Potty training can be the easiest or the most difficult aspect of training your puppy.   We’ve started house training, from day one, by offering puppies two connected pens so they aren’t required to relieve themselves where they sleep.  In fact, puppies don’t want to soil their sleeping/living space but the typical whelping box requires a puppy to do just that.  Instead, with our connected whelping crates they learn to leave their bedding area and potty or poop in the newspapered area outside of their large, sleeping/living whelping crate.  The puppies love having clean bedding and they build habits that will last their lives.  


Next, we start crate training once our puppies are being weened by their mother, around 4-5 weeks old depending on the emotional maturity of the litter.  The process of crate training begins with the puppies fed and watered in the early evening, followed by play and plenty of time to relieve themselves, with a later crate-bedtime, they sleep through the night  and we take them out early the next morning.  By following these steps, we are training our puppies to sleep through the night, without needing to be let out in the middle of the night, when you would prefer to be sleeping.  Indeed, we’ve read all the dog books that recommend getting up in the middle of the night until your puppy is older.  We challenged this opinion and we are happy that we trusted our internal wisdom.  Just like potty training young children there may be accidents here and there.  To help deal with these accidents we recommend the placement of an older towel, t-shirt or second set of plush bedding that can be washed if there are accidents.  Eventually, your puppy will sleep through the night and hold it.  In most cases, our new families report their puppy is sleeping through the night with no accidents and their puppy is essentially house trained.



Without a doubt,  accidents will happen and it’s essential to clean them thoroughly.  By thoroughly, we mean always using an enzyme cleaner to eliminate the odor.  If odor is left, anywhere in your home, your puppy will be drawn to eliminate in that spot again and again.  For poop accidents, inside or out of the crate, we have found an extra roll of toilet paper, hid in a cute container with some enzyme spray (in a smaller, refillable, decorative bottle) to be a life saver.  Having these items within reach will make for quick pick-up.  With tissue in hand, pick up the poop or wipe the potty and toss in your toilet.  Next, a spray of the soiled spot, wipe clean with just enough tissue, toss in the toilet and flush.  By doing this you will not go through rolls of paper towels or household towels, toilet paper isn’t as hard on our environment, and it’s affordable.