How Do You Potty Train a Puppy to Go to the Door? (Easy Steps & Complete Guide)

Choose a potty-training method, such as the tried-and-true crate or paper-training methods. Then, as the pup learn to go potty outside, they will naturally go to that door when they have to potty. Reinforce this good behavior with lots of praise. According to the American Kennel Club, the key is to be consistent, attentive, and most importantly patient.

The following article answers some of the most common questions involving the crate and paper-training methods, along with a few tricks from experts on how to potty train your puppy to go to the door.

What are some trick to getting your puppy to go to the door when they need to go potty?

  • Consistently use only one door when you let your pup outside. They will learn that specific door is where they go when they need to go potty outside.
  • Place a dog-safe bell on the door to help the dog indicate that they want to go outside. They will have fun with this, which may help them learn quicker.
  • Shower you pup in lots of praise. Affection is always enough for dogs, but you can also use training treats. Just be sure the treats are healthy and not to exceed the recommended daily value.

How do you use the crate method to potty train a puppy?

Dogs are den animals and if used properly, they enjoy having the crate as a place to hide out. This can be beneficial for you both because dogs don’t want to soil the area that they are staying in. Make sure to take them outside before they go into the crate and as soon as they come out.

For the crate method to work the crate must be:

  • The right size, not too large so they don’t find a corner to squat in
  • Safe and Comfortable for dogs
  • Capable of being covered or made private for the pup

How long can a puppy hold its pee in a crate?

Puppies can typically control their bladders for the number of hours that corresponds to their age in months, up to 9 months of age. For example, a 6-month-old puppy can be expected to be able to hold it for no longer than 6 hours, given that they were able to properly potty before entering the crate. Any time over 9 hours can lead to accidents and if prolonged can lead to eventual bladder problems.

When should I try to get my puppy to potty outside?

You should try often to bring your puppy outside to go potty. The following times are the most important to try to get your pup to potty:

  • After they get up in morning
  • Before they go to bed at night
  • After spending time in a crate
  • After waking up from a nap
  • After playing indoors
  • After chewing a toy
  • After eating or drinking

What is the paper-training method?

The paper-training method involves using puppy pads or indoor mats for the puppy to soil on while they are transitioning to going potty outside. Puppy pads should only be used as a temporary solution during potty training because the pup can get accustomed to using it and not want to go outside.

How do you use the paper-training method to potty train a puppy?

The pad should be set near the door that they go through to go outside to potty. This reinforces the behavior of going to the door. When you notice the puppy using the mat, praise that good behavior. You should let them outside right after that, and eventually try to catch them before they use the mat and quickly let them outside instead. This will transition them into only going potty outside.

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What are the signs that my puppy needs to go potty?

  • Scratching at the door
  • Whining in their crate
  • Squatting
  • Sniffing and wandering near a corner or houseplant

What should I do if my puppy is whining in their crate?

If your puppy is whining in their crate and they haven’t been outside in a while, then you should take them out and immediately bring them outside. If you wait too long, then there is a high probability that an accident will happen.

When should I begin potty training my puppy?

You should begin potty training as soon as you bring the puppy home, which can be as early as 8 weeks. Puppies will catch on quicker than most would suspect, but the longer that you wait the harder it will be to potty train them because you will have to break new habits instead of starting off by teaching them the right habits.

What do I do if my puppy goes potty inside?

Experts suggest that if your pup has an accident in the house, then just clean it up and don’t punish your puppy for it. The learn better with praise than punishment. Clean the spot with something that is going to remove the smell, so the pup isn’t tempted to go there again. If you see them start to squat, then pick them up and immediately run them outside. If they go potty outside, then give them lots of praise them afterward.

What is the best indoor potty?

Small dogs in the winter or the lack of outside space may force some to use an indoor potty like a puppy pad for an extended period. According to expert dog trainers, the fake grass style mats are going to be the best for your dog to go indoors because it resembles the outside areas that they have been trained to do their business in. This way there is less confusion once you switch them back to their outdoor area.

What are some good habits when potty training a puppy to go to the door?

  • Keep a consistent schedule
  • Bring your pup outside frequently
  • Praise your pup for going to the door and for going potty outside
  • Provide regular exercise
  • Expect accidents and be patient