Allowing total freedom—the single biggest mistaken that new puppy owners make. Your shiny new fuzzpot is adorable and actually very comparable to a human toddler in that you shouldn’t let them run around without a secure containment zone or direct supervision. Young puppies must either be under your eyes, in your arms, in a safe outside pen, or in their crate if you’d like for them to grow to become well-developed, sane, and potty-trained dogs.
Keeping a consistent schedule is also a huge help in potty-training puppies. On a fundamental level, dogs really do appreciate discipline and structure. Keeping them on a daily routine will both make them happier and make your life easier. Below is an example one which you may tweak to fit within your life. As a reminder, when between events, your puppy should be in their crate, in a secure outside area, or under direct and constant supervision.
- 6:30 AM: wake-up time, extract puppy from crate and give a ten to thirty minute exercise walk and potty break (you may also insert a training session here if you desire).
- 7:00 AM: breakfast.
- 7:20 AM: five minute pee break.
- 10:00 AM: exercise and walk time. Also a good time for a training sesh.
- 12:30 PM: lunch time!
- 1:00 PM: pee break, short walk. Careful of overheating in the sun!
- 5:00 PM: exercise, walk, potty break, training session if you so desire.
- 5:30 PM: dinnertime! No water past this time.
- 5:45: pee break.
- 8:00: final walk.
- 11:00: short pee break.
- 11:05: bedtime.