photo of the puppy standing

Potty Training Your Dog: How To Help Your Pup Successfully Avoid Accidents


At Off Leash K9 Training, we get asked about Potty Training, every day!  ( Potty training is essential for your puppy to be well-behaved in your home and in public. It can also help your puppy to learn how to avoid accidents. While it can be a challenging process, with patience and consistency, your puppy will learn to potty train

Steps To Successfully Potty Train Your Puppy

Supplies Needed

  • High-value treats: Choose treats that your puppy loves and is motivated to work for. Popular choices include chicken, cheese, and hot dogs.
  • Enzymatic cleaner: This type of cleaner breaks down the enzymes in urine and feces. It also removes the odor and prevents your puppy from being attracted to the spot again.
  • Crate: A crate is a great way to keep your puppy confined when you cannot supervise it directly. It also provides it with a safe and comfortable place to sleep and relax.
  • Leash and collar: A leash and collar will be necessary for taking your puppy outside to potty. They prevent it from accessing certain areas of your home you do not want it to use for the bathroom.
  • Bells: Bells can be used to signal to your puppy that it needs to go outside.
  • Playpen: A playpen can be used to create a designated area for your puppy to stay in when you cannot supervise it directly.

Choosing A Potty Spot

When choosing a potty spot, consider your puppy’s age, breed, and activity level. This is because some puppies may need to go to the bathroom more often than others. It is also important to choose a spot that is easily accessible for your puppy. 

The potty spot should be in a convenient area of your yard. It should also be away from areas where your puppy spends time, such as the patio or play area. The potty spot should be on a firm surface, such as grass or dirt. Avoid areas with concrete or asphalt, as these surfaces can be uncomfortable for your puppy.

Once you have chosen a potty spot, take your puppy there every time it needs to go to the bathroom. This will help it to learn that this is the designated spot for going to the bathroom.

bonding moments with pup outside the house

Schedule and Supervision

  • Take your puppy outside often. A good rule of thumb is to take your puppy outside every 30 minutes after eating or drinking, after playing, and after waking up from a nap.
  • Use a keyword phrase. When you take your puppy outside, use a keyword phrase such as “go potty” or “do your business.” This will help your puppy to associate the keyword phrase with going to the bathroom outside.
  • Praise your puppy when they go outside. As soon as your puppy goes to the bathroom outside, give it lots of praise and attention. This will help it to learn that going to the bathroom outside is a good thing. 

Accident Cleanup

If your puppy does have an accident inside, clean it up immediately and thoroughly. Use an enzymatic cleaner to remove the odor and prevent your puppy from being attracted to the spot again. Do not punish your puppy for having an accident, as this will only make it more likely to hide when it needs to go.

Here Are Some Extra Tips

  • Use a bell on a string. Tie a bell to the end of a string and hang it from the doorknob at approximately your pup’s chest level. Every time you take your pup outside, ring the bell with their paw. Praise it immediately and open the door. Ringing the bell every time you go out teaches the dog it equals the door opening. 
  • Supervise your puppy closely. Until your puppy is completely housebroken, it is important to supervise your puppy closely at all times. This means keeping them in a crate when you are not able to watch them.
  • No crate padding. Padding is a choking hazard and can encourage urination in the crate. So, until your puppy is housebroken and mature, avoid them. 
  • Never let your dog out of the crate if it’s barking or whining. This rewards bad behavior.
  • Cut off food and water 2 Hours before Bedtime. This minimizes nighttime potty breaks.
  • Do not punish your puppy for accidents. If your puppy has an accident in the house, simply clean it up and move on. Do not punish your puppy, as this will only make them more afraid to go to the bathroom in front of you.


Potty training can be a challenging process, but it is important to be patient and consistent. With time and effort, your puppy will learn to potty train. By following the tips in this guide, you can help your puppy learn to potty train quickly and easily.  If you need help, we help families every day with this! Give us a call at:  

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