Tulip Puppy

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How To Potty Train Your Puppy Without Tears (Yours) or Traumas (Theirs)

Potty training is quite simple, really. But, it does require patience, timing, and consistency. The trick is in how you will help your puppy to succeed. And in how you will manage the little accidents along the learning curve. There are different ways to potty train a dog, and we’ll share some of our favorites with you.

But first, let’s start with this crucial rule in mind: don’t punish your puppy.

When dogs and humans became companions, dogs had to increasingly abide by rules that were otherwise unnatural to the species.
Dogs do not understand why they can’t simply do their business when nature calls. Everywhere, except for their sleeping spot, seems like a perfectly good place to relieve themselves.
The only reason to hold their natural urges is to please YOU.

So you have to take advantage of your pup’s willingness to please and use that to teach that there is a right place to go potty.

Since your dog is so attentive to your energy and emotion, expressing happiness and excitement, and praising her with treats and/or toys when she performs correctly while ignoring when she behaves adversely to what you want is the best method to train your dog in a positive way.

Why Punishing Doesn’t Work?

Because most likely it will get your puppy to urinate or defecate when you are not looking.

Dogs will certainly understand when someone is angry. The problem is that it is not always clear to them why a human is upset. Our logic might not make any sense to the puppy simply because we are two very different species.

So please, be patient with your dog.  

Don’t yell, scold, spank, or rub your puppy’s nose on her urine or feces. These humiliating and outdated practices will most likely get her to associate your anger with the act of her defecating or urinating, rather than with the spot where it was done.

In extreme circumstances, dogs may develop anxiety about going potty in front of their punisher, even during a walk.

“Dogs do not understand why they can’t simply do their business when nature calls. The only reason to hold it, really, is to please you.”

— Nádja Vieira , Tulip Puppy Blog

Also, if there is a more humane way of training your dog, why not do it so?

Things To Consider

Where would you like your pup to go potty? On a puppy pad inside, or on the grass outside?

Who will take your puppy out for a toilet break while you are working? Remember that it takes time and repetition to train your puppy. Some puppies might learn faster than others, but while your canine companion is not housebroken, there should be someone guiding your puppy to toilet in the right place.

TIP: When your puppy begins to squat to relieve herself, pick her up and rush to the place where you want your puppy’s toilet spot to be. After she is done, make sure to praise her enthusiastically, and give her a

treat. You want her to know that you are happy because she peed on that specific surface: a puppy pad or the grass.

When To Start Potty Training A Puppy?

As soon as your new dog gets home, you should start potty training her. Take this chance to show her where she can relieve herself. Remember to praise your puppy when she relieves herself at the designated location.

You should be ready to take your puppy to the chosen location several times during the day and night. Puppies can’t hold on for very long since their bladders are so little.

A good rule of thumb is:  for every month of a puppy’s age, you count as one hour that the puppy can hold its natural urges. So, for example, a four-month-old puppy should be able to hold for 4 hours. But there are limits! You do not want a ten-month-old dog to hold for 10 hours. That is way too long! After 8 months of age, a dog should not be expected to hold for more than 8 hours.

NOTE: Every canine is unique and therefore timing can differ for a particular puppy, within breeds, and health conditions.  Also, the ability to hold will change with time. An elderly dog will probably have less bladder control and be more prone to incontinence.

Smaller breed puppies will likely pee more often. So, a 2-month-old from a small breed might need to pee every half an hour. A 3-month-old for one hour, and so on.

Prevention Is Key

The best way you can help your puppy succeed is to prevent, as much as possible, accidents to happen.

Here are some likely times your dog will be prone to toileting:

Right after waking up

From 5 to 20 minutes after meals

After drinking

After some time playing

After naps

When excited or stressed

Before going to sleep

The Best Way To Housetrain Your Puppy


Confine your puppy to an enclosed area rather than letting her roam freely in the home. You could close off your kitchen, for example, with a baby gate. Or, use a dog playpen. You can even have her crate, food, and water bowls inside the playpen. This is especially useful when you do not have time to supervise your puppy.


Cover the whole floor of the area with puppy pads. Substitute any dirty pads with new ones.


Every couple of days take one pad away. Start with the farthest from where you want the definitive pad to stay.


Make sure you praise and reward her with a treat when she chooses to toilet on the pad, instead of on  the floor.

After the puppy is consistently toileting on a pad, you can decide if she will continue to use the pad indoors or, if you will transition her to potty outside. You can also choose to have your pup trained to potty on a pad as well as on the grass outside. Every time your puppy toilets on the grass outside, you praise and give her something extra tasty as a treat.

7 Ultimate Reminders For When You Bring Your Puppy Home (that will calm your anxiety)

Housetraining With No Enclosed Areas

If you choose to not confine your puppy to an enclosed area in the home, or in a playpen, you will have more work because you will need to watch your puppy constantly.

Aside from keeping your puppy safe from some hazards around the home, you will have to notice when the puppy is about to toilet, so you can take her to the correct potty place.

If your dog is sniffing the ground and circling in one place or just sniffing the ground as if she is looking for something, it is probably toilet time. Hold her up gently when she starts to squat and take her to the location where you want her to potty. Do not forget to compliment her and give her a treat after she finishes her business in the proper location.

Having a routine for a roam-free puppy is the best way to proceed. This is helpful because if you feed your puppy at regular times, it is very likely that the puppy will soil at regular times.

Make A Daily Schedule For Your Puppy

If you have a schedule, it will give you an idea of when you have to take your canine friend outside to potty; or to take her to the indoor location where the pad is.

Plan the puppy’s day so that it has some pattern for what to expect and so that you can anticipate when she needs to go potty more accurately. Make sure you include the puppy’s wake-up and bedtime, as well as other crucial activities.

Down below is the schedule for my new puppy. This is merely to give you a general idea. If you create a schedule, be mindful to adapt it to your own lifestyle.

This schedule is for a two-month-old puppy, and it will change as she grows.  Also, as she learns where to go potty, she will gradually stop needing the playpen.

I really like the setting where there is a crate inside a dog playpen. This is really helpful to get the puppy used to a crate.

How to Crate Train Any Dog or Puppy
(That Will Make Them Love Their Spot)

By the way, on this schedule, BT&G means Basic Training, and Grooming (a routine to get the puppy being used to grooming).

Once again, this is a schedule that fits my lifestyle and I am pretty sure that it will have adjustments once the puppy is here.

Some theories suggest that a two-month-old puppy can exercise by walking for 10 minutes. According to this theory, a puppy should take a 5-minute walk per month of age. So, for example, a four-month-old can have a 20-minute walk.

Even though this is a good theory to go by, there are other factors we should take into account, such as the breed of the dog, her energy level, and her general health.

Playing is also a good exercise for puppies. To enrich your dog’s life, don’t forget to include activities and toys that stimulate the mind.

How Long Does It Take To Housetrain A Puppy?

A puppy’s complete housetraining could take anywhere from a few days to several months. There are a couple of things that can affect that:

the dog’s unique personality.

the family lifestyle. If there is nobody at home for the most part of the day, it will be more challenging for the puppy to be housetrained.

some breeds are easier to potty train than others. Smaller dogs may take a bit longer to learn because their small bladders make it more difficult for them to hold their pee for a longer time.

The pet parent’s patience, dedication, and consistency in training the puppy.


Puppies can, and should, be trained to go potty in a stress-free, humane manner.

In this post, we have shared our ideal housetraining method as well as some very useful training advice.

 Although there are some factors that can affect a puppy’s learning curve, every dog can be successfully trained with persistence, patience, and consistency.

How is your puppy progressing in his/her housetraining? Let us know in the comment area below, or send us an email.

We are cheering for your puppy’s success!

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