Potty training a puppy: How to get started
1. Have your puppy as near to you as you can, as much of the time as you can. That way, you will be more tuned in to when he needs to go out. Sometimes you will catch him just as he starts something and you can firmly say "No" and carry him or walk him to where you want him to be.
One method for keeping your puppy close is to put on a belt and then attach one end of his leash to it. If you do this, wherever you go, your little guy will go right along. The two of you will be bonding too!
Whatever method you choose, do keep your puppy nearby. You may want to use crate training for those parts of the day when you have to be apart. That topic isn't covered in this article, but I do write a lot about it at my dog training website.
2. When you are potty training a puppy, you are helping him to understand that when he feels an urge to urinate or defecate, he should go to his specially designated place for these activities. How will he learn this? By your taking him there:
*** Each time he awakens, whatever time of day. Since puppies nap a lot, there will be a lot of awakenings!
*** A little while after every meal, or ideally even after a large drink of water.
You may be surprised to notice how many times a day he does these things! He probably won't pee or poop every single time you take him to his place, but the habit is being created. Taking him out right before your bedtime is a good plan too.
Where will his pottying place be? If you have a yard with a fenced part to it, you can actually teach him to use a part of the yard by taking him there. If you have no yard, or an unfenced one, walking him on leash is another good way to potty train him. A third option is to paper-train him inside... often good if you live in a very cold climate or many floors up in an apartment building.
3. Calmly clean up anyplace that his urine has soaked or that he has left a pile. Yelling at him does not help, because he really will not understand why you are upset. If it helps you, as it sometimes has helped me, you can remind yourself that this process should last a lot less time than if you were potty training a little human!
4. Repetition is a very important part of the potty training process, as dogs learn that way. So keep on doing each step, as often as you can.
So these are the essential points in potty training a puppy. Best wishes to you and your puppy!