Puppy Potty Training Your Rescue Dog
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase we may earn a commission. You can read our full affiliate disclosure by clicking here.
Congratulations, you got a new rescue puppy. Nice. Sweet. Good for you and good for the cute puppy. But, you ask with eager eyes and a confused face, “Now What?”
Let the puppy potty training begin!
―Stressful, yes, but proper potty training is critical to the pup’s wellbeing and to building a healthy relationship. Potty training is key to your pup’s successful transition to you as its leader and to its new den—your home. As the puppy owner, it is your responsibility to make your puppy’s potty training and housebreaking a top priority.
―Preparedness is key. You need to be mindful that the pup is newly weaned and has no house living experience. Be organized. Have the tools and supplies on hand that you’ll need for your puppy’s comfort, training, and safety.
- A suitable puppy crate or indoor pen fitted with a washable pad
- Lots of old newspapers and paper towels for cleanup
- Non-spill water and food dishes that are easy to clean
- A washable and comfy blanket for puppy’s security and warmth
- Several safe puppy teething chews and
- A well designed and comfortably fitting collar
- A strong harness and leash for controlled walking and training
―Protect puppy’s safety and your household property by always being mindful of the puppy’s whereabouts and needs. A crate helps the puppy rest securely and makes potty training much less stressful for the puppy and you.
How? The Crate Will:
- Help prevent your puppy from getting into trouble
- Provide safety by protecting your puppy from harm
- Offer the puppy cozy comfort and security like a den
- Prevent bored and teething puppy damage to your property
- Allow you some control while resting and potty training the puppy
Always Keep Potty Training Positive
- Recognize that puppy accidents will happen and always keep your cool
- Use treats, play, and praise as rewards when puppy’s potty training goes well
- Start your puppy on a regular routine for pottying, training, feeding, and waking on day one. (Feeding should always be about the same time each day. Also, when your pup wakes, drinks, or eats, then it’s time to go outside for a potty break.)
- Always go outside with your puppy, even if you have a fenced yard, and always keep the pup on leash when outside. (If there is a hole in or under the yard fence the pup will always find it. And, potty time is usually perfect for a brief leash training session.)
- Never resort to negative “bad dog” verbal scolding or physical punishment
- Never overreact with an angry temper. It’s never appropriate or productive with any dogs, especially puppies.
Potty training a new puppy is not often a pleasant experience for the puppy or you. Yet it is necessary and it can be messy. Fact is, when puppy potties freely anywhere in the house it can be downright maddening. Yet, with your steady patience and proper training, the healthy puppy should soon outgrow this physical urgency.
Here are some tips that will make your puppy ownership a happy experience:
- Avoid the heartbreak of puppy death due to malnutrition and dehydration. Never buy or freely accept an unweaned, incorrectly weaned, or underaged puppy from a greedy breeder, a puppy farm, an online pet scammer, or any sketchy pet shop or person. Do your due diligence and know who you’re getting the puppy from.
- Some breeds may wean at a slightly younger age, but normally a puppy needs 8 weeks to safely wean from mother’s milk. Remember, it’s not just about age, appetite, and nourishment. It’s about colostrum antibody protection too.
- A well trained and socialized puppy will become a good adult dog around other pets and people. (Be sure to allow your puppy to be handled and petted by other people. This will minimize puppy’s fear and possible aggression when approached or handled by visitors or professionals like vets or groomers.).
- Most importantly, when potty training your pup always use positive reinforcement like praise or puppy treats and never uses negative reinforcement like shock collars and scolding.
Do you feel more confident now about puppy potty training your rescue dog? We hope these tips have sent you off in the right direction. Above all, remember patience and consistency will win the day.