You decided your family was ready for a dog and have adopted the world's most adorable puppy. That is, until he piddled in the middle of your living room carpet. You suddenly realize that owning a dog is a big responsibility and so you prepare yourself to clean up some messes, but now all you want to do is potty train your new furry friend---fast.
One of the easiest ways to potty train a puppy is to simply pay attention and watch for signals. Make sure your puppy is always where you can see him. You may need to use baby gates or close doors to keep your puppy from wandering off and going potty in the house. When you notice the puppy sniffing around or if you see him start to squat, quickly scoop him up and take him outside.
After the puppy eats or drinks, take him outside to go potty within about 10 minutes. A puppy will always need to go to the potty shortly after eating or drinking. Control when the puppy eats, as well. He does not require a full bowl of food available at all times. Check with your vet or breeder regarding how much and how frequently your puppy should eat.
When you take the puppy outside after eating or drinking, do not use this time to play. Simply stand or sit off to the side and wait until he finally goes.
Consistency and Praise
If you are occupied and unable to keep an eye on him for extended periods, consider crate training your puppy. While it may feel like you are imprisoning him, puppies who are crate trained begin to appreciate the safety and security of their crate, as it is much like the dens their ancestors lived in.
Choose a crate that is large enough for the puppy to stand and turn around in; never use the crate as punishment, such as a "time out" corner. It should be a place where the puppy feels safe and comfortable. Take the puppy outside to go potty before putting him in his crate. He can be safely crated for three to four hours; puppies rarely use the crate as a potty and will learn to hold it while he is in the crate. Take him outside to potty as soon as you let him out of the crate.
Repetition and consistency are two key factors that will help your puppy learn to let you know he needs to go potty. Whenever you take the puppy outside to go potty, always take him through the same door and to the same area of your yard. This will help to train him to go to that door when he needs to go potty.
Consider using potty training pads, as well. These lined pads have a scent that attract puppies to go potty on them. Leave a clean potty training pad near the door that you want the puppy to use to alert you when he needs to go potty.
Every time the puppy goes potty or when you are waiting for him to go, use the word you want to associate with training him to go. For example, you might repeat, "Go potty, good boy! Good potty!" This will train him to understand what you want him to do, which is go potty in the designated spot.
Finally, it is crucial you praise your puppy every time he goes potty in the appropriate area. Even if the puppy started to go inside, carry him out, let him finish and praise him for his good potty training session. Dogs want to please their owners and will be encouraged to repeat the action that caused him to be loved on and praised.