It is not a particularly pleasant experience to walk into a room to find that your puppy has had “an accident” in the middle of the floor. This is especially true for the first time puppy parents. And let’s face it, losing our temper and being angry is often our first reaction. What do you do? How do you train your dog to do his “business” outside? Before we answer those questions, here is a list of “Do’s” and “Do not’s” on how to help the process go a little smoother:

When accidents happen, please DO NOT:
Yell at your dog or swat your dog’s rear end. The accident may have happened long before you walked into the room and chances are he has already forgotten what he did. Not to mention, you could injure your dog.
Rub their nose in it physically. Not only is this action pretty disgusting and cruel, it will do nothing to teach your dog proper “potty training” etiquette.
When accidents happen, please DO:

  • Stay calm and take a deep breath.
  • Be patient and remember that he is just a baby.
  • Remember, your puppy really needed to “go” and doesn’t know what to do unless you show him what you expect of him.

This video will get you started.

Two-Step Learning Process
Not only do you want your puppy to learn to do his “business” outside, but you also want him to let you know when “nature calls”. These are two processes going on simultaneously and you need to work on both of them.

Going outside versus inside. When your puppy has an accident in the house, get a paper towel and either soak up or scoop up the mess. Before you do anything with it, leave it on the floor and bring your puppy to the scene of the crime. Let him or her smell the area and in a firm voice say, “NO.” Next, take the paper towel with its contents outside in an area you want your puppy to “go,” lay it on the ground and let him smell the contents once again. This time praise him and maybe even give a treat. What you are doing is letting him know that inside is a bad place to go “potty” but outside is a good place. Repeat this process until the puppy is consistently going “potty” outside. Be sure to reward with treats when he goes outside on his own.

Teaching your puppy to let you know when it needs to “go.” Head to your local craft store to find a little bell and tie a string to it. Next, tie the string to the handle of the door you are most likely to use when letting your dog out. Make sure it is at nose level to your puppy. Once this is set up you are ready to start. Every time you take your puppy outside hit the bell first or hit the bell with your puppy’s paw. This is creating a conditioned response and showing your puppy that when he needs to “go”, if he rings the bell, the door will open. Be vigilant. If your puppy hits the bell, even if it is just playing, immediately take him outside. The more consistent you are with opening the door upon the bell ringing, the faster your puppy will pick up on this trick and use it consistently.

  • Things to remember
  • Your puppy is just a baby and doesn’t know what to do yet.
  • Take your puppy out as often as possible, especially after eating or drinking.
  • Be consistent and patient.
  • Keep your puppy confined to a limited space inside in the beginning, preferably on tile or linoleum.
  • You have a darling puppy. Enjoy him!  If you get frustrated, head out for a walk to work off your aggravations and soak up the attention you most certainly will get from your adorable bundle of joy.

This process could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but with consistency and patience, your dog will soon be potty trained.  Good luck!

Photo from @dogwatchofcolumbus via Instagram