Potty Training Your Puppy Isn't a Quick Process — Here's How to Do It

Kori Williams - Author

Dec. 11 2023, Published 1:28 p.m. ET

A puppy reading a newspaper on a toilet.
Source: iStock

The Gist:

  • Toilet training your puppy can take any amount of time.
  • The process can be done quickly if you have the dedication to get the job done.
  • No matter what, you should always be patient with yourself and your dog when potty training.
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We understand your pain if you're trying to toilet-train your dog. It can be a difficult process even to find what steps work best for you and your pup. Humans and dogs alike learn things in different ways and at their own pace. It may take some time, but it is possible to toilet-train a puppy in seven days.

However, what may be even more important is potty training your puppy with a routine that they can stick to regardless of how long it takes. Although this can be a stressful journey, with the two of you working together, it can be done.

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A black puppy sitting on a wee wee pad.
Source: iStock

Here are our best tips for how to toilet train a puppy in 7 days.

According to Chewy, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure that you toilet train your puppy effectively:

  • Take them out to potty regularly
  • Supervise your pup
  • Manage the situation properly
  • Use positive reinforcement
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The publication recommends taking your dog outside on a leash every 30 minutes. This teaches your pup to only go to the bathroom when the leash is on. And this control helps them avoid distractions. If you are toilet training indoors, you can keep them confined to a certain area so they learn only to go potty there.

A puppy sitting on a wee wee pad.
Source: iStock
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Additionally, you can crate train your dog which means that you are teaching your pup to pee on wee wee pads that line the crate's floor. With this method, you should never leave your dog confined for more than a few hours at a time unless it is overnight.

Plus, Chewy also says it's important to supervise puppies in training the whole time they are using the bathroom. During this, try to stand still and keep them in a single place. This way it's more likely that they get bored, won't get distracted by the world around them, and use the bathroom.

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A puppy tearing up a wee wee pad on a wood floor.
Source: iStock

In the end, Purina points out that it's essential to be patient with your puppy while it's learning this new skill. You may have to wait a few minutes, if not longer before your dog starts using the bathroom in the right spot. But when this does happen, reward them as a form of positive reinforcement. Never punish them for having an accident or making a mistake.

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Pup parents from across the internet gave their own tips for toilet training puppies.

When it comes to getting commentary from the public, Reddit is the place to be. In the Puppy subreddit in 2021, one pet parent said they were "struggling" to potty train their weeks-old cocker spaniel. Several commenters said they tracked how often they were taking their pups out to potty. One person said they used a whiteboard, while another used a notebook.

A small dog covered in toilet paper in front of a white wall.
Source: iStock
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In the Dogs subreddit, another user was having some trouble potty training their weeks-old puppy. They specifically asked, "How can I potty train her fast and easy?" Luckily, Reddit came through once again. A few commenters pointed out that the "fast and easy" approach might not work out. But one person said to let the dog out every 15-20 minutes.

In other comments, people said you have to watch "them like a hawk." Another person said that nine weeks old is "super young" to want to potty train a pet and that everyone involved in the process should be gentle with themselves.

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