Once your puppy has reached the right age, it’s important to establish a potty training routine, and to be consistent and patient with it. You will need to take your puppy out immediately after he wakes up, 15 minutes after he eats or drinks, at least once an hour while he is awake, before you put him in his crate and immediately after you take him out of the crate. To help prevent accidents, be sure you keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule and remove the food once he has finished eating, but always allow him access to water. Puppy’s digestive systems are quick and efficient and taking him out 15 minutes after he eats will help get him used to going potty outside.
Puppies cannot be expected to hold their bladders all night, so you will also need to set an alarm during the night so you can take him outside. Expecting your puppy to hold his bladder throughout the night is not only unrealistic, it is a sure-fire way to ensure he soils his crate or gets a nasty bladder infection trying to hold it far longer than he is capable of or should be expected to. It is also important to watch for bathroom “tells” puppies often display. Twirling in circles, whining, scratching, and sniffing the floor are often indications the puppy needs to go potty, so if you see or hear these things, take him outside immediately.
It is also important that you take your puppy to the same spot every time to use the bathroom. Be patient with your puppy and do not try to force him, yell at him, or rush him to use the potty. Simply stand in the designated spot and use upbeat, positive verbal encouragements to “go potty” and allow your puppy time to sniff out the perfect spot and relieve himself. Once your puppy does his business, be sure to reward him with positive praise, a treat, and lots of snuggles, pets, and kisses. If he is leash-trained and enjoys going for a walk, that could be a great reward. Most puppies truly want to please their masters and letting your puppy know he is good and did the right thing will help your puppy’s potty training progress at a faster rate.