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Effective Puppy Potty Training Lays The Foundation For A Happy Relationship

Puppy TrainingThe welcoming of a new puppy to the family brings much anticipation in terms of what the future will hold. The countless hours of enjoyment, the smiles and laughter, the joy of companionship as the dog loyally follows its family throughout the house, yard, and neighbourhood, and the satisfaction of instilling/witnessing good behaviours in response to training efforts – yes, a wide range of warm feelings as the dog grows and matures.

The welcoming of a new puppy to the family also brings a number of responsibilities and accountabilities, with one of the first such tasks being the all-important aspect of potty training. Working with a puppy on its potty training essentially begins on the day the puppy first comes home, and the success of this training will help establish the foundation for all future training – not to mention avoiding many hours of frustration and unwanted clean-up.

Although there is no hard-and-fast rule in terms of timing, it is generally accepted that the puppy training can be completed within the first four to six months of life. Since puppies are often kept with their mother/litter until the age of eight weeks, this leaves a somewhat narrow window of opportunity for the puppy and its new family to implement and complete the training process.

Successful puppy potty training requires a combination of the following elements:


  • The puppy must follow a daily schedule: meals, times and location of potty breaks
  • All family members must be committed to this routine for the training to succeed


  • All puppies do not learn at the same pace
  • There will be some ups-and-downs (mistakes) throughout the training period

Close Observation

  • The puppy must be watched diligently for signs that a potty break is needed
  • Training should include accompanying the puppy outside during these breaks

Positive Reinforcement

  • Reward puppies (praise; a treat) for eliminating in the correct area outdoors

Puppy training is a relatively straightforward process that needs an investment of time and a commitment to structure on the part of all family members. Although it can be a somewhat mundane practice and one that demands the family’s full attention for a number of weeks, effective puppy potty training will lay the foundation for a long and happy family-dog relationship – and make all of those initially anticipated hopes and dreams become realities.

What Not To Do When House Training Your Puppy

Specific actions by the owner/family during the puppy potty training period will play important roles in determining the extent or level of success that is ultimately achieved.

Actions that will have a positive impact/effect on the outcome of the training consist of:

  • Taking the puppy outside quite often and maintaining a regular schedule/system
  • Feeding the puppy at the same time or times every day (helps with regularity)
  • Choosing a specific location in the yard as a designated potty area
  • Lavishing with praise when the puppy “gets it right”
  • Exercising often (walking/playing)– this will actually encourage elimination

On the other hand, should the puppy make a mistake inside the house, the following actions should be avoided at all times during the training period (and beyond):

  • Rubbing the puppy’s nose in its waste (would you like this if it was done to you?)
  • Scolding or reprimanding – show the puppy the correct/desired location instead
  • Physically striking the puppy with your hand or any object
  • Punishing by restricting/confining the puppy to a small or unpleasant space
  • Cleaning mistakes with ammonia – this could actually attract more mistakes

It was previously noted that welcoming a new puppy to the family brought various levels of responsibility and accountability into the equation. When a puppy makes a mistake in the house, the owners need to realize (be accountable) that they did not adequately observe the puppy in terms of its need or training schedule to go outside. In more succinct language, it is not the puppy’s fault.

For additional information on puppy potty training or for more insight on professional puppy house training programs offered by the expert trainers at Alpha Paws, call us today at 905-830-9500 or 1-877-868-7297 to arrange your no-obligation consultation.

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