All new dog owners want to teach their puppy not to mess inside their home. However, it can be a frustrating process when you feel like your dog should have learned to control their bladder by now. In most cases, puppies are potty trained by 6 months old but don’t be discouraged if your pup is a little behind.
There can be a lot of factors that contribute to why your dog may not be potty trained yet. In this blog, we’re going to give you some useful tips and tricks to help you potty train your puppy.
Training a 0 - 12 week old dog
Did you know most puppies aren’t able to control when they go for up to 12 weeks? This means in the first three months of their lives you should expect accidents. But you can start trying to teach your dog good habits.
Start introducing your puppy to the area they should be going to potty. If this is in the garden, take them outside for an hour and see if they go. If they do make sure you give them lots of praise to reward good behavior.
Using Fresh Patch to train your 0-12 week old dog
If you’re using a Fresh Patch make sure to show your dog where this is on your patio or in your apartment so they get to know what it is and can confirm it’s safe. It’s important to not force your dog to stand on their Fresh Patch. Dogs excrete fear through their paws and you don’t want any negative associations with the Fresh Patch.
You could try adding some of their accidents to the Fresh Patch, so they can start associating the smell with the place they need to go. Again always give lots of praise if they do use the Fresh Patch. They will soon realize that going here means lots of strokes and treats.
Fresh Patch can provide a great potty solution for your dog in emergencies or on rainy days when they can be stubborn. Check out our blog on why your dog needs a Fresh Patch.
Training a 12 - 16 week old dog
According to the Human Society of the United States, your puppy can hold their bladder for about one hour per month of their age. E.g at four months old, they can probably wait four hours between potty trips. However, this is just a guideline. If your puppy drinks a lot or gets over-excited when they’re visitors, they’re more likely to have an accident.
This is the age most dogs start to give signs that they need to go. Whether this is from barking or scratching at the floor. It’s up to you to stay alert and recognize these signs to help prevent any additional accidents.
Using Fresh Patch to train your 12-16 week old dog
The beauty of Fresh Patch’s product is that the dog will associate the fresh-smelling grass with the outside, so will naturally go to this to do their pee.
When your dog needs to ‘go’, he will show some signs to let you know. So if he starts to go round in circles, or sniffing more, or comes to a sudden halt, it is time to encourage him to use his Fresh Patch straight away. At this point, grab a lead and try walking your dog to his Fresh to give him the impression that he is outside so that he associates going out onto ‘real grass’ as the same as the product.
You can find out more about the signs your dog gives you by reading our blog on how your dog tells you something is wrong.
Training a 6 month old dog
Many dogs are fully potty trained by 6 months old but don’t be discouraged if your pooch has accidents up until 12 months old.
Every dog is different and it can take some a bit longer than others to make it to that high level of fully potty trained. Small dogs tend to train later than larger dogs due to having smaller bladders and higher metabolisms. They naturally need to go more often than bigger dogs.
If this does lead to more accidents than you would like, it’s important not to scold the dog for this. After all, they didn’t mean to go in your house, they just couldn’t find the right way to let you know they needed to go.
Using Fresh Patch to train your 6 month old dog
Potty-training your dog can take on average 3-6 months, so by introducing the Fresh Patch porch potty for your dog straight away, the dog will automatically associate this with the outside. We have a whole blog dedicated to How to Train your Dog Where to Potty here.
If you feel like your dog is behind, make sure you’re always encouraging positive behavior. You can find out more on how to do this in our blog: Encourage Pawsitive Puppy Behavior.
How to help train your dog
To keep your dog on the right track and potty trained like a pro, here are some things you can do to help:
Use a Fresh Patch
One of the great benefits of a Fresh Patch is that it’s there to use straight away. You don’t have to miss the signals your dog gives you when it needs to be let out. Make sure you keep it in the same place and your dog will soon become accustomed to using it and will recognize this as ‘their spot’ to do their business.
Keep to a schedule
Bring your dog outside or to their Fresh Patch every 30 minutes or so and ask them if they need to go. A schedule like this can help dogs know what times they should be going to potty. A simple phrase like: “Do you need to go out?” or “It’s time to be quick” can also be recognized by dogs as a command phrase and lets them know you want them to go potty.
Keep it clean
If your dog has an accident it’s imperative you clear this up straight away. If left, the lingering odor will make the pup think this is the place to do their business and will head there next time. You could even use the cleaned up mess and place it on their Fresh Patch so the lingering smell encourages them to go towards or even use their Fresh Patch next time.
When your dog does go, especially in their younger stages, give them lots of praise! Rewarding behavior with a treat or attention lets the pup recognize what they did was good and they will want to do it next time.
Finally, try not to scold your dog if they do have an accident. Your pup never meant to upset you by going in the wrong place, they just don’t know where the wrong places are. Equally, it can also go back to you, the owner. If you miss the signs your dog gives about needing to go, your dog tried to tell you and that can be forgiven.
Next steps to train your dog to potty
Now you understand more about when a dog is fully potty trained, you can start putting some of what you’ve learned into practice. Click the button below to see what your next steps are.