Puppy Potty Training: A Guide to Your Furry Friend’s Bathroom Breaks

December 06, 2023
Puppy cuteness

Puppy Potty Training: A Guide to Your Furry Friend’s Bathroom Breaks!

puppy potty trainingIf you are a new puppy parent or considering adding a cute canine companion to your family, understanding your puppy’s potty needs is essential for a smooth and (almost) accident-free journey. Today we are going to dive into the importance of frequent bathroom breaks, signs to watch for, and tips to establish a successful potty routine. Let’s fetch all the information you need!

The Bladder Capacity of Puppies:

Puppies have smaller bladders compared to adult dogs. As a general rule of thumb, a puppy can typically hold their bladder for about one hour per month of age. For instance, a two-month-old pup may need to relieve themselves every two hours. Understanding this approximation can help you preemptively plan their potty breaks.

Frequent Bathroom Breaks:

Puppies have a limited ability to control their bladder and bowel movements, so they require frequent bathroom breaks. It’s important to establish a consistent routine to prevent accidents and aid in their potty training. Aim for 8-10 trips outdoors per day, including after meals, playtime, waking up, and before bed.  And yes, you’ll be getting up in the night for a bit to bring them out 🥱

Signs Your Puppy Needs to Go:

Dogs are communicating all the time, watch for these common signs that signal your pup needs a potty break:

  • restlessness
  • sniffing the floor
  • circling
  • scratching at the door
  • whining or barking (especially at the door)
  • squatting
  • suddenly pausing during play.

If you notice any of these signs, pick your puppy up and give them a ride (pick them up, they are unlikely to pee while being carried) to their potty location and put them down there to prevent accidents.  

Crate Training and its Benefits:

crate training a puppyCrate training is a valuable tool for puppy potty training because dogs naturally avoid soiling their sleeping area. Use a properly sized crate that allows your pup to stand, turn around, and lay down comfortably – but not much more room. Gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate, and take them directly outside when you let them out. This helps them associate going outside with potty breaks.

Positive Reinforcement:

Positive reinforcement is crucial for successful potty training. When your puppy eliminates in the appropriate spot, praise and reward them with treats or verbal cues to reinforce the desired behavior. This positive association encourages your puppy to understand that going outside is the right place to go potty.  Be sure to check out clicker training, it’s a fun & effective tool if you and you pup enjoy it! Going to a positive training class will also help you and your puppy learn the ropes faster, there are many positive trainers in southeastern CT.  Two great options are: My Dogs Place in East Lyme & Stonington, Know Better Do Better

Patience and Consistency:

Puppies have accidents—it’s a natural part of the learning process. Avoid punishment or scolding, as it can confuse and create anxiety in your furry friend. Instead, be patient, consistent, and reinforce good habits. Remember, accidents are an opportunity for you to revisit their schedule and improve their potty routine.


puppy routine

Puppy’s are a lot of work in the beginning and understanding your their bathroom needs and establishing a consistent potty routine is crucial for successful potty training. Beattentive to your puppy’s signs, maintain a frequent bathroom schedule, and utilize positive reinforcement.  And you’ll need support so be sure to check out your local professional dog walker and don’t try and do it alone!
With patience, dedication, and a bit of trial and error, you’ll soon have a house-trained pup who’s ready to explore the world with confidence. We hope this guide from Barks & Rec helps you create a harmonious potty routine for you and your adorable four-legged companion. Happy potty training!

Bonus tip:  Be sure to get Pet Insurance!