Potty Training

Potty training can be frustration, use these tips!

  • First, keep in mind that they WILL make mistakes during the first year! PATIENCE, understanding and consistency is the key to make it happen faster. It’s just like in human toddler potty training.

  • If you understand that dog live to make their humans happy then you can use that to train your dogs. Yelling and hitting does not train them because it only teaches them aggressiveness later from learning about fear.

  • Shaming is your key in teaching them what you don’t want. When dogs start to see that you are not happy they will try to figure how to avoid a verbal dramatic shame (not yelling). If you missed the potty mistake recently then you can look at the spot and say no very dramatic.  They know what they did and you will see it on their face to see that they are trying to tell you that they are “sorry”. If they did it too long ago you missed the opportunity to shame them so you can’t really do anything. 

  • They ALWAYS whine when they need to potty #1 or #2. For poo they do what we call the whiny “potty dance” where they are circling areas to figure out where to go while whining and when they find it they hump up their back and you hear the grunting. They don’t really want to use the potty where they sleep. The training we do is for pee not really poo. It will take them a bit of time to learn that. 

  • You really should avoid things that cause them diarrhea at least for the first month so that you have poop that is easy to pickup. You don’t want to clean up stepped on runny poop.  See how to avoid diarrhea below. 

  • Puppies in the first year can hold pee for an hour per month of age. They will be two months at pick up=2 hours max. If you don’t take them out regularly then they WILL make mistakes and you can’t get mad at them for that. They will be potty trained with rare accidents by 10-12 months of age unless they have diarrhea. 

  • Check the color of the urine, if very dark please give them access to water more to avoid health issues later while their tiny organs are growing.  It should be clear to very light yellow in color. A UTI can be costly at the vet.

  • Take them out every 2-3 hours while they are awake. Puppies will sleep, pee right away, maybe poo then play, eat/drink water and play some more to soothe their painful gums. Then repeat every 4-6 hours. At bedtime we cut the lights off dark and put them in an open fenced off crate with lots of big stuffed toys. The more they exercise the longer they sleep, just like human kids!

  • Diarrhea causes: People food (especially sugary foods), switching to a different brand of dog food, dairy products, cheap treats (especially meaty shrink wrapped bones) and cheap wet canned dog foods that have sugar.

  • We recommend C.E.T Enzyme Large Chews ($35 bag) during the first month. It will be taste good to lessen the desire to chew your personal things and no diarrhea while potty training. 

  • DOG FOOD: We will give you a bag of Large Breed puppy food at pickup. You should wait to get dog food until we give you that bag in case the vet recommended changes to what they eat. If you plan to use your own brand of food then mix the two very slowly over a period of a week to become your own brand by the end of the week. Sudden switches will cause diarrhea and any switching will cause soft stools. 

  • We suggest hanging bells (at pet store) at the door and ring them you each time that you take your dog to go potty. This will let teach them later as they get older to ring them with their nose to tell you that they need to go out. It doesn’t work for many months while their brain grows to understand but you will be glad you did it when they are older and you are busy around the house.

  • In the first month or two, pull up ALL little carpets. We suggest blocking off carpeted areas with a baby or child proof fireplace gate for a few months

  • They will always pee immediately after waking up so take them out right away to use that opportunity to teach them where you want them to pee

  • If you are consistent then you will see that in each month they make less mistakes. Puppies are usually not 100% potty trained until almost a year old. 

  • Invest into a small carpet cleaner to clean pee and a spray urine neutrilizer to avoid that area being peed on again

  • Putting puppies noses into pee only tells them that you want them to smell how awesome it is so “do it more, right here”. Pee smells don’t bother dogs just humans so they don’t really understand why you are rough handling them to smell this wonderful scent. 

  • Finally, hang in there and don’t give up on your puppy while their brain develops to understand potty training more each month. It gets easier each month as they get older if you are consistent

  • Make sure to praise them with lots of love when they do go potty outside in these early stages so that they can start to figure out how they can make their human happy while their little brains are growing.


This is a daily 24/7 attention training process for several days. We take the towels away (by 4 weeks) that kept complete pee saturation off them while nursing to avoid bathing that can take off soothing pheromones. The photo above is a Top Paw Dog pad holder with a plastic mesh cover. There are many brands but we like the mesh cover. We don’t use puppy pads since they smell like rugs, clothes and carpet plus they can choke on them because they are fun to play with. We have artificial grass on top but we will discard it later when they are all peeing on this. The carpet holds the smell of pee and poo doesn’t get squished into the mesh. Under the mesh plate, we place Pine scented pellets from Tractor Supply Stores. We want that smell to mean “pee here” since most people don’t have that scent in their home.

HOW TO FILL THE TRAY IF YOU USE ONE AT HOME: We place the mesh tray upside down (on a spread out garbage bag to catch the little pellets falling through). We will fill the mesh tray with pine pellets upside down. We then place the upside down mesh filled tray into the upside down top frame and put the bottom base on. Then we flip it over to be right side up after we lock it. The tiny pellets that fell through the mesh onto the garbage bag gets thrown in our cat litter box. We change it a lot but since you don’t have multiple dogs you can change it every 2-3 days. Sometimes they miss the tray and hit the corner so keep the tray on a floor that can be cleaned.

We will give you some pine scented pellets in a small ziplock bag to place where you want them to potty (or use this tray at home with changed pellets every 1-2 days (or a plastic cat litter tray with the same pellets with 1-2″ thick of pellets). The pellets turn to dust when wet but the tray is washable outside into the dirt/grass.

The first year is tough but if you make it through the “memories” with a patient empathetic attitude it becomes easier when they turn one to have a loving pet.