Build on your Puppy’s natural inclinations to be curious about the potty and to want to please you. Take your Puppy to the potty with you and give the play-by-play of what actually goes down in the bathroom. Your Puppy will see this as an opportunity to connect with you, so don’t be shy. If you are a dad, uncle, grandfather or other male caregiver working with a little boy, it is best to demonstrate how to pee while sitting down. Standing to pee is an advanced skill better left for later in potty training. Go through each part of your potty process with your Puppy, discussing it together, and leave plenty of time for play. Who can resist that flusher?

Try these potty scripts:

  • “I am going to the bathroom because I have to go potty. Want to come with me?
  • “First I pull down my pants and underpants and sit down. Then I relax my tummy [put your hand on your lower abdomen] to let the pee or poop come out.
  • “I take the toilet paper and wipe front to back and drop it into the toilet. Then I do it again and again, to make sure I am all clean.”
  • “Once I am done, I flush the toilet and pull my pants back up.”
  • “Now I am ready to wash my hands. This is a really important step.”
  • “You can do this with your special potty and be just like [name of potty trained sibling, cousin or friend].”

Learn how to play the 'Can You Do What I Do' Game >

In this game, you say, “Can you do what I do?” as you perform part of your bathroom routine. Then wait and watch as your child does the same movement. To keep the game interactive, your Puppy can say, “I can do what you do,” while mimicking your actions. As your child becomes more advanced, your Puppy can lead the game, showing that he knows the steps of the process, and you can follow his actions. Praise your Puppy as he takes the initiative in each part of the process.

The Bottom Line (Pardon the Pun)

Sometimes it may feel like a lengthy process, and that’s okay. Your Puppy will soon be eager to use the bathroom on her own, as she’ll start to take ownership of the process. She’ll still need to know that you are there for her. Sure, there will be setbacks, and some days will be better than others, but together, you’ll be on the path to potty independence.