Puppies should begin potty training as soon as they are brought home. Like children, puppies usually need to go potty when they wake up, after they eat, and after they play. If one of these events is about to take place, immediately show the puppy outside.
Your puppy may not catch on at first, so be patient in waiting for him to accomplish the task. Always heap praise on your puppy when he goes potty outside at the appropriate time. If your puppy does not go potty while outside, take him inside so that he’ll quickly associate outside time as potty time.
Watch for signs that your puppy needs to go potty – a puppy will sniff, scratch at the floor, or circle around as if trying to lay down, but won’t lay down. If your puppy does have an accident indoors show them the accident and in a stern voice tell them “NO!” It is not necessary to rub your puppy’s nose in the mess or to physically hit your puppy.
Puppies catch on to genuine disappointment really quick and will know when they have done something wrong. Take your puppy immediately outside and, if possible, carry the mess outside to the grass and place it in the grass so the puppy can see where it is acceptable for the mess to end up.
Thoroughly clean up the mess inside. Make sure to use ammonia based cleaner to eliminate the smell completely – any remaining scent in the house will only encourage future accidents.
Dogs have a natural instinct to keep their living space clean and will not go potty when confined to a small space, especially near their sleeping area. To keep your puppy from waking up and going potty in the house in the middle of the night, attach a leash to the puppy’s collar and tie off the loose end to a stationary object next to the puppy’s bed.
Your puppy will not go potty next to its own bedding – expect to be woken up if it really does need to go. No matter what hour it is, this is an important learning moment for your puppy. Take your puppy outdoors and be patient until they have finished going potty.
If you have to leave your new puppy home alone during the day, a modified approach to this method can be employed to keep your puppy in an enclosed area where it will not want to go potty. The trick is to be able to break away from work throughout the day to give your puppy a chance to go potty. This can be a challenge to your schedule, so you may want to plan on taking some time off of work to be available to train your puppy in its first few days in the home.