How to Potty Train a Puppy

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To potty train a puppy, avoid stressing out about accidents, try crate training, and take the dog to the same spot in the yard every time. Be consistent and fair when potty training a puppy using advice from a professional dog trainer in this free video on puppies.

Part of the Video Series: Dog & Puppy Care
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about how to potty train a puppy. Take it easy. Don't be overly stressed if an accident does occur. Certainly don't hold the puppy accountable for the accident because remember the puppy doesn't really know what you're working on here. What you're working on is to expand on the dog's natural desire to be clean and sleep and eat in a clean environment to your whole entire house. That's a very big space. So all of the responsibility rests with you, not with the dog, until they understand. So it's a good idea to use a crate if your puppy hopefully is crate trained so that you have an opportunity to confine your dog if you think they have to go to the bathroom and they wont focus and get down to business outside when you take them. Then you have a great way to confine them where they're not going to go to the bathroom in their own crate if it's appropriately sized for them. You can take your puppy always to the same spot in a yard. Take them on a leash. This may be a little bit extra work in the beginning but if you do everything right, you're very consistent, you're very fair and you're very aware of what your puppies signals are this should be something you can accomplish in a couple of weeks. Maybe longer with some breeds of dogs. And sometimes males can be a little bit more difficult. But it should be a short term time commitment. So try to keep that in mind. Take your puppy to the same spot in the yard. Maybe suggest to your puppy something you would be willing to say in public like "go potty", "go potty". And help them focus on that. Give them a word that will help remind them that they're supposed to go to the bathroom in the future. And if your puppy is too distracted, a butterfly flies away, a shiny object, your puppy just can't focus, come back inside, put them in the crate and then try again ten minutes later. So again, be consistent, be fair and stick to it. If there's an accident just accept that you missed an opportunity and have, just be relaxed about it. What do you do if your puppy does have an accident? If your puppy is in the process of urinating or going to the bathroom in the house sometimes a sharp noise, "NO" will help to interrupt what they're doing and then you can lift them up, take them outside. Calmly, without a lot of excitement and hopefully go finish outside and you have an opportunity to praise them. Once the deed is done, once they've gone to the bathroom in the house there is nothing you can really do with your puppy to tell them that they've made a mistake. Again what you're trying to do is select for the right thing and keep them from making mistakes in the house. So your only option is to thoroughly clean the area with some enzymatic cleaner so hopefully they wont be attracted to it. Keeping in mind if your puppy is going to the bathroom in the same spot again and again then you probably need to manage it, remove that rug or just confine them away from that area.

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