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15 Goldendoodle Potty Training Tips to Teach Your Puppy

Goldendoodle potty training is one of the first big tasks for new puppy parents. And, for many, it’s also somewhat daunting. And definitely one that gets talked about a lot.

As puppy parents ourselves, we’ve chatted with friends, neighbors, even strangers about our potty house training experiences. Often, we get asked questions about potty training like…

Was it hard to train your puppy? How long did potty training take? Did you use a potty bell?

Just based on all the questions alone, it’s pretty safe to say that—along with the excitement of a puppy’s arrival—there’s some apprehension about tackling potty training, too.

Can you relate? Then we’re happy you’re here.

Goldendoodle puppy looking up

By the end of this article, you’ll have a mega list of Goldendoodle potty training tips (over 15 in all). They’re the ones that made potty training easier for our own fur babies, and we hope they help you too.

Goldendoodle potty training tips

Having house trained two puppies (one Goldendoodle and one Labrador Retriever) in the last three years, and with a 10-year-old senior Goldendoodle in our pack, our family has done our fair share of research, and we have plenty of real life experience under our puppy collars, too.

Most recently, we house trained the newest member of our pack, an F1 Goldendoodle puppy named Sadie. So the content in this article is just about as real time, authentic, and practical as it gets.

But before we get started, here are some things you may want to know:

  • The content in this article is organized by puppy’s age (eight weeks, three months, etc.) first and then tips are tucked within each category.
  • These tips and ideas worked for our puppies, but every dog is different. Find what works for you.
  • If you’re ever having difficulty potty training your puppy, it’s always best to speak with your veterinarian. Vets are a wealth of information and your partner in puppy care. Additionally, if your puppy is having trouble potty training, speak with your vet. There may be an underlying condition that your vet can solve.
  • We are not your puppy trainer or your veterinarian. I am a dog mom, and our entire family considers themselves to be Goldendoodle enthusiasts. We are committed to learning and researching all things dog, so that we can create a positive, welcoming place for other Doodle dog parents.
  • By chronicling our journey through “Doodlehood” (Doodle parenthood), we hope to help and inspire others.

So welcome to our pack. We hope this article feels like a friendly chat between Goldendoodle parents.

Before your puppy comes home: 3 potty training preparation tips

Bringing home a Goldendoodle puppy is an exciting moment, but it can also be a bit hectic.

That’s why our first stop on our puppy training journey begins before your puppy’s paws even touch the welcome mat at your front door. Here are tips for preparing for your puppy’s potty training:

1. Gather your potty training supplies ahead of time.

Before your puppy’s Gotcha Day, make sure you have the potty training supplies you need. Here are the items we included on our puppy potty training supply list…

  • Enzymatic cleaner – There will be potty accidents. That’s just part of potty training! A good enzymatic cleaner does the job of removing the odor that’s left behind, so that your puppy doesn’t associate the smell of the potty spot with a permanent place to do their business.
  • Paper towels – Goes along with potty clean-ups.
  • Dog crate – Since puppies don’t like to soil in the place where they live, a dog crate is a spot where your puppy can get rest, be safe, be comfy, and innately not want to have accidents.
  • Collar and leash – Until our puppies were trained, when it was time to do their business, we took them potty on leash.

You may have noticed that “potty bell” and “potty pads” are not on our puppy potty training supplies check list above.

For our family, we didn’t introduce the potty bell until after our puppies were potty trained (more on this below).

As far as disposable potty pads, we did purchase one package for our puppy’s car trip home because it was a long car ride and potty happens. (Fortunately, we made it home without needing to use them.)

Besides that, we didn’t use potty pads for training our puppies because we wanted our puppers to get that strong association between feeling grass on the paws and going potty.

2. Choose a designated area outdoors for puppy potty training.

Next, before bringing your puppy home, take a bit of time to choose an area of your yard that will be the designated “potty spot.”

Choosing a “puppy potty spot” was one thing that really helped our family with potty training! And by “puppy potty spot,” I simply mean an area in your yard that’s the place where your puppy will go pee and poop each time.

Our Goldendoodle puppy quickly picked up on what to do when we took her to her potty spot because she’d done her business there before.

3. Mind your “Ps and Ts.” (Positive, Positive, Positive & Things Take Time)

Finally, adopt a mindset of things take time and positive, positive, positive. Like new babies, puppies are tiny, wiggly vessels that need to be filled with love, tenderness, and positive bonding times with you.

Also like babies, they can’t speak and tell you what’s wrong, when it’s time to go out, or even fully hold their bladders. It’s your job #1 to give them the potty training schedule and the positive training that they need to learn. And never, ever reprimand your puppy for accidents.

6 potty training tips for the day of your puppy’s arrival

So you’re prepared for your puppy’s arrival and have your puppy potty training supplies at hand. Next, what does the first day home look like? What are some tips for potty training when your puppy is settling into their new home?

Here are our tips for potty training that worked for our pack. As you welcome your puppy into your arms, your heart, and your home, maybe they’ll work for you too.

1. When welcoming your puppy home for the first time, give your puppy time to potty before going inside.

It’s the big day and you’re almost home with your new puppy! Wait! Before you step through the front door, take a minute and allow your little bundle of fluff to sniff out her new puppy potty spot that you designated in your yard.

Your puppy may need to go potty, or may not. But you’ve already set her up for a positive experience by giving her a chance for success. And, if your puppy does go potty, give heaps of praise and quickly mark the behavior with a verbal cue (“yes, potty”) in your happiest voice.

Goldendoodle puppy on leash going potty

2. Keep your puppy close by you.

This tip probably will come naturally to you. You’ve just adopted your new Goldendoodle puppy and you probably can’t take your eyes off of their teddy bear cuteness. For our family, keeping our puppy close by was a big piece of the puppy potty training puzzle. When we brought our puppy into our home, we kept her in a designated area of the family room. That way, we could not only observe her but also take her out to potty frequently.

3. Mark the potty behavior with a positive command/cue.

As any proud new parent can attest, there’s great joy in that moment when your new puppy turns around two or three times and suddenly makes that little potty squat posture! Oh joy! And you sharing your joy out loud with a “Yes, potty!” is great for your puppy to hear.

For our family, we reinforced each potty success with lots of positive praise and quickly marked the behavior with a “Yessss, potty” to tell her what a super job she’d done!

4. Keep your puppy on leash for potty outings.

This tip goes hand in hand with tip #3 above. For our family, if we wanted to praise and share in the joy of our puppy’s potty training successes, we had to be right there for each potty moment. That meant we kept our puppy on leash for each potty outing so that we could celebrate with her and also track whether or not she’d gone potty.

5. From day one, start observing your puppy for potty cues and behaviors.

For all the puppy parents who love watching every little thing their puppy does (and who doesn’t), you can put your keen observation skills to good use during potty training! By observing your puppy, you can start to learn little intricacies about them—including what behaviors precede pottying.

Goldendoodle puppy sitting on snow covered ground

For our Goldendoodle puppy, we noticed that she would wander away from us, lose interest in playing, or start sniffing the floor when she had to go.

Basically, we found that we could learn our Goldendoodle’s body language and behaviors by being in close proximity with her, and watching closely for the repetitive patterns she used to “tell” us she had to go out.

6. Eat. Potty. Sleep. Potty. Play. Potty. Repeat. Potty.

At our puppy’s first vet visit, our vet explained that puppies need to potty after naps, meals, play time, and times in between those times. So our family adopted this mantra…

Eat. Potty. Sleep. Potty. Play. Potty. Repeat. Potty.

After a nap? It’s potty time. After a meal? About 20 minutes later, it’s potty time. Playing? Then pottying. Haven’t taken a puppy potty break lately? That means it’s potty time—just about every two hours.

Goldendoodle puppy standing in front of dog gate

The first few weeks home: 3 puppy potty training tips

Next, let’s continue our journey through potty training and dig into the first few weeks after bringing your puppy home.

When we welcomed our 10-week-old-Goldendoodle puppy into our home, these tips made potty training easier…

1. Remember, 8-10 week old puppies don’t have a lot of bladder control.

According to the AKC, at the tender age of two months (when many puppies are adopted), our little bundle of fluffs physically don’t have a lot of bladder control.That’s why we took the approach that it’s our job to give our puppies as many opportunities for success by scheduling lots of potty breaks. Even so, accidents are just part of potty training.

When our puppy had an accident, one family member got take our puppy out and the other family member got to take the Nature’s Miracle out and clean up the spot on the floor.

2. Expect potty outings in the wee hours of the morning.

Not only will your puppy bless you with lots of fun and sunshine during the day, but also your puppy will bless you with moments to observe the moon and stars at night too. In other words, at this age, you can expect that your puppy will need potty breaks in the middle of the night.

While I’ve read that some parents choose to wake the puppy up at night for a potty break, our family didn’t go that route. If our puppy woke up (she was in her crate at night and would rouse herself), that was our cue it was time for a night time potty outing.

A peek at our night time puppy potty schedule

At 10 weeks, our puppy woke up and had to do her business at 2:30 a.m. and then at 6:00 a.m.

In comparison, by around 12 weeks of age, her 2:30 a.m. potty outing gradually turned into a 4:00 a.m. outing. Looking back, this time of interrupted sleep went by quickly.

Not more than a few weeks later, our puppy started sleeping until about 5:00 a.m. She’d grown up so much and was now the fluffiest alarm clock ever!

Goldendoodle puppy going potty

3. Begin incorporating what you’ve observed about your puppy into your puppy house training.

By now, our family was starting to get clued in on what behaviors preceded our puppy’s need to go potty. Sniffing was definitely a sign that our puppy needed to go potty. Stopping in mid-play was a huge sign that potty was imminent. And those zoomies? While there are many reasons for puppy zoomies, for our puppy it was a sign that she needed to go out.

Puppy potty training tips: The 3-month-old puppy

What was happening at three months of age? For our family, three months marked big changes in potty training.

Mainly we had successfully trained OURSELVES on what to do, what to watch for, and how to keep track of our puppy’s potty schedule.

1. Puppies under the age of four months still don’t have a lot of bladder control.

Here we are at three months and we have so much to celebrate. However, it’s important to know that up until about four months, puppies still don’t have a lot of bladder control. That means, even it your puppy wants to learn to potty in the spot you’d like, she doesn’t have the control to make that happen yet.

Remember, give yourself and your puppy lots of grace. And don’t ever scold your puppy or rub your puppy’s noise in it if they do have an accident.

Cream goldendoodle going potty

Potty training tips and milestones: What you can expect for puppies around 4 months old

Four months of age is a big milestone for many puppies. There is an interesting biological reason behind this.

According Veterinary Partner Information Network’s article on puppy house training, around four months of age, puppies are gaining bladder control. Woohoo!

Here are some tips for potty training at four months…

1. If your puppy is close to or even potty trained, keep up the positive reinforcement.

Much like toddlers who are learning a new skill, keeping up the encouragement helps reinforce that new skill. So keep the positive praise and consistent potty schedule going.

2. Continue the potty schedule you’ve established.

For our family, we’d established the following schedule for our for our 4-month-old Goldendoodle puppy:

  • Wake up — Our Goldendoodle (the fluffiest alarm clock ever) wakes up at about 6 a.m.
  • Potty time
  • Breakfast — In her crate with a slow feeder, which gives the hoomans a few minutes to get ready while she is eating
  • Potty time
  • Activity – (training, play time, leash walk, car ride)
  • Potty time
  • Nap time in her crate – anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours
  • Potty time
  • Activity – (training, play time, leash walk, car ride)
  • Potty
  • Crate time – anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours
  • Potty
  • Activity – (training, play time, leash walk, car ride)
  • Quiet time – Combing, grooming, paw handling (about 10 minutes)
  • Potty time
  • Snuggling on the couch around 8 p.m.
  • Potty time
  • Bedtime in her crate

Side note: “Potty” appears on the above list eight times, which is consistent with The University of California’s Davis College of Veterinary Medicine recommendation for frequency of urinary elimination for puppies between the ages of 14 to 20 weeks old.

3. Continue to take your puppy on leashed potty breaks.

For our family, even though we had a fenced-in back yard where we could let our puppy out without a leash, we chose to continue leashed potty breaks. This way, we could continue tracking her pottying and praising her. (Actually, I still praise our 10-year-old Goldendoodle for pottying when we’re out on a walk.)

For our family, these tools were working. By four months, we were feeling like we’d mastered potty training. And four months marked the first month with no accidents.

Goldendoodle puppy going potty in grass

Potty training milestones: 5-month-old Goldendoodle

At 5 months, our puppy was potty trained! Was there ever an accident? Yes, of course! And usually someone in our family gave a hand-to-the-forehead-I-could-have-had-a-V8 moment because we saw the signs, but just missed them.

1. Keep up the great work!

As we learned, at five months, if things are going smoothly, it’s easy to forget and assume all the things you’ve put in place aren’t necessary. Just keep at it a little longer. You’re well on your way along your potty training journey and that’s worth celebrating.

2. If you’re puppy is potty trained, consider adding in the potty bell.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that we didn’t use a potty bell at first. By five months, we decided our puppy was house trained and we could introduce the potty bell.

The potty bell is simply a bell tied near the door where our puppy goes potty. Each time we took our puppy out, we rang the bell with our hand to cue that it was potty time. It wasn’t long until our puppy caught on and would trot up to the bell and ring it with her nose.

Fair warning: Sometimes she would ring it so she could just go outside. Yes, potty bells can become attention bells. LOL! Goldendoodles are so smart!

Lab puppy sitting in leaves

Enjoy every moment of your puppy’s journey

Finally, in all the swirl of puppy days, remember to have fun and enjoy the adventure. They are only our little fur babies once and even though all great things take time, puppies truly do grow up so fast.

Thank you for stopping by our little corner of the word called HappyGoDoodle®. We hope that you’ve found a puppy potty training tip or two that you’ve found useful.

If you have tips of your own, please share in the comments section below. We can all learn great things from each other.

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