A Complete Guide to Potty Training Your Dog

There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours cleaning up your home before leaving for work, only to come home to a whole pile of mess to clean up. Even for the most experienced dog owners, potty training can be a challenging and frustrating process. In this complete guide to potty training your dog, we will share our best practices that helped our clients achieve breakthroughs in their potty training goals and allows them to simply enjoy their relationship with their puppy or dog. 


Before we take a deep dive into the techniques of how you can achieve potty training success, there are a few things to understand before you practise any techniques here. 


  • Consistency is key (You must follow a strict feeding schedule, potty schedule and use the same things (pee pad or the outdoors) for your potty training. 
  • Potty training schedule can be affected based on your dog’s feeding scedule, water intake and activity. 
  • It’s important to be patient and to take some time off (1 week) to help establish a potty training schedule, you can hire a pet sitter or dog walker to fill in the times you are unable to commit.

Why is potty training important for dogs?

Potty training is an essential aspect of responsible dog ownership. It not only ensures a clean and hygienic living environment but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion. When dogs are properly potty trained, they understand where they should eliminate, reducing the chances of accidents and keeping your home clean.

When should you start potty training your dog?

The ideal time to start potty training your dog is when they are still a puppy. Puppies have a natural instinct to keep their sleeping and eating areas clean, making them more receptive to potty training. However, it’s never too late to start training an older dog. With patience and consistency, even adult dogs can learn new habits.

Understanding your dog’s potty habits

Before diving into the potty training process, it’s crucial to understand your dog’s potty habits. Dogs typically need to eliminate after waking up from a nap, eating or drinking, and playing. By observing your dog’s behavior, you can identify their cues for needing to go outside and anticipate their potty needs.

Setting up a potty training routine

Dogs thrive on routine, so establishing a regular schedule for potty breaks is essential. Take your dog outside to their designated potty area at consistent intervals throughout the day, such as after meals, naps, and playtime. Be patient and give your dog enough time to do their business. Consistency is key to reinforcing the desired behavior.


Indoor Potty Training Protocol

Here is what you’ll be needing: 

Pee Pad Tray



Pee Pad




Artificial or real grass potty patch 




Now, always bear in mind, puppies discover the world with their mouths so do ensure you are monitoring where they put their mouths. Which is why I do recommend a pairing of the pee pad tray and pee pad. The destruction that is ensued if you leave a puppy with only the pee pad can be jarring. 


In my experience, it’s almost always better to take your dog out for a walk so they can take in some enrichment, you get to stretch your legs and your dog will unmistakably understand that they don’t potty indoors as an indoor set up can be confusing. Dog’s seek out their potty areas using two things, scent and texture. However, if you are in a situation where walks are not an option, then it’s important to properly strategise where to place your pee pad tray to avoid indoor potty incidents. 


If you live in an apartment, the balcony is the most ideal spot. The balcony is a crowd favourite because it offers natural ventilation to avoid the urine odours from permeating in your home. However, if your apartment does not have a balcony, you may need to settle for placing the pee pad tray in a bathroom or laundry room, whichever that has big windows. 


Step 1: Prepare high value (strong smelling and moist treats that your puppy loves but doesn’t get frequently) and low value treats (kibbles, provided more repetitively when jackpotting) and a leash 


Step 2: Have a log book with records the feeding time and potty time 


Step 3: Set a potty schedule; When to take your dog to the designated area for potty.

– [ ] After waking up (even nap) 

– [ ] After play 

– [ ] After training (or any forms of excitement) 

– [ ] After eating or drinking (and after 20-30 mins from this) 

– [ ] After an extended period of usual elimination schedule (10-20 mins) 


Spend only 1-3 minutes on each outing and aim to take the puppy out again if they fail to eliminate (after 15-20 minutes )


Step 4: When the puppy eliminates at the designated area, immediately employ a verbal praise (yes) followed by a high value treat and several low value treats. Only provide high value treats again after 5-6 successful outdoor elimination. For every other successful potty, you can use low value treats to reward.

emember; Sometimes oversights can happen and elimination occurs indoors. First, do not try to punish your dog and focus on cleaning up and being more observant. As the scent of the previous urination (indoors) may act as a cue, it is important to correctly clean the “accident” location. Use paper balls or kitchen towels. Once the urine is completely extracted, add a quarter cup of warm water and baking soda solution on the “accident” location and use the tissue or paper ball to soak up all the liquid. 


There are a few things to keep in mind for a successful potty training plan: 

Ensure to work in crate training and familiarisation with the household. You can use a Houseline (indoor long leash) to walk the puppy around the house while also working a reasonable duration crate training. Do not confine your puppy for long periods. Having the puppy on a house line will also make it easier to quickly direct the puppy outdoors when they display behaviours prior to their elimination.


Divide the puppies age in weeks by 3 to the average amount of time a puppy can hold their bladder. For example, a 16-week puppy can hold for up to 5 hours. While some puppies may be able to hold longer or some shorter, it’s important to not make puppies to hold for long periods as it can be stressful and unhealthy. 


With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be on your way to a clean and well-trained pup. Say goodbye to messes and hello to a harmonious home!


As your dog progresses in their potty training journey, it’s important to celebrate their successes. Gradually increase their freedom and access to different areas of the house, always keeping a close eye on their behavior. Remember, potty training is a gradual process, and consistency is key. With patience, positive reinforcement, and a well-established routine, you’ll soon have a clean and well-trained pup.


In conclusion, potty training your dog requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By understanding your dog’s potty habits, setting up a routine, and choosing the right training method, you can effectively teach your furry friend where and when to do their business. Don’t be discouraged by accidents or challenges along the way. With the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to potty training success and a harmonious home.

Do you need help? Patty Pawsitive is here!

The thing about dog training is getting all the techniques right and even remembering the footnotes. Set you and your dog up for success by working with a dog trainer that can help personalise a training plan based on your lifestyle and your dogs learning style. Our dog trainer at Patty Pawsitive is an IAABC-ADT certified dog trainer, who adheres to LINA standards of dog training and mainly uses Positive Reinforcement to encourage favourable behaviours from your dog. We also offer references on request! Contact us at +60 16-815 0190 for more information about our dog training services.

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