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How to Potty Train a Puppy Fast

By Colleen Williams
published: September 2, 2016 - updated: June 2, 2021 • 2 min. read
Puppy Potty Training

Believe it or not, it’s possible to effectively housebreak your pup in seven days. It takes diligence, consistency, and lots of treats, but it can be done! Follow these three important guidelines to potty train a puppy fast.

  1. Be consistent
    One of the most important factors when potty training your dog is to maintain a consistent schedule of access to his/her toilet area. Right when you take your dog outside (or to a designated area), take her to the exact same spot every time and say “go potty” or another command word of your choice. Most puppies have to go roughly every 45 minutes, unless they are sleeping, as well as just after he or she wakes up, after eating, drinking water, and playtime. Consistency is key; dogs respond best to routine!
  2. Go over-the-top with rewards
    Pick out an extra special treat, reserved only for potty training, to be given right after the deed is done. Give him or her lots of love and praise, then bring your dog back inside. If you crate your puppy, allow some special privileges to roam freely for about 3-5 minutes the first day, extending a little longer each day.
  3. Back into the canine cave
    Dogs like their space to be clean, so crating can be a helpful tool to housetrain because they will tell you when it’s time to go with some whining and scratching. If your puppy isn’t in a crate, you must keep a close eye on them to prevent any potty training mistakes. After seven days, the training becomes a habit.

Becoming housebroken is, of course, not without its struggles, so even if you’re set to training fast, you may run into some obstacles. Here are some of the most helpful hints on your road to a potty-trained pup:

  • Accidents are bound to happen, and how you handle them makes a world of difference. Do not punish your dog by rubbing his nose in the mess (it can teach him to eat it). Try hard to be patient and use only verbal cues (“oh no!” or “whoops!”) when you catch a puppy in the act of piddling on the floor, you don’t want your dog to fear you! The best advice is to move on and keep training.
  • You should be taking your puppy out roughly every hour. The repetition will lead you to rewarding the behavior more often, which teaches your puppy quickly. Do not let 24 hours go by without reward your dog for a successful outdoor potty. Adult dogs need to go around every 2 hours.
  • The more consistent the feeding schedule, the more consistent the eliminating schedule.
  • Keep a log of how many times you have taken your dog outside so you know when it’s time to go again. You can even use an alarm clock.
  • Some people swear by wee-wee pads and others say they can confuse puppies. Use your best judgment, especially if you’re in an apartment, and be advised that wee-wee pads can lead to little puppies going on rugs and blankets too.
colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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