How to Potty Train a Female Puppy

By Kathy R


As soon as you get your female puppy home and she knows where the back door is, it is time to start potty training. Since puppies aren't born knowing that they need to eliminate outside instead of in the living room, it requires patience and positive reinforcement to get this job done. Most puppies will pick it up within a week or two. If you notice no improvement in this time, take your puppy to the vet. She could have a medical problem that is hampering her progress.

Step 1

Leave your puppy outside for an hour or two when you first bring her home and observe her "ritual" before she eliminates, such as sniffing the ground or walking in circles.

Step 2

Show your puppy where you would like her to relieve herself. Keep in mind that since female puppies squat to urinate, all the liquid goes in one place, which can cause the grass to become discolored. When you've chosen a spot, take your puppy over and tell her to "go potty" each time you see her exhibiting signs she has to go. Reward her by saying "good potty," when she eliminates there. You can pet her and give her a treat if you like.

Step 3

Take your dog out into the yard as much as possible during those first few days. Aim for about a half hour after she eats or drinks. Every time you see her urinate or defecate, say "good potty." Eventually she will associate the word "potty" with going to the bathroom.

Step 4

Be careful with punishing your puppy when she eliminates in the house. Unless you catch her in the act, ignore the behavior and continue rewarding her when she potties where you want her to. If you find her in the process of squatting indoors, give her a firm "no!" Then take her to your designated outdoor spot and praise her with a "good potty" if she finishes there.

Step 5

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 every day for at least a week. You will notice that your dog starts coming to you or to the door when she needs to relieve herself since she associates eliminating outside with being rewarded.
Comments (5)
Sep 6, 2009 meghan_20
Okay, hopefully somone can help me out here. Baby-She doesn't use the rest room in the anymore. She goes outside, scratches on the door, or comes to me. Little One- She knows better, but still potties on the floor. Cuzz- she will urinate on the kitchen floor, but she knows that she is in the wrong when I tell her no and she goes outside, but she still does it on the carpet and kitchen floor... Can anyone tell me anything? Oh and my house stinks from it and i use everything, but the refreshing smell only lasts for so long. I HATE for anyone to come to my house as well. I got tired of putting newspapers down...
Dec 31, 2009 ttboy12
This is really helpful!
May 12, 2010 flicker567
Thats well and good during the daytime, but what about at night. My pup is shut in the kitchen overnight. She is now 16 weeks old, and I think in the 7 weeks I've had her there have only been three times that she hasn't been to toilet (both) at least twice during the night. She has used newspaper by the door at times but mostly anywhere on the kitchen floor.
Oct 27, 2012 poochi123
My puppy keeps going potty in the house. We set out a few newspapers next to her food and told her "potty here" and/or we took her outside on the grass and told her "potty here". Therefore, she refuses to listen and goes potty in the house. Hopefully, someone can help.
Apr 5, 2014 /eeddaa
We have a male bichon and he was relatively easy to potty train. We live in an apartment so it was necessary to teach our dogs to use the pee pad. He was neutered so we dont have the "marking of territory" problem. However, we recently got a female bichon as a sibling for our male and she is impossible to potty train! We got her when she was 4 months old and our male was 10months. Its been 3 weeks and she still doesnt go potty! She poops at the pen but pees everywhere! We wipe up the pee and spray some cleaner on and make sure the smell doesnt linger to prevent her frm peeing on the same spot, which she doesnt but continues to pee wherever! We are wondering if our older puppy is some sort of a distraction in her potty training? Please advice!
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