Set your puppy up for success by designating a potty area and rewarding its use with praise, treats, and play.
Supervise and Confine
- Always supervise your puppy. When you cannot keep an eye on your puppy, confine them to a small area associated with play or eating.
- A 2-month-old puppy will need a potty break at least every 2 hours. Take your pup to the potty area after play, after eating and drinking, and after sleeping or napping. Wait 10-15 minutes before bringing them back inside.
- Look for signs your puppy needs to eliminate: circling or sniffing, digging at carpet, standing up after a nap or exiting a room suddenly.
- Feed your puppy high-quality pet food on a schedule to keep their daily habits predictable.
- Keep a leash and treat container near the door that leads to their potty spot.
- Keep a daily log of what time your puppy urinated & defecated, and where it happened.
- Take your puppy out to the desired elimination area frequently. Don’t forget to bring treats! Reward for using the preferred toilet area. Reinforcement includes play, going for a walk, treats, attention or access to an area they want to explore.
Focus on Reinforcement
- If you reinforce your puppy for using the designated potty area, you will see a decrease in the number of indoor accidents.
- If you do happen to catch your puppy having an accident, gently interrupt them (uh-oh, puppy!) and proceed outdoors to the potty area.
- Using punishment will frighten your puppy and they may begin to avoid you when nature calls which can lead to eliminating in hidden areas or refusing to eliminate in your presence.
- Smaller breeds may need more frequent potty breaks, so if you have a tiny pup, plan on more frequent trips outside.
- Puppy pads may lead to a delay in potty training. Only use them as a backup plan in confined spaces when you cannot actively supervise. The longer your pup practices using potty pads, the more difficult it will be to transition them to outdoor elimination.
- Confine your dog to a smaller area
- Stick to a daily feeding schedule
- Praise for using appropriate toilet area
- Track progress
- Use enzymatic or oxygenated cleaning products
- Rule out medical conditions if trouble persists
SMART TIP: A dog’s nose knows
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. Even though you cleaned up those accidents, your puppy may still be able to sniff out pee spots. Use a product such as Anti Icky Poo or Fizzion to inhibit your dog’s ability to detect indoor potty zones.
We are always here to help! You can find additional behavior and training resources at pasadenahumane.org/behavior.