How To Potty Train A Puppy

Picking up your puppy is probably the most exciting part about puppy raising, but as soon as all the cuteness has warn off (actually some of the cuteness will wear off the first time he piddles in the house) one of the first things you will think about is How To Potty Train A Puppy.

When we first started raising guide dog puppies over five years ago we received a guide dog puppy manual on how to train a puppy. As guide dog puppy raisers we follow all the rules and puppy training guidelines outlined in our puppy manual and when it comes to potty training our puppy we simply turn to page XX in our manual and follow the instructions on how to potty train a puppy.

So today we’re going to discuss how we go about potty training puppies.

How To House Train A Puppy

Here are some of the basics we are given on how to potty train a puppy from our guide dog puppy training manual:

How To Potty Train Your Puppy

Reggie A Golden Retriever Guide Dog Puppy In Training

House training is obviously one of the first things you’ll want to teach your puppy.  If done properly, house training is not difficult.  The key is to be consistent.  Never allow the puppy to be unattended or out of your sight.  If you are unable to do this remember to use confinement as a means of prevention. Keep your puppy on a schedule.  Feed him at regular times and always give him a chance to relieve himself right after being fed.  Using a designated area in your yard, let your pup have plenty of time (fifteen minutes) to relieve itself.  Encourage the puppy to go by using words such as “Get Busy”.  (That is the command used at GDA).  When the puppy has done his business, praise him lavishly.  A good rule of thumb to follow is to give your puppy a chance to relieve himself at a minimum of these times:

  1. First thing in the morning.
  2. After each meal.
  3. After a nap.
  4. After playtime.
  5. Right before you and your pup retire for the night.
Remember your puppy should always relieve on leash.  It is important to train the puppies to relieve on leash in a variety of surfaces (grass, gravel, cement etc…)
As I mentioned these house training tips are from our guide dog puppy manual and don’t need to be followed to a “T” if you’re training your puppy as a family pet.  One thing I wish I would have known sooner is to train my puppies to relieve on different surfaces.  My rescue pup, Linus learned to pee and poop on the grass and was potty trained in less than two weeks.  However, when he was nine months old we took him camping and he would not go potty on the dirt.  There was no grass and we were worried that we’d have to drive into town (about an hour away) to find grass for him to pee on.  After holding his pee for about a day (24 hours) he finally relieved in the dirt and pee’d for about 2 minutes straight.
Derby learned potty training

Using these potty training tips Derby was quickly potty trained

The moral of the story?  It’s important to train your pup to pee on a variety of surfaces and all of our guide dog puppies have learned to pee and poop on cement, grass, gravel, rocks, wood chips, dirt, and any other place you might imagine.

How To Potty Train A Puppy

More Potty Training Tips One of the great things about being a guide dog puppy raiser is the incredible network of knowledgeable puppy raisers and guide dog trainers we have at our disposal. Some of the members in our Orange County group have been guide dog puppy raisers for 20+ years and have raised a dozen or more puppies. I guess we’re relative neophytes as Dublin is only our third puppy in training and this is only our fifth year as guide dog puppy raisers. As guide dog puppy raisers we are required to enroll our puppies in a minimum of one Puppy Kindergarten and one basic Dog Obedience Training class. One of the first questions we are asked at Puppy Kindergarten is how are you doing with potty training your puppy? Even our most experienced puppy raisers will still sometimes have questions on how to potty train a puppy. Here are some of the puppy training tips and hints I’ve learned over the years when working on potty training with my own puppies: How To Potty Train A Puppy

  1. Keep an eye on your puppy – We learned pretty fast that it’s important to keep a constant eye on your puppy. Use puppy gates (same as baby gates), tie downs, and leashes to make sure you can always see your puppy. If you see him start to sniff around, circle, whimper, or squat then quickly scoop him up and take him out to his designated potty place in the yard. Give him a ton of praise when he potty’s in his spot. It’s important to keep your puppy under constant supervision not only for potty training purposes, but to keep him out of trouble in general. We’ve found many a chewed up shoe, cell phone, remote control because we didn’t keep a close eye on our puppies. This can be both costly and dangerous for your puppy.
  2. Keep a puppy potty schedule- If you keep a puppy potty schedule you’ll notice your pup can be fairly predictable with his potty times. We just use a sheet of paper and write down every time our puppy potty’s (you’ll start to notice trends on your puppy’s potty schedule). Here are a few potty times that should automatically be on your schedule.
    • Your puppy will always need to go potty shortly before and after eating or drinking water. We feed our pups twice a day at specific times which helps control the times they go poop.
    • As soon as your puppy wakes up. Puppies almost always go potty right after waking up.
    • As Linus’s dog trainer used to say: “Play makes pee!” It seems as though every 10 minutes or so your puppy will pee when playing.
  3. Be Consistent – stay free from variation. Stay consistent so your puppy knows what you want him to do. Be consistent by taking him out the same door to the same potty spot. Be consistent with your puppy potty schedule. Be consistent with your puppy’s feeding schedule. Be consistent and make sure everyone in your household abides by the same puppy potty training rules. If you do not stay consistent then it will take longer to potty train your puppy.
  4. Be Persistent - continue firmly with your potty training your puppy in spite of any difficulty. At times it may seem like your puppy just does not get it, but don’t waver and be persistent. It took our Aussie mix, Linus less than 2 weeks before he was potty trained. It took about 6 months to fully trust Stetson with his potty training. Stay persistent!
  5. Be Patient – defined as the ability to suppress annoyance…puppies are adorable, but they will also test your patience. Try to remain calm and don’t get upset with your puppy. It takes time to potty train a puppy. Be patient and you will be rewarded
  6. Praise Your Puppy – The most important thing when we raise our guide dog puppies is to give them tons of praise every time they do something right. Don’t forget to give your puppy a ton of praise every time he goes potty in his designated potty area. This will help reinforce the behavior with your puppy.
  7. Crate Training Puppies – we crate train all of our guide dog puppies in training. Many people feel like crate training is like imprisoning your puppy. However, crate trained puppies enjoy the safety and security they feel when in their crate as they will find it much like their den had they lived in the wild. In fact, many of our puppies in training have grown so accustomed to their crates that they will often go to their crates and sleep any time they are tired. Crate training is great for potty training as it’s your puppy’s natural instinct not to potty where he sleeps. For more information on crate training check out our page on crate training puppies. For starters here are a few basics on crate training:
    • Place the crate in your bedroom where the puppy can still see and hear what is going on.
    • Put a blanket or towels in the crate for bedding. A pup will rarely soil the crate, however, if he does, try removing the bedding.
    • A crate should not be too big, but large enough for the puppy to stand, stretch and turn around.
    • When placing the puppy in the crate, use word “kennel” or “kennel up”.
    • If he should happen to fall asleep somewhere else, pick him up and place him inside and quietly shut the door.
    • Don’t use the crate for punishment.
    • Take your puppy outside to potty before putting him in the crate.
    • Take your puppy outside to potty as soon as you take him out of the crate.

Puppy In Training TVEpisode 2 reviewed several puppy training basics including a short clip on taking your puppy to his potty spot (approximate 2:15 in the clip below).

Check out our other Puppy In Training TV episodes.  If you’re interested in sponsoring an episode please let us know by sending us an email through our contact form.


We need to reiterate…Do not Rub Your Puppy’s Nose In His Accidents! Do not hit your puppy for an accident! Do not punish your puppy if you find an accident! Never punish your puppy after the fact. Your puppy will think you are punishing him for whatever is happening at the time of the correction. Your puppy will not make the connection that this is an area that he previously soiled and that is why you are punishing.

Puppy Clean Up

If your puppy pees or poops on the floor or carpet make sure you clean it up immediately (I’m sure I really didn’t have to say that). However, if your puppy smells the pee or poop on the floor then he will return to this spot to pee again. In order to remove all the stain and order we like to use an enzyme-based remover like Nature’s Miracle. Nature’s Miracle claims to permanently eliminate all stains and odors even urine odors other products fail to remove. We’ve used Nature’s Miracle with all of our puppies and have found it to be very effective.

One final note…always remember to bring some dog poop bags when you’re out on your walks.  One of our biggest pet peeves is the person who does not pickup after their puppy.  It’s bad for the environment and for some reason the bottom of my shoe seems to always find the dog poop that was left behind. I hope this little guide helps you with your puppy potty training basics.

If you have any questions about how to potty train your puppy then please feel free to leave us a comment in the comments section below. If you want to read more great puppy training tips then please subscribe to our blog at any one of  our channels(or if you’re slightly more daring all or our channels): Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS, Newsletter.


  1. Shawna says

    We just brough home our 8 week old retreiver/collie cross yesterday. She shared a crate with her siblings so is kind of used to that (it was kept open all the time I believe). They also used newspaper in the area near the door for the puppies to pee/poo on. They would also let them in the connecting kitchen and put paper down after they woke up from a nap. When we were there a week ago, our puppy (Ginger) jumped over the small board to get to the paper at the back door instead of using the ones in the kitchen. We leash her and carry her down the stairs to her potty spot which is some gravel/rocks beside the walkway that has/had newspaper that we brought from her home that had her or her siblings urine on it. She usually goes within 5 min. She had one accident but it was right at the back door. She did great after that.
    Early this morning (2:30 am) she whined so we went outside. She pooed but didn’t pee. When I put her back in her crate and went to bed she whined and cried. I left her for about 10-15 min and then took her outside again. Nothing. We repeated this process a couple of times (with a couple of short naps in between) until 6:30. During these potty outings she would whineand tug at the leash, trying to get to the grass or sit and wash herself or shiver. After 6:30, which was her longest quiet/nap stretch) I took her out again and still nothing. I fed her and about 2 min later she peed near the back door before I could get there. For the next hour we tried going outside for 5-10 min and then in the cratefor 5-10min which is what i read that you should do. During this timeshe whines and cries. I wait until she is quiet before taking her out and taking her potty. She finally pooed again and then walked over to the grass and peed. She peed again an hr later just after her nap and has gone few times since. Just before lunch, after playing, we tried agan, no luck, fed her lunch, tried again, nothing. She had a nap and then peed farther away from the door before we got to her. Since then she has not pooed or peed, even with repeated potty outings. She does the same as in the early morning (shivering/whining/tugging/or just lays down between or on our feet). Had another nap and we immediately took her out upon waking. Now she is curled up in the wet newspaper (it’s raining) and appears to be napping. Is there anything we are doing wrong? Is it punishment to crate them after they haven’t “gone potty”? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Shawna,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! It sounds like you’re doing things right. In our experiences raising puppies it’s taken anywhere from a week or two to a couple months to potty train our pups. At 8 weeks old a lot of puppies don’t have full control of their bladders and sometimes seem to pee randomly. They also can’t hold it very long. At this time you probably need to be patient, persistent, and consistent with your puppy and her potty training.

      By the way, to answer your questions: It doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong. During crate training when our puppies do not pee we will sometimes put them back in their crate.

      Good luck with your training!

  2. Heidi says

    I have a now 13 week old husky Shepard collie that we just adopted 1 week ago. She was doing great in her crate and an still struggling with her potty training. We are up in Saskatchewan abd it’s been extremely cold temperatures lately and she’s gotten into the habit of doing pee and poop on the deck/outside porch. Now the last few days I’ve been going out with her every time to show her where to go. She seems to get it when I take her but I have a 1 year old son so I’m now able to go with her every time and if I don’t go with her she goes right to the deck again. Any suggestions? Also she was doing extremely well with her crate training and sleeping all night with put whining to pee. Now the last day or so she’s peed twice in her crate. Once in the am and I just noticed it again in her crate. I’m taking her out every 20 min and she’s going every time so I have no Idea why she is starting this??? Thanks !

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! If she’s still going on the deck you might want to try and thoroughly clean the deck with an enzymatic cleaner to get any scent of urine out. If she can smell the scent of urine she will want to pee on that spot. Again you will want to thoroughly clean her crate. If she’s having accidents in the middle of the night then make sure you relieve her just before bedtime. Also, you might want to remove any blankets or anything plush from the crate. One of our puppy’s has had accidents in the crate because she had a bladder infection which required a visit to the vet.

      Good luck with your training!

      • Erica says

        My dog is 9 months old and has been potty trained & crate trained for several months. However, she is peeing & pooping in the crate every day while we are at work. She is the crate for 6-7 hours, is this why or is it medical? Or could we be doing something else because she does not seem to mind “going where she sleeps,” and will sometimes even try to cover it up since she knows it’s wrong… Help!

        • says

          Hi Erica,

          You might want to bring in a professional dog trainer to assess your situation. In our experience 6-7 hours in the crate every day can be a problem. We’ve seen some puppies that have developed anxiety and will have accidents in the crate because of the anxiety. Another thing I’d like to bring up is every puppy/dog is different. Both of my dogs are potty trained. However, Stetson will occasionally have accidents in the house because he just can’t “hold it” sometimes. Linus on the other hand has not had an accident in the house since he was about 12 weeks old. In fact, we actually accidentally trained Linus to only potty on the grass. We discovered this when we took him camping. He did not poop or pee for over 24 hours because he refused to potty on the dirt. We nearly had to drive him back down the mountain to find a patch of grass for him. Luckily after about a day and a half he took the longest pee ever on the dirt! (think Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own).

          This could also be a medical issue. If you think this is the case then you should take your puppy to the vet.

          Hopefully that helps.

          Take care,

  3. Julia says

    We adopted a 10 week old puppy last week (when she was 9 weeks old) at a Petsmart adoption. She is crate trained, leash trained, and knows sit, stay, and down. The only problem is House training. She knows to potty when she’s outside, not to poop in the house, and that the bell means outside (since she always runs away when she hears it). We think it is because she hates cold. She always runs back to the steps, and shivers when we go outside. She also peed in her crate twice, even though we blocked off the back to make it smaller for her. We praise her when she goes out, but I think the cold overpowers the praise. How do we make her go outside?

    • says

      We live in southern California and it’s been uncharacteristically warm this year and we do not have to deal with the extreme cold. However, if this were my puppy I would consider trying to find a place outside where it might not be as cold. We used to live in a smaller condo so we had our pups potty on the patio using the Urban Potty: You might try something similar to keep your pups out of the cold. Also, anywhere your puppy has had an accident you will want to clean with an enzymatic cleaner to keep your pup from going back and being tempted to potty in the same spot. Good luck with your training!

    • lbn says

      get a warm sweater and a waterproof coat one with a warm hood. If the dog it warm it will go outside. PetValue has the best warm sweaters and coats for dogs. If there is a lot of ice and snow add socks with waterproof slip on boots

  4. Megan Shea says

    Dear Colby,
    I really appreciate your website…thank you for all your great information. We have a 12 week old female chocolate lab, Lucy. We have been trying to be really consistent and if she is not in her crate she is in a small “pen” type area by the laundry room. We have gotten pretty good at anticipating when she needs to go and helping prevent accidents. We have made big strides in the last week or so. However, in the evening we are trying to let her spend time with us after the kids are in bed by letting sit in the family room while we watch tv. She is under direct supervision and I take her out to her potty spot before we let her in the room. She will usually relieve herself outside, but usually within about 15 minutes she gets so excited from having the freedom and running around that she will have a small accident. We are catching her and saying no and then taking her outside… but wondering if you have any other suggestions. Thanks so much and have a great week!

    • says

      Hi Megan,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! She’s still pretty young and probably doesn’t have great control of her bladder just yet. One thing you might try doing when you bring her inside is keeper calmer and under control instead of her run around getting excited. We keep a leash on our pups in doors up until they are fully potty trained that way we have better control of their activity and can keep them from getting overly excited.

      One trainer I used to work with always said “Play makes Pee!” and she recommended taking your puppy out every 5-10 minutes when she is playing.

      Good luck with your training!

    • says

      Helo my pups is 18to19mouths an is pitball cross staff he ent seemd to be geting the pee poo sitriob very well he knows but dosnt like cold an nites an seems to do it in side I put him kitcken cus he will just do it anywere we ro I get cleaning stuff from as cant seems find noun like it his gd boi just bit hyper an nipy an were would I get a creat from all his to late to put him in one for try see if it works for his bisnise I dnt wat to do can worms slow it down an I thinking get him look at in case for blader infetion just keep my mide of that for one thank you

    • says

      When we first brought home Linus it rained for 2 weeks straight. Needless to say we had similar problems getting him to go outside during those first couple weeks. Back then we carried him out to his potty spot then carried him back into the house.

  5. Julia says

    Sorry about the 2 almost the same comments. After I posted the first one, I checked for a reply a few days after. I didn’t see my comment, so I posted a new one. Then my old one showed up.

    • says

      No problem. I have comment set to moderate before posting because of all the spam comments that come through. Thanks for visiting the site!

  6. Sam says

    Hi there! We have a 5 and a half month old Morkie pup. She took to potty training really well at first – we would stick to her schedule and take her out after eating, and she also started to go to the door herself and indicate that she needed to “go”.
    However, now she’s stopped being interested in her food as much (she used to eat it all in a few minutes, now it takes over an hour). And she’s no longer “going” according to her schedule – in fact there’s no rhyme or reason to when she’s going. I’m wondering if you have any advice about what do to to get her back on schedule?
    Also, how is it that pups learn to “hold it” when they’re not let out right away? Our pup is really good at telling us she needs to go, but it happens so often- and if we don’t catch her signal, she goes on the spot! Is there anything we can do to teach her that if she doesn’t get let out immediately that she’s still supposed to hold it?
    Many thanks!

    • says

      Hi Sam,

      We’ve always crate trained our puppies and that is one way our pup’s are trained to “hold it”. If your puppy is having accidents at 5 1/2 months of age you might try rolling back on your house training. I would give her less freedom around the house and keep a constant eye on her 24/7 until she learns again that she’s not supposed to potty in the house. Good luck with your training!

      Take care,

  7. Julia says

    Koko now loves to play in the snow! Do you know how to bell train a dog? We are trying to bell train Koko but so far no luck. Also, do you give advice for other topics other than house training?

    • says

      Hi Julia,

      We don’t bell train our dogs, but I’m sure you can find a good tutorial online on how to train your puppy. We use this site to talk about all of the things (training, socialization, house manners) we do with our guide and service dog puppies to prepare them for their jobs as working dogs.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Julia says

    Whenever I play piano, Koko whines her head off. Some whines even turn into something like a howl. My mom and I don’t know why she does it, or how to stop it. Do you know why she does it?

  9. Sheryl says

    I have had my puppy since he was 5 weeks old. He is 14 weeks old now and very smart. He know “sit”, “lay down”, comes when called but I can’t get him potty trained. Since he was so young when I got him I used puppy pads to start with. He would go every time to the puppy pad. Every time I take him outside he pees right away and he poops pretty much on command. The problem is after I take him outside and he pees, he comes back in and will pee in the house. Sometimes he can make it an hour or two and sometimes he will pee 2-3 withing the hour. He also doesn’t stop to pee in the house, he just pees while he is running; so I have a trail of pee to clean. The most frustrating thing is I stayed with a family member for 3 days at their house and he only had 2 accidents. I came home and washed my hard wood floors good and every time he has an accident I clean it right away with a good floor cleaner with an enzyme in it….Help. Also I should say that he is crate trained and goes 9 hours at night while I work and 4-6 hours during the day while I sleep with no accidents.

    • says

      Your puppy is still pretty young so it’s not too surprising that he still hasn’t figured out potty training. A few things you might try:

      1. If he’s going potty in the house right after he goes outside (this is very common for young pups). My puppy used to do this. I learned to wait outside a little longer after he goes the first time. Young puppy’s don’t always have full control of their bladders and sometimes don’t get it all out on the first go around.
      2. At puppy class we always say play makes pee. When our puppies are awake and playing they seem to potty every 10 minutes. We keep a close eye on our pup’s when their awake and watch for signs that they have to potty like circling, sniffing, etc.
      3. When our puppies are not yet potty trained we keep them on leash and within sight 24/7. If we are not watching them then we crate them.

      Like I said your puppy is still young. Remain patient, consistent, and persistent with his training and he’ll get it.

  10. Alyssa says


    I have a rescue dog (she’s an adult) whose housetraining has been a slow going process – normally I don’t have issues housetraining as I have a service dog also who I trained with the support of a adi registered service dog training/placement organisation. This rescue is her companion at home as I started to find that my service dog was becoming a little bit too humanised and forgetting that she is in fact a dog and is sometimes aloud to do doggy things. – but to get back on topic, THIS RESCUE JUST WILL NOT GO TO THE TOILET ON ANY SURFACE OTHER THAN GRASS – I’m starting to use one strange surface at a time – and using the first pea in the morning as the training exercise and after meals as well – but she will not go unless she’s on grass… thankfully she does “go toilet” on cue as being a service dog handler this is how I’m used to training all my dogs – but it’s harder again given that this rescue is an adult – what suggestions can anyone give for encouraging doing her business *wherever* I ask her to? Nb: puppy pads don’t work as they too closely resemble the happy mat… I’ve tried that strategy.

    • says

      Hi Alyssa,

      I had this same problem with my first puppy. I unknowingly trained him to only do his business on the grass. It was great because he was house trained faster than any other dog I trained. However, when he was about a 9 months old we took him on a camping trip where there was no grass only dirt. He seriously did not pee or poop for over 24 hours he was so adamant on not going potty in the dirt. Fortunately, he gave in and did go on the dirt and it took him about 2 minutes to get it all out (think Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own).

      When we work with our puppies we do the exact same thing you are doing and work on getting them to potty on different surfaces by using times when we are sure they need to potty. One of the surfaces our pups usually don’t like to “get busy” on is cement/sidewalk. It takes some time and patience, but we shorten up our leash, stand in one place, issue our potty command “get busy” and wait for our pups to do their business. It can sometimes take a while and I know for an older dog it will be more difficult since they have much better control over their bladder.

      Another thing we do with our puppies is if they do not go potty in a 10 minute window then we’ll bring them back in the house, crate them for a short period of time, and then bring them back out to their potty spot for another chance to “get busy”. Usually the second time they will do their business.

      Hopefully that helps a little.

      Good luck with your training!

  11. Terri says

    I have a 5 month old chocolate lab who will go potty and poop out side when you take him out and tell him to go potty, but still will go potty in the house if you dont watch him every second. He also just walks and pees and doesnt stop, it appears that he doesnt fully empty his bladder all the time when he goes out side. If i try to reward him with a treat for going out side the next time i take him out to go he waits for the treat and doesnt go potty he just stands there looking for a treat. so i stopped treats and just use verbally rewards. He also was good at night in the crate and now sometimes has accidents even thou he goes potty before bed. He is in a crate for 8 to 9 hours a day while we work and every day now it is poop and pee mess when we come home in the crate to the point where we have to give him a bath and completly wash down the crate, it is getting very frustrating. The other day my husband came home at noon and left him out to go and at 4 pm came home to a mess in the crate anyhow. It is almost like he does it on purpose. He will be 6 months old in a 2 weeks and i feel we should be further along than this. any suggestions ?

    • says

      You might look into having a professional dog trainer come in to help you with your puppy’s training. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with a few of the things you’ve described. We watch our puppies every second of the day until they are potty trained. Every time our puppy has an accident in the house we have taken a step backward on his potty training therefore it’s important to make sure they do not have accident by watching them constantly.

      We’ve had similar issues with our pup’s not fully emptying his bladder. In this case we stay outside a few extra minutes to make sure our pup is fully relieved.

      Verbal rewards instead of treat rewards for outside potty is a great idea!

      Here’s a post on accidents in crate:

      If we have to crate our puppy for more than 4 hours in a day we get a friend, neighbor, or puppy sitter to watch our puppy for the day. 8-9 hours in the crate may be too long for your puppy and he may be experiencing anxiety.

      Hopefully all of that helps. Good luck with your training!

  12. Becky says

    We are preparing the house for a puppy, but planned to have the wire kennel/den downstairs, since that is where we spend most of our time (kitchen, living area, etc.) However, both bedrooms are upstairs, and it seems difficult to haul a wire crate upstairs nightly. Snould we use a smaller travel crate for bedtime upstairs while the puppy is young? If so, will the dog be comfortable sleeping downstairs in the larger kennel once it can go the night without potty breaks? Any recommendations are welcome!

    • says

      Hi Becky,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! We always keep our crate in the bedroom right next to our bed, but this is more because it’s a requirement from our guide dog school. A smaller travel crate upstairs would be fine as long as it’s big enough for your puppy. If the travel crate is made of mesh then there’s a chance your puppy will try chewing on the mesh if he’s bored. Over time all of our puppies have gotten used to their crate and it hasn’t been a problem crating them in other parts of the house.

      Good luck with your training!

  13. Kathleen says


    I love your website and all the great advice! I have a 15 week old mini goldendoodle, I got him at 8 weeks old. He usually goes to the bathroom outside, we have had a few accidents, mostly human error because I wasn’t watching closely enough and missed the signs. He is crate trained, the crate is in the kitchen and I have baby gates at both doorways. My kitchen is fairly large and cozy, so I typically spend most of my time in there (not because of the puppy), and when I walk out of the kitchen, he will wait at the gate for me to return. Recently, when I leave the kitchen, he pees in front of the gate, and because he waits for me there, he walks in it. It is not every time I leave, but at least once a day, even if he just went outside to potty. Any thoughts as to why he is doing this? Thanks in advance!

    • says

      Hi Kathleen,

      If he’s doing this on a regular basis a few things you might try are:

      1. Thoroughly clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner. If he can smell the urine then there’s a much higher likelihood that he will want to potty there. A dog’s sense of smell is 1000’s o times better than humans so even if you clean it with regular cleaning product there’s a good chance he can still detect the urine.
      2. Make sure your puppy has totally relieved himself. Puppies at this age will often potty, but not get it all out. I sometimes stay outside with my puppy for a good 10 minutes even after they’ve relieved before coming back in the house.
      3. All of my dogs are potty trained and 2 out of 3 never have accidents. The third one has accidents because he has a weaker bladder and sometimes he just can’t hold it. When he does have an accident it’s right in front of the sliding door where I let him out to go potty. He’s obviously waiting for me to let him out. The same thing could be happening with your puppy.

      I hope that helps. Good luck with your training!

      Take care,

  14. Maria says

    I have a 12 week old miniature schnauzer. He is not housebroken. I take him outside for 15-20 minutes so he can go to the bathroom, but he never goes. I bring him in and out him on the pee pad, he again won’t go and 30 seconds later he pees on the floor. I take him out every hour , after eating or napping, after playing and after being in his crate. He hates his crate and cries and barks incessantly. So far I have only used the crate at night or when I’m out of the house. I’m home virtually all the time. What am I doing wrong?

    • says

      Hi Maria,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! First, make sure you thoroughly clean any area of the house that your puppy had an accident at with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle. If your puppy can smell his accident there’s a good chance he’ll want to potty in the same spot.

      When our puppies are young and they don’t potty when we take them outside we bring them back to their crate for 5-10 minutes and then try again.

      It’s a good idea to practice crate training when your home with your puppy not just when you put him to bed and when you leave the house. I’m not sure if you saw our post on crate training, but just in case here’s the link:

      Hopefully that helps.

      Good luck with your training!

  15. Charu says

    I have a 15 week old Shinese puppy..mix of shihtzu and Pekingese. I got her a week ago and love her to death! I used the pee pads since that was what she was used to. However, I would like to train her to eliminate on the grass outside my backyard. So I got rid of the peepads inside the house and she started using the outside pee pads and concrete to go potty. How do I get her to go on the grass? Should I move the peepad closer to the grass or get rid of them entirely ? Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
    Thank you,

    • says

      Hi Charu,

      When we work on potty training we always have our puppy on leash and walk them out to their potty spot. You might try doing the same until your puppy understands that she is supposed to do her business on the grass rather than the concrete.

      Good luck with your training!

  16. Sally says

    We got my new Rottie pup 2 weeks ago at age 8 weeks. We started potty training and crate training immediately and although he had the almost expected accidents in the house, he would be completely dry in the crate in the am. All of a sudden for the last 2 or 3 days he has been peeing in the crate overnight. we had to remove his toys from the crate as they would get wet along with him and he needed bathed for the last 2 days. I’m wondering why this is happening. He was so good in the crate for the first 2 weeks. Should I open up the divider in the crate to give him more room and place a pee pad in the back of the crate so he doesn’t have to lay in it? I have always thought it was best to not give them too much room in the crate as that would encourage accidents in the crate. I’ve potty trained many pups in my life and thought I was doing the right thing. He has no problem going outside and seems to understand to a degree that going outside is the proper thing. I say to a degree as pups are like babies and will still have accidents until they are completely housebroke and old enough to hold it and understand that this is the only accepted behavior for going potty. Any suggestions would be helpful as I do not want him to be laying in his pee and having to have baths everyday. But especially don’t want him to have to lay there in it until someone wakes up to attend to him. Perhaps I should set an alarm at a certain time in the middle of the night to take him out. However, I personally am not here every night as I work night shift and the others in the house may not accomodate this. My schedule hasn’t changed since we got him so household schedule has been consistent.

    • says

      Hi Sally,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! If this were my puppy I would not increase the size of the crate and add pee pads. It’s tough to tell what’s going on without actually observing everything that is happening in your day with your puppy. We had a puppy that had unexpected accidents after she seemed to “get it” and it ended up being a bladder infection. We’ve also seen puppies have unexpected accidents in the crate when they spend too much time in their crate throughout the day. Also, make sure and thoroughly cleanup your crate after any accident with an enzymatic cleaner so your puppy can’t smell the accident.

      It’s tough to tell without actually being there, but if you’re still having issues you may want to bring in a professional dog trainer for an in-home training session.

      Good luck with your training!

  17. corinne says

    We are picking up our six week old puppy tomorrow and I start school in 3 weeks. He will have to be alone for about 7 hours 2-3 days a week. We are going to leave him in our bathroom. What is the best way to not screw up our training efforts? They are trained to go on newspapers. Should I continue that until he is old enough to stay outside? I am not sure the best course of action. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Corinne,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Unfortunately, leaving your puppy home alone for that long a period of time is not the best idea. You might consider having a friend, family member, neighbor, or puppy sitter stop by throughout the day to give your puppy some attention. If your puppy stays home alone that long many days in a row he may develop behavior problems.

      Good luck with your training!

  18. Claudia says

    I just recently got a 6 week old chihuahua and I’ve been pretty consitant with her. I’ve read that very young puppies have to be fed 4-5 times a day so I’ve made her a feeding schedule and my family and I follow that pretty well. When she’s not in her crate she’s picked up the fact that if she’s not let out she can go pee on the puppy training pad. She does have her accidents around the house but if we catch her soon enough we quickly put her on the pad. This is her potty spot in the house. But recently after she takes her naps in her crate or after waking up in the morning she pees in her crate, and only after that does she whine to be let out. It’s happened a few times already and I always try to keep a close eye on her but sometimes she gets away with it. Crate size is not the issue. I’ve bought a bigger crate so she’ll have it when she grows up but it came with a divider so I sectioned off a big enough spot for her size and she has one or two toys in with her. Also when she does pee in her crate she will not go back in haha. So how can I properly train her to not pee in her crate so I won’t have any future problems when she gets older?

    • Claudia says

      I also forgot to add that when I was doing some crate training research I found that after your puppy eats you should let her out immediately. If she does not pee or poo during that time she’s outside put her in her crate and wait 10-20 minutes and let her out again to teach her that in the crate you have to hold it in. When I do that she whines uncontrollably and I know I shouldn’t keep her in there if that happens. So how do I show her that being in there is not a bad thing? Also how to reinforce to hold it in while in the crate?

      • says

        Yes, we put our puppies back in the crate if they haven’t gone potty after eating exactly as you mentioned. However, you shouldn’t let your puppy out of the crate when she’s whining/crying this will just reinforce the bad behavior. You need to wait until she stops crying before you let her out of the crate.

    • says

      One thing you might try is setting your alarm to get your puppy out of the crate before she has an accident. Also, make sure you thoroughly clean the crate with an enzymatic cleaner after any accident. You also might consider removing any bedding from the crate.

      Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training!

  19. Christianna says

    Hi….. I just bought a new puppy… She is a terrierpoodle and 2 months old….. How do I house train her to pee and poo fast because school is going to start soon and my whole family will be gone around 8 hours from home… Also I don’t have a crate but a closed up space with a bed…. She pees a lot and also poos around 3 times a day…. And almost always it’s around the house and it annoys my mother…. Pls help,…. My mom does not allow us to take her out because she will be cleaned again……..
    Thank you…

    • says

      Hi Christianna,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Everything you need to know should be in this article. Let me know if you have any specific questions.


  20. Vani says

    Hi, We just brought our 3mth old pup home. Since we stay in an apartment, we use the pee tray for his potty training. However, when we bring to the potty area, he thinks its time to play. what can I do

    • says

      Hi Vani,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! A lot of puppies like to play when they reach their potty area. We always take our pups to the potty area on leash, stand, and wait until they’ve done their business. If they are trying to play we typically don’t acknowledge them. If your pup is trying to play with his leash you might try using bitter apple spray on the leash.

      Good luck with your training!

  21. Amanda says

    Hi there,
    I have a 15week old puppy who has been trained to pee and poo on grass. Unfortunately he spend most of his time on the deck so I want to train him to use a pee pad but he refuses to go. He held himself for 6 hours yesterday before I had to take him to the grass because we were going to the vets. When I take him to the pee pad on leash in the morning he just stares at me and will eventually sit down. He has peed on the deck before I have managed to catch him. I have also tried using pheromones on the pee pad to encourage him to go. Any tips on how I can get him to go on the pee pad?

    • says

      We don’t use pee pads, but we do use a specific area when we teach our puppies to potty and we’ve also used a potty tray to train our puppies. It’s easiest to teach puppies to do this when they are younger as they usually potty on schedule. I usually just stand with my puppy on leash for about 10 minutes until they potty if they do not potty I put them back in the crate for about 10 minutes then repeat until they potty in the designated area. Good luck with your training!

  22. Liz says

    I have a coonhound and bloodhound mix. When we brought our dog home in May he was eight weeks. We crate trained but didn’t realize our puppy had a massive bladder infection when we adopted him. Even though we took him out every two hours during the night he stilled had accidents in his crates. Just peeing in the crate. It took the vet a little over a month to get the bladder infection clear. We had to go to another vet because the first one told us it was a birth defect and get rid of the puppy. Once he was better we worked on taking him out every two hours. He is now 7 months old and we try to take him out twice during the night. He refuses to come out of the crate and will growl and try to bite us. We have never used the crate as punishment but he sleeps hard and pees in his sleep. I have to watch him like a hawk when he is napping by me in the house. When I see him dripping I immediately take him out, but he just flops on the ground and sleeps and pees on himself. We remove water at seven and put him in bed at 945 pm because that is the last time he will go potty. He is hound and his nose is to the ground all the time and he doesn’t whine it is hard to get him to tell us he has to go. He will sit by the back door during the day and I let him out. I just don’t know what to do about the night when he refuses to go potty.

    • says

      At night have you tried luring him out of the crate with one of his favorite things like a treat or a toy? He’s still fairly young so he may still outgrow the issues with peeing in his sleep. If this were my dog I would keep him to regular checkups with your vet to make sure the bladder infection is totally clear and perhaps just set my alarm a couple times a night to let him out and as I mentioned trying luring him out with one of his favorite things. Good luck with your training!

  23. Lois says

    I adopted a puppy at 6 weeks old. Her name is Lily. She did ok with potty training at first. She would circle around and sniff. Even occasionally went to the door before circling and sniffing. At around 12 weeks it changed. She would just pee where ever she was. No circling, no sniffing, no visual clues at all. I have been very careful to watch her during the day and as soon as she wakes up from a nap, she goes out. When she is playing, I take her out every 10 mins. She will go outside. Pee and poo. However, she has no problems doing both in the house too. Poo is only in her crate and only when I leave her alone. I am a housewife so I am here unless I need to run to the store or I go to dog training with my other dog, Juneau. Lily is in puppy classes so she gets to go with me regularly too. She is not left at home by herself more than a few hours a week. She is left alone in her crate at night. I take away water 2 hours before bedtime. I feed her at that time also. Every night I take her out 1st, then take Juneau. When I get back in with Juneau, I take Lily out a second time. She always goes to the bathroom both times. Usually doesn’t poo on the 1st trip out, hence the 2nd trip. She will pee and poo in her crate every single night. If I set an alarm to take her out 4 hours later, she will have made a mess before I get up. From the half dry state of the pee, I would guess she is peeing roughly 2-3 hours after I go to bed. I started getting up after 2 hours and taking her out. I set another alarm for 4 hours but still find a mess despite her going potty at the previous alarm. She has also started peeing in my lap when she is curled up with me. Today she was asleep in my lap. She did not move. She opened her eyes and peed on me. How am I supposed to combat her total lack of signals? I am considering bell training but if she is going to just open her eyes and pee no matter where she is, will a bell help? I have potty trained other dogs and never had a problem like this. Juneau does not have accidents unless she is sick. Lily is 18 weeks old today.

  24. jessica travinski says

    my dog Lilly wont go outside she can go for long walks only pee once and then see can be on her leash all day outside and wont go potty then we come in like two minutes later there is a big wet spot and poo on the floor in the living room or behind the dining room table she purposely hold it in until shes int he house i live with 3 other people who never let her out and i have school i am the only one to train her any suggestions

    • says

      If she’s only going potty in the house then it’s possible that she has inadvertently learned that going potty in the house is the correct place to go potty You might try starting her potty training from the beginning using the methods detailed in this article. Good luck with your training!

  25. jonny says

    Hey I just got a puppy three days ago and was wondering if I should leave water in his crate at night and how often I should take him out of his crate at night to go out.

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! We don’t leave water in the crate for our puppies at night. When we bring home our puppies at around 7-8 weeks of age they will usually sleep through the night after about a week. We usually only take our puppy out of the crate at night when he/she wakes up this usually happens about 2-4 times a night the first few nights then tails off. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training!

  26. Tina says

    thank you for posting this out of your book I have found many struggles with my yellow lab mix that we adopted 6 months ago. I have had many experiences on potty training puppies and this one is my challenge she has a very weak bladder so even if she just went potty 5 minutes to go outside and got lots of praise she will then go potty inside I clean up the areas appropriately i run her back outside to finish her duty. she has been very inconsistent even when I have been very consistent on taking her outside and keeping her on a routine I don’t give her an abundant amount of water only because I know that right when she drinks it I’ll take her outside we will come back inside and 5 minutes later she’ll pee on the’s very strange because I also have a boxer and she was potty trained within a month and she’s been doing excellent ever since then she is almost 2 years old, I was hoping this lab mix would be a lot easier than the boxer but she’s been a real challenge to the point where my husband is starting to think on giving her to a home that has more patience for her. Do you have any tips on puppies with very weak bladders? We do live in an apartment so that doesn’t help either but by now being 6 months old she should be able to hold her bladder a lot longer and she does. Grrr

    • says

      Every puppy is different. One of my dogs can hold his bladder for what seems like days while the other will go if you don’t let him outside within a few minutes of him waiting by the door. We’ve had a few puppies that have had bladder infections that caused them to urinate frequently. If you think this might be the case you should visit your vet. Also, if you haven’t already you might try crate training which might help you teach your puppy better bladder control. Good luck with your training!

  27. Dawn says

    We have a 16 week old female Imperial Shih Tzu, have had her for two weeks. I am home all day and take her out approximately every 1-1/2 to 2 hours. When I take her out, we are out for about 5 minutes and she will pee three or four times and occasionally poop. The problem is she will come in and within 5 minutes she will pee in the house. We have been crate training her and only seems to urinate if we have been gone several hours. She is only left out when we are playing with her and she is being supervised. Any suggestion?
    Thanks Dawn.

    • says

      Most of the puppies I’ve raised do this same thing from time to time. However, we have had puppies with bladder infections that also caused our pup’s to have unexpected accidents. All of our puppies have eventually outgrown this stage and learn to control their bladder. It sounds like you’re on the right track giving her constant supervision.

  28. Cheryl says

    I have a 6month old beagle mix puppy. We are having problems with her during the night. She was in the cage and then caged all day so I thought I would give her the time out of the cage at night starting about a month ago. She did good the first couple of nights but now seeing she is down there by herself she pees on the couch. She has ruined my new couch that isn’t even two years old. I figured I would try and bring her upstairs with us but not in bed with us, and she pees up there as well. It’s like she just wakes up and pees! I try and hear for her when she moves but by that time I am too late she has already peed. She has been to puppy training class and I explained to her what was going on and she told me to make sure I am always taking her out and right before bed. I do all that and she is still peeing. I need help bc I don’t know how much more I can handle. TIA!

    • says

      One of the things I’ve noticed with my puppies is if they are not totally potty trained then you need to keep an eye on them 24/7 or have them in their crate. It’s very common that puppies will have to potty as soon as they wake up. Here are times most puppies will have to potty:

      First thing in the morning.
      After each meal.
      After a nap/sleep.
      After playtime.

      Our puppies stay in their crate at night until morning and then we immediately take them out to potty. During the day we watch our puppies 24/7 and occasionally use the crate. However, during the day you do not want to use your crate for extended periods of time or your puppy may have accidents in the crate.

      Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training.

  29. Stacie says

    I have an 8 1/2 week old coonhound/heeler mix puppy. I’ve had her for about 4 days and have started crate training and potty training. I feed her on a schedule and take her outside often. Sometimes when I take her out, she’ll express no interest in going potty. Instead she’ll whine, run back to the door, or just sit on my feet (I live in northern utah and its already getting pretty cold). I’ll wait outside with her for at least 15-20 minutes, I try and get her running around, I’ll use her commands, but she won’t go. I’ll give up, bring her inside, and she’ll go on the carpet. Is there any advice you have for me?

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! We live and southern California and the weather is usually very mild although it did rain for about 2 weeks straight when we brought home Linus as a puppy.

      It sounds like you are doing a good job with your puppy. Your situation is very common. Something we do when having a similar issue is we bring our puppy outside to potty and wait about 10 minutes. If he does not go potty then we bring him back in and put him in his crate for about 10 minutes. After about 10 minutes we take him back out to his potty spot. We repeat this exercise until our puppy goes potty.

      Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training!

  30. Caroline says

    I have a 8 month puppy and he constantly pees and poops in the house. We have followed most of the tips but he goes in the house. For example, I stood outside for 35 minutes waiting for him to go. What should I do?

    • says

      Until a puppy is fully potty trained you need to supervise him 24/7. If for whatever reason we cannot keep an eye on our puppy we use are crate. If you’re not crate training your puppy you might try doing that in conjunction with potty training. Here’s an article we put together on crate training:

      Good luck with your training!

  31. Ashley says

    I have an 1.5 year old rescue that we’ve had for 6 months. She is crate trained and goes to the bathroom outside just fine when we are either here during the day or in and out during the weekend (and she’s not in the crate). As well, at night time she sleeps in our bed and never gets up to have an accident. However, I would like to move past the crate and leave her out while we’re at work. I’ve tried a few times but she always has an accident on the floor. She’s fine when left in the crate for the same period of time. Is it possible that’s she’s not fully crate trained? She does excellent when we’re in and out even if it’s for 5 hours, but while we’re at work and she’s not in the crate is another story.

    • says

      You might try working on leaving your puppy alone outside of the crate for shorter periods of time and working up to 5 hours. Maybe start by leaving her alone for an hour or even just 30 minutes. If she does fine you might try incrementing the time a little bit until she can stay home alone for 5 hours without an accident. Good luck with your training!

  32. donna says

    I have a 5 month old female Bichon frise who has not yet been fixed (that happens next month). For the most part she is,reasonably good with her toilet routine. we take her outside first thing in morning and last thing at night and she wees and usually pops. She takes herself out during the day and if I’m with her I will take her out hourly for wees. I crate trained her and she still sleeps in a small crate. Ever since 9 weeks of age she slept through the night with no mistakes in her crate. For the last 4 nights she has pooed on her crate and is covered in it when I take her out in the morning. She poked before bedtime on most occasions. The only big change occurred a few weeks ago when she was left with a friend for 10 days as we went overseas. She had free reign of the house and easily send between house and yard as it was all very open. Our place on the other hand only has a smallish paved courtyard. We take her for walks every few days in the morning and she has occasionally pooed during that but more often just sees. She is a needy dog….hates being alone, follows us from room to room, cries when we aren’t home and goes crazy when we walk back in (we both work from home). She is fed morning and night (dry food) but seems to have gone off her food recently. I’d love any tips to help us through this. Thanks Donna

    • says

      You might try keeping a strict feeding schedule and also charting the times of day she goes #1 and #2. We’ve found in general most puppies are fairly predictable as long as we stick to strict feeding schedules. Also, from what you wrote she could be experiencing anxiety. One of my dogs would have unannounced accidents due to anxiety. If you think it could be from anxiety you might want to have a professional dog trainer come in so he/she can professionally evaluate your situations with your puppy. Good luck with your training.

      • donna says

        Thanks for this. I think her crate was too small for her so that may have created anxiety. But she also must have had a stomach bug as I soon realised she had diarrhoea for days. That’s all treated now, so sh’e a happy pooch again


  33. Jennifer Summers says

    We have a Rott puppy that we adopted at 5 weeks old. We have a 4 year old husky which potty trained very quickly, no problem. Doing the same things with the puppy whom is now 3 months, he won’t use a mat, he chews them up instead, we take him out every hour during the day, he’ll go play outside then come in and pee on the rug, One day I took him out, and seconds after coming in he pee’d. He does pee outside just fine too, so I can’t figure out why he’s determined to pee so much inside and it’s not in just one spot, it’s anywhere he happens to be at the time. We take both dogs out together, the puppy will follow the older one around everywhere, watches him pee, smells the area, but never tries to copy, he just seems to pee, wherever is convenient for him at the time. He’s very good about letting us know when he has to go out to poop, but not for peeing. Any suggestions on how to break him of it.

    • says

      One thing we learned after raising several puppies and puppy sitting countless others is that every puppy is different.

      Something we do with all of our puppies is keep a constant eye on them 24/7 (we usually just keep them on leash by our side throughout the day) or use our crate. This minimizes the number of accidents in the house and helps our puppies learn more quickly that it’s not appropriate to potty in the house. I’m not sure if you already do this, but it might be something you try to help potty train your puppy.

      Good luck with your training.

  34. Meghan says

    My husband and I brought home our lab mix puppy from a shelter about three weeks ago. Currently, he is about 12 weeks old. We are having some difficultly completely potty training him. He wakes up every 2-3 hours at night but still continues to have accidents in his crate. We continuous watch him and let him out when he sits by the door, but if we do not see him there right away, instead of whining or barking to let us know, he goes and pees/poops in the house. His crate is not in our bedroom, it is in the living room, I am not sure if this makes a difference or not, but we are at a loss of what else we can do. We try to follow timelines, praise him and keep an eye on him. The vet I work for told me he should be holding his urine for about 5-6 hours at this point, but at night still has accidents even when I let him out every 2-3 hours. Any suggestions?! Thank you!

  35. Kim says

    Hi. We have a 21 month old Maltese. We got her just 3 weeks ago. She is pee pad trained and always goes inside. A few times she appears to try to push her pee around on the pad after going. Mostly like she is pushing it into the center of her pee circle, if that makes sense. Ever heard of that? What does it mean and how can we stop the behavior? She will stop when we say no, but if we aren’t right there, she may keep going. Thank you in advance!

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy. We keep an eye on our puppy pretty much 24/7 when they are out and about that way we can always catch them in the act if they have an accident. If this were our puppy we’d probably do the same thing and keep an eye on the puppy, when she starts pushing around the pee tell her “no” and keep doing this until your puppy stops doing the unwanted behavior. One of the keys here is you really need to catch your puppy ever time she does the unwanted behavior. Good luck with your training!

  36. Jo says

    I’m currently crate training my 9 weeks puppy and i’m getting frustrated. I take her outside to do her business and stay outside for awhile then as soon as I take her inside for 2 seconds she pees again. What am I doing wrong.

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! This is a very common behavior and can be very frustrating. Unfortunately at such a young age your puppy does not have the greatest bladder control so this may continue to happen for a few more weeks. However, one thing you can do is stay outside a little longer even if your puppy has already gone potty. A lot of times they just don’t get it all out in one squat. Good luck with your training!

  37. Dylan says

    Hello, I just adopted my austrailian shepherd/ red heeler about 4 days ago, I have had lots of success with teaching her how to sit and lay down and what not. I knew it would be a problem potty training her so i decided to see where she relieved her self so i could get an idea were to lay down the potty mats i bought from walmart and it worked great for the first 2 days. Don’t get me wrong i’,m pacient and I get it takes around 2 weeks to a month to potty train a dog. This pup sleeps alot, and i know that i should take her out everytime she wakes up so I did and she doesn’t go. but when i take her back inside she goes right infront of me about to feet away from her potty mats. I keep my eye on her 24/7 I play with her the second she wakes up. I dont have a crate or an excersise area for her so I put together one made of couch cushions so when she goes places shes not supposed to I dont hit her, I do put her in the place i made for her as a time out sort of thing. and now its like im placing these mats down in 2 different places cause i cant predict where she will go. It might be me trying to train her to go potty on the mats and to go outside but I have no clue on exactly how to punish her and where to start sort of thing, I get that they cant hold it and all but she went from constantly peeing on the mats to going where she pleases. she will poo on the mats but wont pee on them you know? I feel bad when I scold her because I dont know the proper way too. I usually grab her face with both of my hands and say no a couple times or give her a time out. I know its all wrong what im doing im just confused. hahaha. i dont want you to think im abusing my dog because im not i would never ever hit my dog I just dont know where to start. My grandparents used a method where everytime they relieved them selves where they werent supposed to they would pick the dog up and set them by the door and grab there paw and scratch the door so if they needed to go they would scratch the door and we would let them out. I dont know if it would work on her. I want my dog to love me, not fear me because i scolded her a couple times you know? thanks for your time man

  38. Laurie says

    We will be bringing home a 7 1/2 week old golden retriever puppy from a breeder in about ten days. This is my question, is it confusing to have two crates? Since we spend most of our time in the kitchen (and there is even a built in spot for a dog crate/bed that the previous owners put in, it seems a natural place for her. But it is too far from where we sleep to leave her there over night, at least in the beginning. The other choice would be for me to sleep on the couch in the kitchen, but that might be TOO close, or not far away on a couch in our den, where I could hear her when she whines but she probably won’t be able to hear any reassuring sounds from me. Day crate in the kitchen, night crate in the bedroom? Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Laurie,

      Early congratulations on your new puppy! I don’t think you should have a problem using two crates. Good luck with your training!


  39. Shelby Nickle says

    I have an 11 week old labradoodle puppy. Her name is Lilly. I have been doing everything listed above, Lilly will purposely go potty in her crate, then purposely roll in it… since the day we brought her home she has pottied then rolled in it, and not just in her crate, on potty pads and on the floor. She has gotten bathed every day for 3 weeks… which I know is horrible for her skin, but warm water does not take the poop off… I would greatly appreciate any advice. My other dog ( Lucy, pitbull mix) took literally 4 days to potty train, the only time she has ever gone potty in the house was when she was sick and had diarrhea and the poor pup couldn’t run outside fast enough…

    her poop and feeding schedule is off. she will eat at 5am and poop at noon. then eat at 5pm and poop anywhere 6-15 times before 5am… She will go anywhere, then immediately lay in it or roll in it. I also read that dogs wont potty where they eat or sleep, so i have been feeing her in her crate in hopes for discouraging going potty in her crate. So far this has done nothing to help… I take her to her potty spot every hour and wait 20 minutes. after not going I let her roam around the house and wait for sniffing and circling, immediately grab her and run to potty spot, she then sits and looks at me, I wait 20 more minutes, still no potty, I take her back inside and then repeat the process. come back inside as soon as we walk out of our potty place she squats and goes… then lays in it then stait to the bath tub she goes…

    Its like she has no instincts at all… is there something I am missing or doing wrong??? She went potty on her potty place a few times and everytime i have rewarded her with tons of praise and a treat even. but still nothing… PLEASE HELP…

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! First of all, remember that every puppy will be different we’ve had some that have taken a week or two to get used to potty training while others haven’t quite mastered potty training after several months.

      If your puppy is pooping 6-15 times a day then your should probably contact your veterinarian. As far as rolling around in her poop some things I’d recommend is:

      1. Always keep your puppy on leash whether she’s in the house or your taking her out to potty.
      2. Keep an eye on her 24/7 or use your crate. However, it seems your having some issues with the crate as well.
      3. Thoroughly clean your crate with an enzymatic cleaner.
      4. Make sure your crate is the proper size. Just large enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around.
      5. Here are some other things your can try with your crate:

      Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training.

  40. Erica says

    Hi my dog is about 19 months old and I take him outside every hour to let him pee and poop well he’s been going into the bathroom and poops in my bathtub everyday! When I take him out we ushually stay out for 20 mins sometimes longer. My husband is getting fed up any advice?

    • says

      A couple things we do that you might try is first is keeping track of your puppies poop/feeding schedule. Puppies are usually fairly predictable as to when they potty. Try keeping him on a strict feeding schedule and write down every time he poops, pees, and eats. A second thing we do that you might want to try is keeping an eye on your puppy 24/7 or crate him when you can’t watch him. We do this with all of our puppies until we are sure they are potty trained. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training!

  41. Madalina says

    Hi , my name is Madalina I liked your article and I would love if you can give me some personalized tips about the following situation . I have an almost 6 months blue nose pit bull (girl) lovely adorable and very responsive to commands ( I’m not a trainer or anything else just trying my best to teach her good and right ) . Her name is Eva and she was more then perfect and still is but 2 days ago it happen for me and my husband to get also a very young puppy about 6 weeks ( it’s also a girl … A mix between Rottweiler and lab golden retriever her name is Sophie ) . I know that 6 weeks is way too soon for her to be apart from her mother and brothers and I tried to talk to the person who was selling other 3 puppies in the parking lot of a petsmart store but people already were buying her brothers and I just couldn’t resist so we just payed and took her home …. And that was the moment when Eva just went wild …. I knew it will be a lill bit of jealousy but I just didn’t realize how much I’ve spoiled my pit bull . She is not extremely aggressive with Sophie but still their “playing” is with bites and Eva keeping Sophie down or following her around every move she makes …. I love them both and re home is not an option … Both now are my responsibility and I would love to know what should I do for them to get along and push away this jealousy . Plus Sophie seems to not responding to the classic way of potty training with the crate because it’s a lill big and she pees inside anyways …. She cries a lot when I leave her in the crate no matter my efforts to reassure her I will be back ( usually is about 15 minutes 3 times a day when I have to take Eva out) . I have all day for them currently I’m not working . What should I do for Sophie potty training and for them to get along . Please help …..

    • says

      Hi Madalina,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! One thing I do with my puppies is I keep them on leash for the majority of the day that way I can control the interaction between my young pups and older dogs.

      Regarding the potty training. You’ve already identified one of the problems in you should either purchase a smaller crate or put a divider in your current crate. As you mentioned if the crate is too large it will not help you with potty training. Crate training can take a while and every puppy is different. If you have more questions on crate training take a look at this post:

      Good luck with your training!

  42. Nancy says

    I have an 8 week old puppy that seems to pee in house even after he goes out and pees he will pee again in house in a short period of time in crate floor or wherever he is he does not seem to be able to control his bladder at all. Please help

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! This is a very common problem. Most young puppies don’t have full control of their bladder so even though they go outside once they don’t always get it all out. One thing we do is we give our puppies some extra time outside at their potty spot after they initially go potty. While it won’t solve the problem every time it does help quite a bit. As our pups get older this becomes less of a problem. Good luck with your training!

  43. viola says

    Hi, we just got our new lab puppy; Quint a week ago. He’s now 9 wks old. I’ve been diligently taking him out in the morning at 6:30, feeding him at 7 then out again at 7:30 into his crate while I take the kids to school. Lunch at 11:30 and last meal at 6:00pm. But many times he won’t do his business and once he’s in his crate, he’ll just fall asleep and he sleeps a lot. Last night, after his last meal at 6pm, he slept until 9. I woke up him up twice to go potty. He would pull the leash very hard, growl, bite my leg and race back home. I would have to pick him up and take him back to his spot again. He’s so small I’m afraid to hurt him if I keep yanking his leash, but he is very determined. I’ve been making endless potty trips with this little guy and sometimes during our walks he’ll potty but rarely where and when he is suppose to. Last night he ended up pooping and peeing at 11pm. He’s happy in his crate and does sleep all night usually from 10-6:30 without any trouble. He’s had a few accidents in the first couple of days, first on the carpet. After I cleaned that area, He moved it to his playpen and then the kitchen floor. Now he’ll just hold it for as long as he can without going. I hope to avoid these accidents. so I crate him each time he doesn’t go and he’s fine with it. Should I just take him out less and just keep him crated longer or what should I do? Please help!

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! It sounds like your doing a good job with your puppy. When we work on potty training as our pups get older we work on extending the time they have to hold it before we take them out again. It sound like your little guy has pretty good control of his bladder at a very young age. If this were my puppy I would stick to the schedules, but also work on extending the time between his potty outings.

      Hopefully that helps good luck with your training!

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