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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

Potty Training 101: Fact vs Fiction

Potty training is a significant milestone for both pups and their owners. It's a time of learning, patience, and sometimes confusion as you navigate the world of canine bathroom habits. To help you on this journey, we've compiled a list of common potty training truths and myths to set the record straight.

Fact: Having a Schedule is Key

Establishing a consistent routine for feeding, hydration, rest, and bathroom breaks is the key to a successful potty training journey. A well-planned schedule helps you anticipate when your puppy needs to answer nature's call.

Fiction: Punishment Is the Way to Go

Choosing punishment for accidents can instill fear and anxiety in your puppy. Opt for a more positive approach. Celebrate successful bathroom trips by rewarding your pup with a delectable treat. This positive reinforcement will motivate them to wait for the outdoors to earn their special reward.

Fact: Watch for Signs

Dogs often display signs that they need to go, such as sniffing, circling, or whining. Pay attention to these cues and take them outside promptly.

Fiction: All Dogs Learn at the Same Pace

Each puppy is an individual, and potty training progress differs from one pup to another. While some puppies grasp it swiftly, others may require additional time. Exercise patience and tailor your training to your dog's specific requirements. Keep in mind that some puppies might need more frequent bathroom breaks than others.

Fact: Frequent Breaks Are Essential

Puppies have small bladders and demand regular bathroom outings, particularly following meals, having water, or waking up from a nap. Be ready to accompany them outdoors frequently, we suggested taking them out once every hour.

Fiction: Size Determines Training Time

Contrary to the myth that large dogs are easier to train, potty training depends more on individual temperament and consistency in training rather than the dog's size.

Fact: Accidents Happen

Mishaps are a part of the potty training process, and it's completely normal. Instead of reacting in frustration towards your puppy, promptly clean up any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner to effectively eliminate odors and stains. Remember, punishing your puppy for accidents will NOT help them learn not to potty indoors!

Fiction: Potty Training Ends Quickly

Potty training isn't a one-time effort; it's an ongoing journey. There may be times when gentle reminders are needed, particularly when routines or environments change. Keep in mind that just because your puppy or dog is potty trained in your current home, it doesn't guarantee the same for a new location. We must guide and teach them in every place and situation we encounter.

Fact: Potty Pads Confuse Dogs

Teaching your dog to use both indoor potty pads and outdoor spots can be confusing for your puppy. To prevent confusion, it's advisable to select one approach—either potty pad training or outdoor training—and remain consistent with your choice. It's important to note that we strongly discourage the use of potty pads altogether. Puppies can easily mistake them for other soft surfaces like carpets or even clothing left on the floor.

Potty training can be challenging, but by understanding the truths and dispelling the myths, you'll be better prepared to lead your puppy to success. If you ever need assistance on your potty training journey, feel free to reach out to us. You can contact us via email at or by text/call at 301-231-1907. Alternatively, you can visit our website and complete one of our 'Getting Started' forms here:

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