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Woodlot Companions Blog

Author: Chloe Jost
Date: March 26, 2024

Housetraining Strategies: Preparing Your Puppy Potty Schedule

puppy potty schedule

Puppies are a bundle of joy and fun. Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t love a cute little puppy?

Even though you might be excited about bringing a new puppy into your household, you need to remember that this task comes with the burden of responsibility, particularly of housetraining a puppy. Establishing a consistent potty schedule is essential for teaching your puppy where and when to go to the bathroom, preventing accidents, and fostering good habits.

In this article, we’ll explore effective housetraining strategies and how to prepare a puppy potty schedule that sets both you and your furry friend up for success.

1. Start Early and Be Consistent

The key to successful housetraining is to start early and establish a consistent routine from the beginning. Begin housetraining as soon as you bring your puppy home, typically around 8-12 weeks of age.

Consistency is crucial. Be sure to follow the same schedule every day, including weekends and holidays, to help your puppy learn quickly and effectively. If you are going on a holiday with your puppy, make sure to follow the same schedule then as well.

2. Monitor Your Puppy’s Behavior

Observing your puppy’s behavior and cues can help you anticipate when they need to go to the bathroom. Watch for signs such as sniffing, circling, whining, or pacing. This may indicate that your puppy needs to relieve themselves.

By paying attention to these cues, you can proactively take your puppy outside or to their designated potty spot before accidents occur.

3. Establish a Regular Feeding Schedule

Feeding your puppy on a regular schedule can help regulate their bathroom habits and make housetraining more manageable. Divide your puppy’s daily food intake into several smaller meals spread throughout the day, typically three to four meals for younger puppies.

Offer meals at consistent times each day and avoid free-feeding or leaving food out for extended periods. This can lead to unpredictable bathroom habits.

4. Create a Designated Potty Area

Establish a specific area outdoors for your puppy to go to the bathroom. Reinforcing good behavior can minimize accidents indoors. Choose a spot in your yard or outdoor space that is easily accessible and away from high-traffic areas.

Take your puppy to the designated potty area consistently, using a leash if necessary. Encourage them to relieve themselves with praise and rewards.

5. Use Crate Training

Crate training can be a valuable tool for housetraining your puppy, as it helps limit their access to the house and encourages bladder control. Use a properly sized crate that allows your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

When your puppy is not supervised, confine them to the crate to prevent accidents indoors. Take your puppy outside immediately after crate time to allow them to go to the bathroom.

6. Implement a Regular Potty Schedule

Establishing a regular potty schedule helps regulate your puppy’s bathroom habits and reinforces consistency. Take your puppy outside to their designated potty area at specific times throughout the day, such as first thing in the morning, after meals, after naps, and before bedtime.

Additionally, take your puppy outside after periods of play, excitement, or waking up from sleep to prevent accidents.

7. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for housetraining your puppy and encouraging good behavior. Praise and reward your puppy immediately after they successfully go to the bathroom in the appropriate area. Use verbal praise, treats, or their favorite toy to reinforce the desired behavior and create positive associations with pottying outdoors.

8. Be Patient and Consistent

Housetraining takes time, patience, and consistency, so be prepared for setbacks and accidents along the way. Avoid punishing or scolding your puppy for accidents indoors, as this can create fear and confusion.

Instead, clean up accidents promptly with an enzymatic or odor-neutralizing cleaner to remove odors and discourage repeat incidents. Stay patient, positive, and consistent with your training efforts, and your puppy will eventually learn the ropes.

9. Adjust the Schedule as Needed

As your puppy grows and their bladder capacity increases, you may need to adjust their potty schedule accordingly. Monitor your puppy’s bathroom habits and adjust the timing and frequency of potty breaks as needed. Be flexible and responsive to your puppy’s needs, adapting the schedule to accommodate changes in routine or lifestyle.

10. Seek Professional Guidance if Needed

If you’re struggling with housetraining or encountering persistent challenges, don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance from a veterinarian or certified dog trainer. They can offer personalized advice, troubleshooting tips, and additional resources to help you overcome obstacles and achieve success with housetraining your puppy.

11. Incorporate Regular Bathroom Breaks During Playtime and Exercise

Integrate bathroom breaks into your puppy’s playtime and exercise routine to help prevent accidents indoors. Puppies often need to relieve themselves after periods of activity or excitement, so take frequent breaks during play sessions or outdoor adventures.

Pause the fun and take your puppy to their designated potty area, offering encouragement and rewards for going to the bathroom outside. By incorporating regular bathroom breaks into playtime and exercise, you can reinforce good habits and minimize the risk of accidents indoors.

12. Keep a Potty Training Log to Track Progress

Maintaining a potty training log can be a helpful tool for tracking your puppy’s progress and identifying patterns in their bathroom habits. Keep a record of when your puppy eats, drinks, sleeps, and goes to the bathroom, noting the time and location of each potty break.

This information can help you identify trends, such as peak times for bathroom needs or potential triggers for accidents. 

What Does Your Puppy Potty Schedule Look Like?

Don’t get too worried or anxious about setting up the puppy potty schedule. If you follow the tips laid out above, you should have a reasonable one ready to go and you can modify it as you learn about your puppy. 

If you are still searching for your furry companion, check out Woodlot Companions. We offer family-raised designer and purebred dog breeds who are ready for their forever homes. Browse our puppies today and find one that suits your family’s needs and desires. 

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