8 Top Puppy Potty Training Supplies That Turn Agony Into Sweet Success
Puppy potty training can seem daunting, especially for first-time dog owners. New puppy owners don’t have a game plan in place for potty accidents, clean-up, or round-the-clock bathroom breaks, and they try to wing it when it comes to potty training their puppy. Big mistake! However, the good news is that you can successfully potty train your puppy in record time with the right supplies and expert guidance. In this article, I’ll introduce you to the top eight puppy potty training supplies we use and recommend that will make your training journey a sweet success.
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- Potty training is a fundamental life skill every puppy needs to learn.
- It takes several weeks of consistent training for puppies to master this skill.
- With the right potty training supplies, owners can achieve success faster with less mess.
Understanding Puppy Potty Training
Before we jump into the necessary supplies, it's important to understand the significance of proper potty training. Potty training lays the groundwork for your puppy's hygiene habits, making it essential for maintaining a clean home environment and the health of your family and your pet. The process typically takes several weeks, but patience and consistency are key to achieving long-term success.
8 Essential Puppy Potty Training Supplies
1. A Designated Potty Spot
Think of creating a designated potty spot as building a bathroom for your puppy – a safe, quiet, private space with ONE PURPOSE… doing one’s “business.” This helps your puppy quickly learn the desired behavior when in this spot!
Your potty spot consists of a puppy pen in a designated location outside where you’ll want your puppy to go each time they go out. Using a puppy pen keeps other animals out and provides a safe, clean place for your puppy to go potty.
The designated potty spot is the first place your puppy should visit as soon as you pull into the driveway on day one of bringing home your new puppy.
2. Training Treats
Dog treats are powerful tools for helping your puppy differentiate a desired behavior from other responses or activities and turning that from a one-time behavior into a life-long habit. But timing is crucial for training treats to be effective. When it comes to puppy potty training, it is essential to provide the treat immediately after your puppy goes potty rather than waiting until you’re back inside the house.
I love Wellness Soft Puppy Bites or even your puppy’s kibble as a reward for a job well done!
Once your puppy comes back inside, I know you’ll want to spoil them and give them access to the whole house. After all, you’ll be excited to show them where they will live for the rest of their lives.
But wait, hold up.
Giving your puppy too much space too soon sets them up for accident after accident. The more space puppies have to roam around, the more frequently they will need to go.
3. Puppy Pen
When you first begin potty training a puppy, you want to be as structured and consistent as possible. Being consistent helps regulate their system, gets them on a good schedule, and helps you learn their signals faster. Depending on your schedule and consistency, potty training a puppy can take anywhere from 1 week to 6 months.
So you’ll want to gate off the easiest place to clean up accidents, such as the kitchen or another room without carpeting. A puppy playpen also provides a safe space for your puppy when you cannot directly supervise them.
To keep your puppy in the kitchen or another room, I like the tall gates with vertical bars and the door in the middle, like this one, as puppies are less likely to climb or jump on them.
If you want to limit your puppy’s space without blocking off an entire room, consider a puppy playpen, like this one, with various configurations to meet your needs.
4. Stain & Odor Remover
If your puppy has an accident indoors, make sure to use a product like Nature's Miracle to clean up. It has an enzyme that breaks down the ammonia in their urine. Enzymatic cleaners remove the urine scent so your puppy can’t smell the spot where the accident happened indoors and think it’s ok to go potty there again.
5. Dog Training Bells or Doggy Doorbells
You'll want to start bell training your puppy as soon as possible. Potty bells provide a reliable method for our puppies to tell us when they need to go out. They’re a great way to help prevent accidents and build communication.
6. Dog Crate
When you’re working on potty training, a crate for your puppy is a must! Crates and playpens provide your pup with a safe, controlled environment, reducing the likelihood of accidents around the house.
Like cribs for keeping babies safe, we use the dog crate to keep our puppies safe when unsupervised. The crate also prevents a puppy from pacing, which builds anxiety and increases the need to potty. And a crate protects your home, limits the clean-up required in the event of a potty accident, and is the place puppy will hang out in when you go to work or sleep at night.
7. Snuggle Puppy and Calming Music
If your puppy whines or cries inside the crate, use a heartbeat dog training tool to calm your puppy. Our favorite is the Snuggle Puppy, which contains an electronic device that mimics the heartbeat of a littermate. Or you can find calming music on YouTube specifically for puppies.
8. Harness and Leash
A harness and leash are the best way to keep your puppy focused, on task, and more likely to make it to the potty spot without accidents. And your puppy needs to learn to feel comfortable on a leash because, in a few weeks to a month or so, your puppy will enter the exploration stage of development. Did someone say, “Squirrel!!???”
This means your pup will not be your little shadow anymore. Instead, your furry friend will get easily distracted by interesting things in their environment and will want to run, sniff, and explore… forgetting they were on their way to the potty spot until… oops, too late!
So do you and your puppy a favor and use a harness and leash to help them make it to the potty spot and back inside the house as safely and quickly as possible.
One Potty Training Supply You Should NEVER Use
There’s one product you didn’t hear me mention. It’s puppy pee pads (or potty pads). They’re never found on MY puppy supply list even though celebrity trainers like Zak George mention them – they’re endorsed to promote these items.
But here’s why potty pads are a bad idea. Potty pads teach a puppy that it’s ok to go potty in the house. It’s like putting a bullseye in your home and telling your puppy to pee and poo on this spot on the floor.
If a proper potty spot is too far away for your puppy to reach without having an accident, check out our tips for potty training a puppy in an apartment or condo. It provides effective alternatives to puppy pee pads.
We only recommend using pee pads for medical reasons – like when your puppy has surgery, a medical condition that significantly limits their mobility, or when an owner can’t physically take their puppy outside.
Tips for Successful Puppy Potty Training
Remember, consistency is key to successful potty training. Establish a regular feeding and potty break schedule, and stick to it. Always use positive reinforcement to encourage the desired behavior. Ensure you're using an enzyme cleaner to properly clean accident spots, discouraging your puppy from marking the same place again.
Having the right supplies at your disposal can make the puppy potty training process less intimidating and more efficient. With these supplies, you'll be well-equipped to guide your pup through their potty training journey. Remember, every pup is different, and patience is key. Happy training!
About the trainer
After spending 20 years helping families with their dogs face to face as a professional dog trainer, Michele realized that so much of what she knows could be shared with families everywhere - in a way that actually works. People sometimes think their dog is just SUPER difficult because the advice they’ve gotten was incomplete, confusing or just wrong. So she set out to help. Michele loves training dogs because of the impact that it has on the families she gets to help. The peace and joy they get from being able to enjoy their dog LISTENING. Besides teaching classes, helping private clients and running seminars, Michele is also a foodie and fantasizes about being a food critic or secret shopper for restaurants. Talk to her about food and your instant best friends.