11 Tips to Potty Training a Stubborn Puppy and Keeping your House Clean

My name is Nova. I am a Husky, German Shepard Mix. Like many puppies, I am a hard puppy to train. I have an attitude and get distracted far too easily.

When puppies are born, our mothers teach us about cleanliness by cleaning us up after every accident. It makes it so that we are not okay with living in our pee or poo. Once we are on our own, sometimes a good spot is just too hard to resist. Other times we cannot help but relieve ourselves right there.

There are many reasons why we may be having a difficult time learning to go outside. Part of it may be because of our age. The best time to begin potty training is between 12 and 14 weeks. However, you can start earlier.

Some dogs get trained as soon as they get introduced into their new home, so around eight weeks. Being taught to go to the bathroom on a mat or designated spot is a common early training occurrence. The only problem with this is that some puppies do not have their shots when they come home, meaning that they pick up different diseases quicker when outside.

Some breeds are harder to potty train than others. Most of them are smaller breeds such as Pomeranians, Pugs, Yorkshire Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Siberian Huskies, and Dalmatians.

All these breeds are incredibly stubborn when potty training.

There are plenty of reasons why it can be so hard to potty train a puppy. But the following tips helped me learn to go outside.

Clean Up Our Mistakes Immediately

We have an instinct to urinate or defecate where we smell the reminisce of urine or feces. By promptly cleaning up accidents when they happen, it will help us to avoid that spot as we cannot smell our urine on the floor.

The best way to do this is to drip a pee pad in the fresh urine, then wipe up the extra urine left on the floor. After that, spray the area with a cleaner to eliminate the urine odor, Then place the pad over the top of where we peed.

Tips and Tricks to Cleaning Up any Accidents in Your Home


Carpets are usually the hardest to clean up after we have an accident. Sometimes introducing carpet a little later into our potty training is better. However, that is not always possible. Several dogs are not allowed on the carpet because of their need to urinate on the floor.

You will need an enzymatic cleaner to absorb any odor from the carpet after there is an accident. Otherwise, we will continue to smell our old pee and relieve ourselves in the same spot. If you do not have an enzymatic cleaner, try dish soap.

  1. Use a paper towel or an old cloth to absorb any urine from the soiled spot in the carpet. Do not rub the carpet. That will push it into the carpet making it harder to clean up.
  2. Spray with an enzymatic cleaner, and scrub with a scrub brush or an old toothbrush.
  3. Pat dry with paper towels or a different old cloth.

Bare Floor

When your pet has an accident on bare floors, it is much faster and easier to clean up.

  1. Absorb all urine with a paper towel or an old cloth.
  2. Spray with an enzymatic cleaner.
  3. Wipe up with more paper towels or a different old rag.

If you do not have access to an enzymatic cleaner for pet messes, you can try vinegar, water, and lemon juice. It will eliminate the smell of urine and make us not want to go in that spot again.

Are There Risks to Not Cleaning Up Your Pet’s Poop?

Not cleaning up our waste can be dangerous for not only us but you, too. Our poop contains nitrogen, and it carries a lot of diseases. The poop is likely to have salmonella, e. Coli, and other diseases. These are that are not only bad for humans but us as well.

When cleaning up poop, my family will pick it up with toilet paper. Then they will flush it down the toilet so that it is not stinking up our entire home. They will clean the area that the mess was made in with an odor-killing spray. Wipe it up, and it no longer smells.

Puppy Pee Pads

Puppy pee pads, or puppy training pads, are a useful trick to get us dogs to urinate in one spot in the home. The potty pad will lock in the smell of the urine attracting puppies to piddle in that spot.

When using the puppy training pad, be sure to observe the signs that your pup has to relieve themselves. I used to waddle with my legs a little bit further apart when I had to go. Every puppy pad is different. It is important to watch and pay attention to their signs.

Using a pad can be difficult to maintain cleanliness as it can leak through and onto the floor. If this is a problem, layer it with newspapers or with an old towel. It prevents the smell from leaking through to the floor underneath eliminating any accidents.

Limit the Access in your Home

Limit the access in your home to your puppy. Start with a small blocked-off area you can easily watch us play in. Introduce the pee pad, and as we get more comfortable with our space slowly start to expand it. It allows us to adapt slowly and easily.

It makes cleaning up after any accidents to be more confined, making them easier to locate and clean promptly.

Limiting access to the home will help when we begin to teethe. We will want to destroy everything and constantly chew. Teaching us to stay in a small area will show us where not to go, though we will get curious and escape as we get bigger.

Create a Schedule

Create a Schedule

Creating a schedule for us is perfect for both puppies and you humans. Feeding us at the same time every morning and every night will allow you to know when we need to go out, usually shortly after eating.

My schedule includes when I wake up. I need to go potty before I eat, again after I eat, and when I go for my walk. It includes playtime too, and common potty break times.

Keep in mind how often we’re supposed to relieve ourselves. Depending on our age, we might not be able to hold it as long as older dogs. At two months old they can only hold their bladder for as long as three hours. At three months, 4 hours. Once they get become six months old, they can hold their bladder for 6-8 hours.

Keeping the routine relatively the same every day will help me learn my daily routines fast. I now notify mom when I know I am supposed to do something because I have become accustomed to these habits, and it helps me go pee around the same times every day.

Learning your Puppies Signals

When we have to go out, we puppies tend to give off signals when we need potty breaks. We all do it, but everyone is a little different and sometimes hard to read. Common signals in puppies make when they need to relieve themselves are:

  • Whining
  • Running to a previous spot, they have peed before
  • Circling
  • Sniffing and licking their groin
  • Sniffing or scratching the door
  • Going to the door
  • Sometimes there are other small things you may notice, like how we walk.

Crate Training

Crate training is best to start us on as puppies. It is important not to use it as a spot for a time out or only when you are leaving the home. Dogs should use the crate as a safe place to go when they are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or to sleep.

I started off being crate trained as soon as I had come home with my family. They put me in a crate, on the floor, close to their bed so I could smell that they were nearby. It bothered them the first few nights because I was loud, and I missed my mom and siblings.

After a few nights, I began to enjoy my crate. They put big toys in there and warm blankets to mimic my siblings.

How to Choose the Right Crate

You want to buy a crate that is big enough for us when we become adults. You can purchase a divider so that space grows with us. It makes it so that we do not have too much space and make too many messes.

As puppies, it is hard to assume how big we are going to get. Usually, you can judge based on the size of our parents.

Measure us from the top of our heads to the ground to find out how tall we are. For length measure from the tip of our nose to the tip of our tail and add 4 inches for larger breeds and 2 inches for smaller breeds. To find the width measure them from shoulder to shoulder and add 2-4 inches.


  • Use treats as a training reward. The fastest way to motivate most puppies is with a treat.
  • Giving treat rewards is an excellent demonstration of positive reinforcement.
  • The treats will make us want to do what we did again because treats are just so yummy!

Whether we pee outside or inside on our training mat, give a treat and reward us for relieving ourselves in the correct location.

Find a Less Distracting Area When Outside

We are puppies, and we get distracted very quickly. Sometimes we get so distracted we forget why we ever wanted outside in the first place. When I go outside, we use my leash. We will walk, and I will play.

Keeping us outside until we relieve ourselves is often the most useful trick. Keep walking with us, and soon we will go.

Finding a potty spot without other dogs or other animals helps. This way, we are not trying to make new friends and playing to the extent that we forget that we have to do anything important.

An area with limited sticks, and leaves, or any other distractions is helpful too. If we are focused on doing our business with minimal distraction, we are more likely to focus on the task at hand.


Attaching bells to your door is a great trick to train us to notify you when we need to go out, too!

Allow the dog to interact with the toy on its own. Reward the dog with treats for engaging with the bells. Doing this will make us want to interact with the bells more, for more treats and praise.

Attach bells to your doorknob, and ring them every time you let us out. With time, we will begin to associate the bells with going outside. We will then hit the bells to notify you when we need to go outside.

It will help to eliminate frustration between both us and you! We begin to develop our own language to communicate.


Being patient can be difficult with a new puppy as we do not understand all of our rules quite yet. You may easily become frustrated with us for not listening or relieving ourselves in your home.

Remember, we are still young. It can be difficult for us to learn and understand the concepts you are teaching us.

We will soon get the hang of going outside.

Remember, hitting us can cause us to be aggressive. The best way to encourage us to behave is by providing us treats for when we do as you request. It will make us want to practice this behavior for more yummy snacks.

Do not yell at your puppy. The dog does not know what it did wrong. If you catch the dog in the act, make a large noise to startle them. Then scoop them up and put them outside.

Be Consistent

By being consistent, we will pick up on your requests faster. Keeping our routine, the same every day will help us in learning when to go outside and when to eat.

Our bladders will naturally learn when it is time to go outside, and we will learn to signal you when we need to go. Lack of consistency is confusing for us. It makes it more difficult to learn what we should and should not do.

We know training us can be very difficult. We are trying our best. Following these tips will help you guide us to the path you want us to take. If, after months of trying to puppy potty train us with little to no success, contact your vet. Your vet will be able to run tests and ensure there are no serious situations at hand.

Your vet may also recommend other techniques for getting us to pee outside and instead of your home. Common signs that you are dealing with a stubborn pup are:

  • Involuntary Urination: Now this may be excitement. Sometimes we get so excited that we will pee a little, and it is normal. We tend to grow out of this as we gain bladder control. However, if it continues to happen, it may be time to see your vet.
  • Wet Spots in Bedding or Sleeping Areas: This may just be a potty accident through the night. However, if this continues to happen, it may be a sign that they are wetting themselves continuously throughout the night.
  • Wet hair along our abdomen and between legs.
  • Excessively licking their genitals or legs due to skin irritation.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections.

If you keep these potty-training tips in mind, it will go a long way in preventing any accidental puppy urination from occurring. It will also make house training much easier.