By Kaleigh Overcash March 6, 2013

I know a lot of us are getting puppies nowadays, so I thought it would be helpful to tell about my experience with how I potty trained my golden retriever. She was almost completely house broken by 4 months old.


The first thing I did was crate training; typically a dog will not pee or poop where they sleep.  If you have a big crate for your puppy to grow into, it’s a good idea to block off a good portion of the crate so there is just enough room for your pup to lie down.  There shouldn’t be room for your puppy to walk into the corner to go to the bathroom, then come back and sleep in the front.  If your pup isn’t under supervision, he/she should be in the crate otherwise you will be bound to find an accident in the house.

When my dog, Sadie, was out and about I always had her on a leash (yes, inside) so she couldn’t wander off and go to the bathroom somewhere.  If you’re on the couch you can loop it around your foot, or loop it around your belt buckle when walking around the house.  If your puppy is always in your sight you have much more control.

Keep in mind, your puppy WILL have accidents.  It is important not to get mad at them when you find it.  If you tell your puppy “NO” after finding the accident then the dog will be scared to go to the bathroom for you at all- even outside. Only tell your puppy “NO” if you catch them in the act. If you catch your puppy in the act or sniffing out a spot, take them outside immediately. Be sure to praise for going potty outside. Dogs love to please their owners so give lots of good jobs and treats!

Another thing I did was take her outside all the time, even if she wasn’t sniffing around.  My theory was that if she always went outside to potty, going potty inside would feel weird. So I never really gave her the opportunity to go in the house since I took her outside every 45 minutes to an hour. It’s also a good idea to take puppies outside directly after naps and play sessions too.  🙂  It’s a good idea to hire a pet sitter if you work long hours until your puppy gets a little older and has more control over her bladder.  Fluffs of Luv Pet Sitting in Charlotte offers puppy let out visits that make transitioning them smoother.  

Lastly, it is important to know that puppies have very small bladders and not a lot of control.  I cut off Sadie’s water supply two hours before bedtime so she would be able to sleep through the night.  Only give your puppy access to water if they will be able to go outside relatively soon after. Don’t let your puppy slurp up a bowl of water then leave the house for 5 hours to run errands, this isn’t fair to the puppy and will not help house training.  Also remember puppies almost always have to go #2 after eating, so be sure to take them outside soon after meals.

These are the things I did to potty train Sadie, and like I said she was almost perfect after only 4 months. I hope these tips help!