Dog Potty Training
Paper Potty Training

"WHAT? Go potty? Nah, I'd rather play in the grass!"photo

Dog Potty Training

The dog, or paper training method takes advantage of the fact that dogs strongly avoid soiling anywhere near their bedding or water.

Basically, we're confining the puppy to a laundry or similar small room and letting it to do it's "business" on newspaper or a Pee Pad while we go to work, the store or sleep all night. While home, the puppy is taken outside on leash every hour to a designated spot for potty call. Thus, in time, the puppy is supposed to learn to go outdoors to conducts business.

During any kind of potty training, there are several unexpected problems that can arise that you should be aware of ahead of time, so now is a good time to know about them.

If we enclose the puppy or dog in a small area such as a laundry or utility room with some form of gate, and place a bed or blanket in the space with water and some chew toys, the puppy will be comfortable and controlled, unable to run loose in the house and cause damage.

Puppy dog potty training goes on for anywhere up to 6 months of age. You would get the pup at 2 months, so that gives you 4 months to paper train the dog, plenty of time. Some dogs learn faster, some are slower.

The puppy will be going potty inside the house and you have to keep replacing the soiled newspapers which is more work than the crate method.

Paper Dog potty training on paper CAN be a useful alternative to crate training. With dog potty training, the puppy is taught to go potty on ordinary newspapers in a designated area in the house instead of ever going outdoors.


For permanent indoor training:

  • An elderly person living alone who can’t walk her SMALL dog.

  • People living in apartments with a SMALL dog and no yard.

  • Physically challenged owners who can’t get out to walk their SMALL dog.

  • Bad weather when going outdoors is not a desirable option.

Note that in each case I specified “small” dog, as you would need a lot of newspaper for a large or even mid-size dog. Paper potty training is not suited to big dogs. Also, this doesn't work too well for MALE dogs, as the tend to urinate on the walls.

"Are you SURE this isn't the way
Golden Retriever's GO POTTY?"

How Dog Potty Training Works:

  • Block off a small area of your house such as a laundry room. Cover the floor with several layers of newspaper. Place the dog’s bedding, water bowl and food-stuffed chew toys in one corner or end of the closed-off area.

  • The puppy will pick a place to go potty on the paper at spots away from her bedding and water. In time, puppy will establish one spot on the paper that she favors for a potty area. Keep that spot in mind. Keep replacing the newspaper with fresh paper every day.

  • Every few days, remove several inches of the paper from near her bedding so there is a little more bare floor. She should continue to use the papered area.

  • Always leave paper on the floor around her favorite "spot."

  • If the puppy misses the paper and hits the floor, just clean it up and add more paper, sort of like starting over. Do NOT scold or reprimand her.

  • As the days go by, continue to expose more bare floor. Finally, leave about two or three spreads of newspaper worth down to cover her favorite spot and she should use that much space for her potty business.

  • If she goes potty on the bare floor, put down more papers on the floor again and start over until she get the idea. Paper training can be upsetting so keep trying. This phase will pass.


When your puppy is finally going on the REMAINING small piece of paper reliably and consistently, over and over, it's time to move this show outdoors.
  • There are two ways to do this, but the quickest is to put some newspaper outdoors near where you want the dog to go potty as a normal routine.

  • Take the the puppy to the newspaper in the yard every hour or two to see if she needs to do something.

  • Take her out after eating and right after sleeping.

  • Watch for CIRCLING. Dogs circle when they are getting ready to potty. If you see this, get her out immediately because there is a very short time between the circling and when she lets go.

  • Over time, gradually reduce the newspaper outdoors until the dog is finally "going" on the grass or garden soil or wherever you have chosen. Paper potty training is complete.

  • You can now trust her in the house and car. Be sure to praise her profusely and give her a treat and maybe a walk when she finally goes potty where you want her to!

Training Dogs To Pee And Poop On Command


TIP: If possible, add a patch of sand to your yard. Dogs love to potty in sand and it's easier for you to clean up after the pooch. Sand is clean, sanitary and easy to maintain. The dog stays cleaner.

NOTE: Sometimes, puppies that have been paper trained are NEVER 100% reliable in the house, even though they know to "go" outdoors. This is because they were initially paper potty trained in the house to go WHERE THEY WANTED, as long as it was on paper. They don't forget. So, when in the house, the dog has no distinct limits on where she can do her potty business.

Pet stores now have litter boxes for dogs. Look into those if you need to keep your dog on an indoors-only routine. Some smaller and "Toy" dog breeds adapt fairly well. Your vet might have some ideas. Pet stores also sell reusable, washable mats (Pee Pads) for the puppy to potty on instead of newspaper. The pee pads are not so much for dog potty training as they are for long term use.


A Word About Pee Pads

Pee pads are a substitute for newspapers and do the same job for dog potty training. Some are made of washable, reusable plastic and after a day or two, stink!

The other type of Pee Pad is nearly paper thin and are disposable with a layer of absorbent materiel on one side. They are waterproof. These are discarded after each use and are not washable. They do keep the odor out of the house.

These pads, under various names, are not suggested for long term use, unless you are disabled and can not go outdoors.

The pee pad IS suggested for shut-ins and invalids or any person who is confined to the house who wants to enjoy the love and companionship of a beloved dog but can’t take it outdoors. I presume someone is coming over to exercise the dog and clean or replace the pad each day.

Dog potty training need not take over your life, but it is something that requires your attention to what the dog or puppy is doing while in the "pen" and a commitment to "clean up" everyday. Other than that, dog potty training is not a big deal.

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