The fastest way to potty train a puppy is to establish a solid routine. You can start from as young as 8 weeks old; in fact, the best breeders will start toilet training their puppies from 3 weeks of age. These will be the easiest dogs to potty train. Sadly, the hardest dogs to potty train are from puppy farms or backyard breeders. These puppies will often sleep, eat and play in their poop and pee.
Puppies from reputable dog breeders can be toilet trained in around 3 days. But it typically takes a week to housebreak most pups.
Potty training of puppies can be achieved fast and easily when you consistently apply a few simple steps. Let’s discuss these now.
Table of Contents
- Puppy-proofing your home for house training success
- Potty Train a Puppy – Training Aids
- Cue words for puppy toilet training
- 3 Steps to potty training your puppy FAST and EASILY!
- Frequently asked Questions on Puppy Potty Training
- Final thoughts
Puppy-proofing your home for house training success
While you are house training your new puppy, limit the space they have to roam freely through your home. Unsupervised puppies are likely to pee, poop, soil and chew wires and furniture.
Potty Train a Puppy – Training Aids
Use baby gates, puppy pens and a crate to contain your puppy when you are not supervising them. If you’re home with your puppy for the first week, you might choose to take them out to pee and poop on grass or concrete in your backyard. If this is too time-consuming, you might set up a pet loo dog toilet inside your home or balcony, made from artificial grass. Whichever option you choose, you will be taking your puppy to this spot, every 20 minutes or so, you should have easy and fast access to it.
Cue words for puppy toilet training
The fastest way to potty train a puppy is to use cue words. When you take your puppy to the place where you want them to pee or poop, say ‘toilet’ in an encouraging voice. When they do their business, say ‘yes’ in a high pitch, praising them heavily with pats and a tasty treat.
Repetition of these cue words during your puppy toilet training will set your puppy up for future success and has the added future benefit of being able to communicate when you want your dog to toilet on walks, road trips or in any new environment.
3 Steps to potty training your puppy FAST and EASILY!
- Keep to a potty training schedule
- Keep it positive when potty training a puppy
- Clean up any poop and pee immediately and thoroughly when potty training a puppy
Let’s look at each of these steps more closely:
- Potty Training a Puppy – Schedules
8-week old puppies need to pee a lot; as frequently as every 20 minutes when they’re moving about inside the house. Potty training a 12-week-old puppy is somewhat easier because their bladder is bigger, and they don’t need to pee as frequently as an 8-week-old puppy.
Therefore, your puppy potty training schedule should include taking your new puppy to the place where you want them to pee and poop as frequently as every 20 minutes when they’re awake. You should also take them straight out to the toilet upon their waking from sleep, eating and drinking.
Similarly, in the early hours and days of toilet training your dog, you will need to supervise them closely when they are wandering the house. Supervision will be made easier by ensuring the puppy has limited access to large areas of your home. The more space they have access to, the more likely they will be to soil inside the house.
Signs that a puppy needs to pee or poop
Watch your puppy closely for signs that they need to pee or poop. Pups will often be restless, sniff the ground, raise their tail and sometimes walk around in circles when they are about to go to the toilet. We you see these signs, pick up your puppy immediately and take them outside or to their grass loo to go to the toilet.
2. Keep it positive when you potty train a puppy
The fastest way to potty train a puppy is to reward them heavily when they pee or poop where you want them too. This will increase the likelihood that they will repeat this behaviour in the future. Dog training methods that use positive reinforcement have scientifically been shown to be the best dog training methods. They have stood the test of time for over 100 years.
If your puppy has an accident, go back to step 1 and look at how you can prevent accidents in the future. Perhaps your puppy has too much space to roam unsupervised in your home? Are you taking them out to potty every 20 minutes while they are awake?
Punishing a puppy for peeing everywhere or pooping inside will slow down the potty training process and make it a lot harder for you and your puppy. Puppy training that uses fear and intimidation, leads to frustrating avoidance behaviours. Instead of running to the door when they need to potty, your puppy will start peeing and pooping behind the couch, on the rug and just about everywhere inside. They will hide the need to go to the toilet and do their business out of sight for fear of being punished. Fear is not conducive to learning.
3. Clean up any poop and pee immediately and thoroughly when you potty train a puppy
Keep in mind that your puppy has about 300 million scent receptors, while we have a mere 6 million. Puppies are creatures of habit and they will pee and poop wherever they smell the scent of their faeces and urine. Toilet training success depends on all accidents being cleaned with disinfectant or an enzyme cleaner. Failure to clean up pee and poop odours and stains will slow down puppy potty training and make it significantly harder.
Similarly, if you have a puppy loo tray; in the early days of potty training, it can help to retain the scent of your pup’s pee, by simply washing it with water. This will speed up the toilet training process, as your puppy will seek out this scent when they need to go potty.
Frequently asked Questions on Puppy Potty Training
How to potty train a puppy in an apartment?
The fastest way to potty train a puppy in an apartment is to use a dog grass loo, toilet or potty. Place the tray in an area that they have access to or on the balcony if you’re available to take your puppy out every 20 minutes or so and provided it is safe to do so.
Follow our potty training schedule steps (above) to toilet train your apartment-living puppy quickly and easily.
How to potty train a puppy at night?
The fastest way to potty train a puppy involves setting them up for success at night. To ensure your puppy’s potty training doesn’t regress at nighttime, you have two options. You can either get up at 3 hourly intervals and take the puppy outside to pee and poop. Or have a puppy toilet training tray set up in your room and take them to that.
Alternatively, you might have your puppy sleeping in your laundry or a puppy pen, with their puppy toilet training grass. This means you won’t have to get up at regular intervals. The puppy needs to understand that the fake grass tray is where they go to the toilet. Reward your puppy for using the correct potty spot during the day. This will set them up for potty training success at night.
What age is best to start potty training a puppy?
The best age to start potty training a puppy is as soon as you bring them home. Be your puppy – 8 weeks old, 10 weeks old, 12 weeks old or 4 months, the steps toward fast and easy potty training are the same.
How soon after eating does a puppy poop?
A puppy eating three meals a day will usually poop within 30 minutes of having a feed. As per our potty training schedule, toilet your puppy immediately after they have eaten.
Should I use puppy pads when I potty train a puppy?
The fastest way to potty train a puppy is with a grass loo or potty training tray. Puppy pads can become a choking hazard as puppies will usually shred them, spreading pieces of the puppy pad everywhere. They are not useful once puppies become playful and rambunctious, which is by 6 weeks of age.
Why is it so hard to potty train my puppy?
Puppies bred and raised in puppy farms or by backyard breeders will often be harder to potty train. They have been walking through, eating off and sleeping in their own faeces and urine. In contrast, puppies raised by ethical breeders will seek out the toilet area. Having rehearsed this behaviour since they were 3 weeks old. Therefore, the fastest way to a potty-trained puppy is to avoid buying one from pet shops, puppy farms, mills and backyard breeders.
The fastest way to potty train a puppy is to start building good toilet habits from the time you bring them home. Firstly, this involves puppy-proofing your house and limiting the space your puppy or dog has to roam freely. Helpful potty training aids include baby gates, a grass loo, a puppy pen, a crate, enzymatic cleaner or disinfectant and lots of paper towels.
Secondly, remember to use cue words for potty training your puppy, this will make the process easier and faster. Keep the potty training schedule positive, always reward your puppy when they potty in the correct place. Never punish a puppy for peeing or pooping inside the house. Using fear and intimidation in puppy and dog training will only lead to avoidance behaviours, which will lead to regression of potty training.