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Potty training your new puppy is your first challenge with your new pet.  I recommend you combine potty training and crate training.  It’s easiest to teach your new dog where it’s appropriate to go potty when you have a place to confine them when you are unable to watch them.

Where do you start?  It’s easiest to start by supervising your puppy.  An untrained pup should not be allowed free roam of the house without you there with them.  If you can’t supervise them, they should be confined to an area (preferably a crate).  By supervising your puppy you are preventing your puppy from making mistakes.  The more mistakes you prevent the better your puppy will learn where to go potty.  You won’t have to teach where NOT to go potty.

Next, unless your pup was bought from a pet store where they had to go potty in their crate by necessity you really should crate train your pup.  A crate will become like your pup’s personal space, their bedroom, and the place they go when things get to loud, even once your puppy is trained and can have free roam of the house.

If your puppy was bought from a pet store where they were forced to go potty in their cage, crate training will be difficult.  Since they’ve learned that it’s ok to go potty in their cage, they will most likely go potty in the crate thinking they have no choice.  For these pups, it is even more important that you let your pup out frequently to go potty and prevent mistakes.

When you take your puppy outside (or to his litter box or puppy pads) put a leash on him and stay in one space.  Don’t wander, you want to teach your pup where it is proper to eliminate.  After that you can give them a treat to reward them, give lots of affection, and take them on a walk.  Basically, reward them in every way you can.

Remember that you are just beginning to teach your dog and build a relationship with him.  You don’t want to damage that relationship by yelling at your dog, spanking them, or putting their nose in their mistakes.  This is very important.  You want your puppy to trust you, love you, and let you guide them.

You should also remember that puppies and even dogs have very short, short-term memories.  Studies differ on how long this memory is.  It varies from 3-10 seconds.  If you haven’t caught your puppy in the act of making a mistake they aren’t going to know why they are being punished.

If you do catch your puppy making a mistake, make a loud noise to startle them and then take them to the place for them to finish their business.  You can also use a water gun to startle them out of going potty in the wrong place and then take them to the right place to finish.

This will give you a good start on potty training your puppy.  If you have questions, please leave a comment.  I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can.