t having accidents in their bedding. If so, we also recommend cleaning the bedding thoroughly or replacing it if necessary.