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Frequently Asked Questions

With any new pup, potty training is the first order of business

With any new pup, potty training is the first order of business. Potty training is all about scheduling. Keep in mind, food and water in, means food and water out.

It is important to know how much you should feed your pup. Every food manufacturer has guidelines, either on the bag, or on-line. Your vet is also a good person to ask. Make sure you aren’t over or under feeding your pup.

You also want to feed your pup a good quality, puppy food. The lower quality foods are mostly filler, and cause dogs to create a lot more waste. Do your research, and check with your vet. Sometimes, finding the food that suits your pup will take some time, but don’t give up.

Potty training is all about scheduling. You are getting your pup on a solid feeding and potty routine. (There is a chart at the end of this workbook that will help.)

  1. When your pup gets home, skip one meal. A puppy’s digestive system is fast, much faster than a human’s. Skipping one meal will assure that your pup has emptied itself out, completely.
  2. Feed your pup the correct amount of food, logging the time they ate, and the amount. Again, check the manufacturer’s recommendation, or check with your vet.
  3. Feed your pup in the kennel, or by hand, so they don’t get distracted.
  4. As soon as your pup finishes eating, take them outside. I recommend carrying your pup outdoors, to assure there are no accidents in route. Be sure you have your pup on a leash outside, so they don’t get confused and think it is play time.
  5. Take your pup to the same place every time. Place your pup on the ground and say whatever word you want to associate with going to the bathroom.
  6. Give your pup about 4-5 minutes but stay in the same area. We want to make sure your pup knows exactly where to go to the bathroom.
  7. If your pup goes to the bathroom say “Yes” and reward with a tasty treat. I like to use a small piece of lunch meat, or cheese.
  8. If you pup doesn’t go to the bathroom, simply pick them up, go inside, and put them in their crate. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes and do steps 4-7 again. Keep doing this, until the pup goes to the bathroom.
  9. As soon as your pup goes to the bathroom, note the time, even if it goes in the kennel. We are trying to get a good timeline. We want to know how long it takes your pup to go to the bathroom, after they eat.
  10. Repeat this for several days. By keeping track of times, you will start to see a pattern emerge. This is your pup’s potty schedule.
  11. Follow the same steps with water. Don’t give your pup open access to water. Give them water on a schedule, as well. Give water with food, and several times throughout the day. Be sure to do some research or check with your vet, to determine the amount of water your pup needs daily.The only time limiting water does not apply, is if your pup lives outside. Pups that are in the elements need access to water at all times. Please, also take into consideration your pup’s activity level, when determining the amount of water they need.

Things to remember about potty training

  1. Potty training is all about schedule.
  2. Make sure you are feeding the correct amount of food. If you are feeding too much, your pup will go to the bathroom more.
  3. Your pup should poop 2-3 times per day. If they are going more often, you may be overfeeding, or the food you are feeding doesn’t agree with them.
  4. Take your pup out on a leash and go to the same spot every time.
  5. Say a word that you want to associate with going to the bathroom.
  6. Reward with a high value treat after they go, and immediately go back indoors.
  7. Punishing for going to the bathroom indoors accomplishes nothing.
  8. Use the kennel to feed, and in between attempts to go to the bathroom outside. It also helps to do 5 minutes in the kennel, after they do go potty outside.
  9. Set a timer so you know when to go outside again.
  10. Keep track of the times of feeding, watering, and going to the bathroom. This will help you know your dog’s schedule.


I can’t talk about potty training and leave out treats.

Remember, treats are food, and our goal here is to regulate the amount of food taken in at each feeding. If you are giving treats in between meals, it makes potty training a lot harder.

As much as it hurts, don’t give your pup treats, especially store-bought treats. They are high in calories, and usually aren’t very healthy.

Believe it or not, your pup will work just fine for dog food. If you insist on giving treats, use something that doesn’t have any filler, and very little volume. Small pieces of lunch meat, chicken, or cheese works well, when you need a high value reward for training. Just remember to go easy, and don’t overfeed your pup. Between meal snacking is a no-no.

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