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Puppy Potty Training - The Paper Method

It's clear that puppy potty training is the No. 1 concern for new puppy owners around the world. But does it really need to be such a big issue?

Please note that the proven puppy potty training method detailed below is designed for puppies who, for whatever reason will be going to the toilet indoors. If you are looking for a house training system in which your dog will do his business outside, please read this article - Puppy House Training, The Crate Method.

Let me start out by saying that puppy potty training need not be such a stressful or even difficult process. There is so much written and spoken about the seemingly countless different house training tips, tricks and techniques. You could be forgiven for believing that it is some kind of magical, mystical top secret formula! [google_ad:DOTR_CMS_468x60_InArticle1]

In truth, there is no magic involved in house training your puppy. Puppy potty training is simply the process of educating your puppy where it is appropriate to go to the toilet and where it is not. It's no harder or more complicated than that.

Always remember that you can't expect your young puppy to just automatically know where to go to the toilet - think back to your toilet habits as a child for a second!

The step-by-step puppy potty training method detailed below does work - it works well.

I've used it to successfully housebreak breeds such as Shih-Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Dachshunds, Beagles and Chihuahuas. All this method requires from you is to closely follow the steps, be consistent and exercise a little patience. Your efforts will be rewarded ten-fold.

puppy potty training
Good Boy Felix - That's The Spot!

General Rules For Puppy Potty Training

  • Begin your puppy house training schedule as soon as you possibly can. As with all dog training tasks it is highly advisable to establish good behavior habits from the start rather than trying to correct or fix established problem behaviors.

  • Be super dedicated and diligent towards getting your puppy properly house trained, in quick time, the first time. The results will last forever. The alternative is a long drawn out, smelly, messy and frustrating process - for you and your young dog.

  • Your puppy won't get a free unsupervised run of the house until he/she is 100% fully potty trained. Even then there is bound to be the odd mistake.

  • Work with your puppy's natural instincts. Given the choice your puppy will do everything possible to avoid soiling their bedding and eating areas - use this to your advantage.

  • At all times throughout the potty training process you should enthusiastically encourage and reward desired behavior (pooping or peeing in the right area) and at the same time discourage undesirable behavior.

Puppy Potty Training Step-by-Step

This paper training method of potty training is most suited to puppies who will go to the toilet indoors (apartment dwellers etc.). You can also use one of these indoor dog potty toilets with this method.

Don't move through these steps too fast. Some puppies will catch on quickly and fly through the potty training process in a matter of days, while others can take many weeks. Your puppy will guide you.

1. Pick out a suitable puppy potty training area in your house. It could be a penned off area or small room such as a bathroom or laundry. A tiled or vinyl floored area is best.
2. Spread newspaper or maybe butchers paper (a few layers) over the entire floor surface of the potty area. If you have your puppy's bed and food bowls up one end of the pen/room there is no need to put paper under them, but the rest of the area should be covered.
3. When your puppy pees or poops on the paper you should firstly encourage it if you are there to see it, and then take the dirty sheets of paper out. Replace with clean sheets except that you put one of the old slightly soiled sheets on top of the new paper. Put the old sheet on the spot where you would like your puppy to do his/her business.
4. After a while your puppy will get used to going to the toilet on the paper surface and will look to go on this surface everytime. You will most probably find that your puppy develops a favoured spot to eliminate (hopefully where you placed the slightly soiled paper). This area is usually at the point furthest away from the dog's bedding and food bowl.
5. It's now time to take some of the paper out of the potty area - you will be shrinking the amount of floor area covered by the paper. Start out by taking away a few pieces of paper from a place in the pen/room where your puppy doesn't normally go to the toilet. Now your puppy potty training room or pen will now have a bed, food bowl, an area covered in paper and a small area not covered in paper. Hopefully your puppy will still use the paper covered area to eliminate - if not go back a step and have the entire area covered.
6. Continue to gradually take away the paper until you are left with just one or two pieces of paper for your puppy to go on. The rest of the room will be uncovered. If you plan to have your dog use this area permanently you may wish to substitute the paper for an indoor dog potty
7. If you plan to eventually train your puppy to go to the toilet outside you can gradually move the sheet of paper towards the door and then finally outside. Your dog will follow the paper.

NOTE: When you have your puppy outside of this potty training area for some play time or obedience training be sure to place your puppy back in the area every 30 minutes to give him/her the opportunity to go to the toilet.

If you do happen to catch your puppy in the act of pooping or peeing outside of the desired area make it clear that he/she has made a mistake. I don't mean by punishing your puppy or doing something stupid like rubbing his/her nose in it. If you do witness a potty mistake make a noise (aaah!! or oh no!) to startle, distract and interrupt your puppy. You should also immediately pick up your puppy and place him/her in the designated potty area. If he happens to continue his business on the paper enthusiastically praise him.

For further information on how to successfully potty train your puppy and also how to properly raise and train your young puppy I suggest you follow this comprehensive dog ownership package - Secrets to Dog Training.

Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.