Potty Training 101: The Best Way to Puppy Potty Train at Home

This post was most recently updated on March 1st, 2020

You’re not apt to clean messy poo and pee all the time, right? Puppies are little balls of cuteness, but they can also wreak poop havoc on your living room. If you want to avoid the exploding mess, you might as well start performing the best way to puppy potty train. That starts with the right potty patch:

fresh patch thumbnail Fresh Patch
Disposable Dog Potty
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Potty Trainer Pad
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Why use a potty patch? Well, you should know that not all breeds can be trained successfully to housebreak. Also, if it’s not safe to let your pup out, it’s better to have a simulation of the outdoor grass. You should know by now that your pup can’t wait until you open the door and let him out. He will drop that bomb the moment he feels like doing it. And that’s what we want to fix here.

Remember that training your puppy to potty in the right place and time requires consistency. It’s like teaching kids to go to the bathroom whenever code brown strikes. Here’s a comprehensive guide for the best way to puppy potty train:

When to begin

It’s best to house train or potty train your puppy as soon as possible. This way, they can get used to the routine as they grow old. Experts recommend that potty training commence between 12 to 16 weeks old. This period is where the puppy has better control over his bladder and bowel movements.

However, if your puppy has been used to pooping in a cage, there’s a chance that he’s going to eat his own excreta. It will take time to reshape this behavior. Remember to be gentle and holistic on your approach. On extreme cases of coprophagia, professional puppy potty training classes can help.

To make the training easier, get a puppy from a responsible breeder. These breeders are usually performing basic elimination training while the pup is still on its litter. 

This head start will ensure that the puppy is geared towards potty training once you bring it home. Some pups that experienced litter training will be able to respond positively to potty training in just a couple of days.

The good thing is that with patience and consistency, almost any breed can learn to potty train. Even those that they deem to be less smart can grasp the idea of the “approved spot”.

Not on the carpet, please!

Your pup has an innate yearning to poop on grass. So when his bowel movement says it’s time go, he will likely dump it on the carpet. Why? Because the material of the carpet is soft to the paws which somehow mimics the feel of the outdoor grass.

Some homeowners use a spare carpet to train their pup. However, this doesn’t guarantee that they can be successfully housebroken soon. You have to use actual grass or something close to this real thing. This is the reason why I recommend potty grass pads. About how to use it and when to ditch it, you’ll learn in a few moments.

Methods of potty training

There are two common methods of potty training. Both are intended to end into full housebreaking. Aside from my suggested potty pad method, I’ll discuss the crate training as well so you’ll have another option.

Best way to puppy potty train:

Crate training

Pad training


If your puppy is causing disturbances due to its problematic elimination, you can try the crate training method as a quick and temporary solution. For this best way to puppy potty train, you have to observe the signs that your pup is going to poo or pee. Establishing these red flags will help you know when it’s time to open the door and let him outside.

Here are some steps to guide you:

➕The crate should be large enough for your pup to walk, circle, and lie down. As you know, dogs would walk in circles before dropping the bomb.

➕If you’re constantly out most of the day, you need to have somebody get him outside for the elimination. It’s not okay to crate a puppy for long periods as they can get restless and bored. Also, they are not supposed to poo inside the crate

➕Always place fresh water inside the crate if you’re living the puppy for an hour or two inside. When he pees, he needs enough hydration to replace the water that’s been eliminated from the body.

➕Never let your puppy eliminate inside the crate. If so, it will continue to consider the cage as the bathroom. It can also be a sign of bad behavior that you have to reshape. Again, crate potty training is intended to teach your pup to hold it until you get him outdoors. Anyway, don’t let them waiting for too long.


Now, this is the method I personally attest to. I understand that not all pups will thrive well on this method but it doesn’t hurt to have another trick on your sleeves when the first one proved to be less effective. If this doesn’t work well, your pet needs puppy potty training classes.

If you can’t be there to monitor their poo time, you need to have that approved spot where your pooch is free to eliminate. Aside from being an alternative, pad potty training can also pave the way to housebreaking. Here are some of the guidelines:

➕Place the grass pad in a consistent area. Familiarity is the key here. If you want your dog to learn where he’s supposed to poo when you’re not around, you have to establish his spot.

➕When he starts to show signs of eliminating like walking in circles, whimpering, or sniffing around, order him to go to the patch. If he eliminates in there, reward him with a small treat.

➕Leash your pup if need be. Some puppies have developed poor potty behavior while they are in the breeder’s care. Do this until your pooch grasps the best way to puppy potty train.

➕Remove the poo right away. Don’t let the excretion sit for too long on the patch. Once you get home, remove it and rinse the grass. Don’t use any cleaning agents or your dog will lose track of the smell. Remember, dogs poo in the same spot over and over again. You have to keep it that way.

➕Once your dog is learning, move the patch closer to the door little by little. Once you have him outside, voila! You’ve succeeded housebreaking him.

Scheduling the bathroom business

It’s all about establishing a good habit. Making sure that your dog adjusts to a specific schedule of elimination will make it easier for you to potty train him.

Remember that puppies have small bladders. This can get full instantly which will need them to go many times per day.

The good thing here is that puppies have the ability to hold this for varying hours based on their age and individual abilities.  A 6-month old pup can hold it in for up to 6 hours. However, this doesn’t mean all dogs of the same age can do the same. Besides, it’s not healthy to keep their bladders pressured. You can send him to puppy potty training classes if need be.

Start by monitoring the times of the day when your puppy tends to go. Usually, young pups will need to eliminate the possible periods:

-After playing

-After eating

-Upon waking up

-After drinking

-First thing in the morning

-Last thing at night

-After being confined in a crate

Once you figure out their usual “go times”, you can now arrange your schedule based on it. In the morning, you can take your pup out for a walk. You can also wait until he eliminates right after meal time.

Make sure that you let the puppy know that a certain area is his potty spot. Otherwise, he will be eliminating anywhere he wants.

Common potty training problems

If this is your first time owning a puppy, you have to know these common problems. It will help you prepare for the possible scenarios you’ll encounter during potty training:

The pup pees on the same spot he’s not supposed to be

Look, eliminating is a puppy’s way of marking a territory. If you didn’t clean it well, your pooch will go back to the same spot all the time. Use enzymatic cleaners to remove the smallest trace of excretion. If not, the accidents will sabotage the best way to puppy potty train.

The pup is eliminating in the crate

If you have a pup that came from a pet store, you shouldn’t be surprised by this. Puppies from pet stores have been confined to small crates for a long time. Also, they are allowed to eliminate inside instead of being brought out. In this case, you have to restart crate training first.

The pup made a mess

Some pet owners who prematurely thought their puppies are already prepared to be left alone usually suffer from this consequence. Before you give your pup the freedom to eliminate on its own, make sure that they had grasped the rules right.

Do’s and don’ts

Before you start potty training, remember that it’s not about how fast you can get your dog to understand. Every breed is unique and you shouldn’t worry if it’s already taking you weeks. To keep you in touch with the goal, here are some dos and don’ts to remember.

➕If your pup finally eliminates on the spot where you want him too, do a clapping gesture and reward him. Do this every time he follows the potty training rules. If you caught him doing the act somewhere else, stare at him quietly.

➕Never punish your pup for failing to respond positively. It’s normal to make mistakes. If you punish the pooch, he will just fear you and the idea of potty training.

➕Stay outside for long with your puppy. Some puppies take time to eliminate outdoors. They still need to be familiar with the smell and the feel of the grass or soil.

➕If the puppy poops in the wrong place but you didn’t see it, don’t act angrily. Just rub his nose to the spot and keep an unhappy look. If the pup keeps making mistakes for months, it’s better to enroll him on puppy potty training classes.

➕As for the accidents, clean it with an enzymatic cleaner. You have to wash it off so the pup won’t go back to it. This is to retain the efficacy of the best way to puppy potty train.

Potty Pads I Recommend Personally

Fresh Patch Disposable Dog Potty

Editors pick of potty training padThe Fresh Patch Potty Pad is made from actual grass that’s grown to neutralize odor. Since pups have an instinct to poop on grass, this patch makes it attractive for them. This works for potty training, assisting senior dogs, and as an alternative to housebreaking.

Everything is biodegradable since the grass is contained in a durable box and not a plastic tray. This is the perfect tool for the best way to puppy potty train.

Fresh Patch also offers free potty training consultation if you have questions how to use the pad. If you’re a fan of the Shark Tank show, this product actually appeared on it and sealed a deal with a Cuban investor!


✔️Actual grass

✔️Biodegradable materials

✔️Enough room for puppies to sniff and circle

✔️Free dog training consultation


❌You have to replace it every 2 weeks

PETMAKER Puppy Potty Trainer Pad

best way to puppy potty trainIf you want something that lasts longer, you can opt for the PETMAKER Trainer Pad. This sports a synthetic grass pad with a plastic insert in the middle that allows water to drain. Although it’s not as appealing as real grass, this can be used for long. If paired with the best way to puppy potty train, this should serve its purpose.

This comes with a plastic tray to prevent the mess. It’s also easier to hop into due to its thinner and wider build. It almost has the same price of the Fresh Patch but this will require fewer replacements on the same timeframe.


✔️Synthetic grass that lasts longer

✔️A few dollars cheaper than Fresh Patch

✔️Easy to clean

✔️It doesn’t smell given that it’s cleaned once a week

✔️Big enough for large dogs


❌The synthetic grass tends to shed over time

The best way to puppy potty train varies per breed and pup. Every doggo has its own personality. You have to observe your pet’s behavior so you can come up with a plan. Whatever method you use, always be patient and make sure that you do it right.

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