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A Comprehensive Guide to Potty Training Your Puppy: Setting the Foundation for a Happy and Healthy Companion


Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting and joyful experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the first and most crucial tasks every new puppy owner faces is potty training. A well-trained puppy not only makes for a happier and healthier pet but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. In this guide, we’ll explore effective and humane methods to successfully potty train your puppy.

Understanding the Basics:

Before diving into the training process, it’s essential to understand your puppy’s behaviour and instincts. Puppies have a natural inclination to keep their living spaces clean, making them receptive to potty training. However, they also have limited bladder control, so patience and consistency are key.

Establish a Routine:

Creating a consistent routine is the foundation of successful potty training. Feed your puppy at the same times each day, and take them outside immediately afterward. Puppies typically need to eliminate after eating, drinking, playing, or waking up from a nap.

Choose a Designated Potty Area:

Take your puppy to the same spot outside every time you go for bathroom breaks. The scent may help them recognise it as the designated potty area. Be patient and allow them sufficient time to do their business.

Positive Reinforcement:

Praise and reward your puppy when they eliminate in the right spot. Use enthusiastic words, gentle petting, or small treats to reinforce good behaviour. This positive reinforcement helps your puppy associate going to the bathroom outside with positive experiences.

Supervise and Anticipate:

Keep a close eye on your puppy, especially during the initial stages of training. If you catch them in the act of eliminating indoors, resist the urge to make a big deal out of it. Pretend you never saw it and then clean it up later.

Crate Training:

Utilise a crate as a helpful tool for potty training. Dogs instinctively avoid soiling their sleeping area, making the crate an effective way to manage your puppy’s behaviour when you can’t supervise them. Ensure the crate is appropriately sized for your puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Consistency is Key:

Consistency is paramount in potty training. Stick to your routine, use the same verbal cues, and provide positive reinforcement consistently. This helps your puppy understand what is expected of them and accelerates the learning process.

Be Patient:

Puppies are learning a new skill, and accidents will happen. It’s crucial to remain patient and avoid punishing your puppy for accidents. Instead, focus on reinforcing good behaviour and adjusting your approach if needed.


Potty training a puppy requires time, patience, and a positive approach. By establishing a routine, using positive reinforcement, and understanding your puppy’s needs, you’ll set the foundation for a well-behaved and happy companion. Remember, consistency and positive interactions are the keys to success. Enjoy the journey of bonding with your puppy as you guide them through this essential aspect of their development.

If you need help with potty training, check out our private training classes here!

Picture of Webster Cheong, BA, IAABC-ADT, CPDT-KA

Webster Cheong, BA, IAABC-ADT, CPDT-KA

Webster has trained various species in zoos, rehabilitated companion animals, and championed animal welfare standards. He represented Singapore in the Amphibian Taxon Advisory Group, focusing on amphibian care and conservation. Now, his main focus is in canine fitness and conditioning as well as essential canine skills.

Picture of Qiai Chong, MSc, CSAT, CSB-D, CPDT-KSA

Qiai Chong, MSc, CSAT, CSB-D, CPDT-KSA

With over a decade of study in the animal behaviour and welfare sciences, Qiai earned her Masters from the University of Edinburgh and has since devoted herself to the welfare and behaviour of pets. She has worked as an animal behaviourist since, and her expertise lies in addressing pet behavioural issues such as fears, phobias, anxiety and aggression.

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