6 Easy Steps How to Potty Train Your Golden Retriever Puppy

Vinod Pandey
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Do you want to learn how to potty train your new golden retriever puppy? Cleaning up pee several times per day can be one of the most frustrating things for a new puppy parent. And if your puppy is having a lot of accidents, it can feel like they're never going to learn to go outside. But in this post, you're going to learn step by step how to potty train them so they're going outside where they're supposed to go in just a few short weeks. 


This is the same process I use to potty train my golden retriever puppy, Charlie, and many others have used to potty train their puppies. If your puppy's having accidents in the house, that's totally normal. It's not that you're a bad puppy parent, and it's not that they're a bad puppy. 


Imagine this, you're traveling abroad, and you don't speak the local language at all. You have to go potty really bad, but you don't know how to ask where the restrooms are, and on top of that, even if you did see a restroom, you wouldn't realize it because it doesn't look like the ones back home. 


That's what it's like for a new puppy in your home. They don't know you, they don't know where they're supposed to go, and they don't even know what the bathroom's supposed to look like. It's different from where they came from at the breeder's place. Potty training is a game of patience, consistency, and getting to know your puppy. 


In this post, we're gonna cover -

  • How to potty train your puppy, 
  • How long they can hold it when to take them out, 
  • The common potty training mistakes, and much more. 


How to Potty Train Your Golden Retriever Puppy


Table of Contents

The basics of how to potty train your Golden Retriever puppy

  1. Step one, take them outside to potty. 
  2. Step two, praise them when they go outside. It's simple, but it's not always easy. 


To potty train your puppy fast, use the NOAH strategy i.e. Never an Opportunity for an Accident in the House. If you take them outside before they need to go, then they'll always go outside and they'll never have an opportunity to go in the house. 


It's not about pushing their limits or getting them to tell you when they need to go outside. It's all about letting them go outside often and learning that that is where they're supposed to go. Here's where people mess up potty training. They don't take them outside often enough, so the puppy has an accident in the house. 


Then they get mad at the puppy, even though the puppy has no idea why they're getting yelled at, and then they don't clean it up properly. An hour later, the puppy has been running around, playing, and then they chug a bunch of water, and then they have to pee, so they go again where they just went. It's a big cycle, and it can be incredibly frustrating. 


So how do we stop that cycle from happening? I'm going to take you through the five steps on how to do that. All right, let's get into the steps now. 


Step 1. Take them outside often

Some people recommend taking your puppy outside every 20 minutes, and some recommend every hour. The point is, to take them outside before they need to go. Puppies can hold their bladder for about one hour per their age and months. 


So for example, a two-year-old puppy can hold their bladder for two hours. A three-year-old puppy can hold their bladder for three hours. You'll also hear that puppies can hold it for their age and months plus one. 


So for example, a two-month-old puppy can hold it for three hours. Either way, puppies can't really hold it for that long, so you need to take them out often. Every accident that your puppy has inside is a step back in your potty training program. 


So if you want to potty train them quickly, you need to stay a step ahead and never let them have an accident inside. And you do that by taking them outside often. And here's a tip. 


Remember, when you take your puppy outside, it's not playtime. Puppies have really short attention spans. So if they go outside and you guys start playing, they're probably going to forget that they need to potty. 


Then after you guys have been playing for 10 minutes, they're going to completely forget. They're going to go back inside. Then they're going to remember, oh, I got a potty. And this carpet looks really nice. 


And here's another tip that worked for us. When we take Charlie out to go pee, he needs to be moving. So instead of just walking out and standing still in that one spot waiting for him to go, we would circle or we would pace until he'd finally drop it down and start going. 



Step 2. Take them to the exact same spot every time

Dogs like to go potty where they smell other's pee and poop. And you can use this to your advantage by taking them to the same spot every time. However, this also works to your disadvantage if you don't clean up accidents properly. Dogs have much better noses than we do, so even if we can't smell an accident in the carpet, your dog still can, so they'll repeatedly go to the same spot. 


To stop that, use an enzymatic cleaner to clean up your puppy's accidents. An enzymatic cleaner will actually break down the accident, and it'll break down and remove the smell so that your puppy won't smell it anymore. 



Note: I just wanted to warn you, that the next process takes time and patience. There are times that you're going to be incredibly frustrated. but just know that your puppy will get it and pretty soon they're going to be going outside like a pro. 



Also Read: 

Use These Tips To Stop Golden Retriever Puppy Biting

7 reasons why your Golden Retriever Stinks

How to Stop Golden Retriever Puppy Biting with just 3 Tricks at early stage


Step 3. Praise them for going outside. 

When your puppy first comes to your house, they're not going to know where they need to potty. But when you take them outside and they go outside and you throw them a praise party and give them a lot of treats, they're going to learn really quickly where they're supposed to go. 


Now here's one mistake that many people make, including us with Charlie, when it comes to praising their puppy when they're going potty. Don't praise them too soon. So if they're going, wait until they're done to praise them. 


For example, one day when we were with Charlie, he was peeing and we were so excited that we went, woo, good boy! And then he stopped midstream and he's like, wait, what's going on? So when your puppy goes outside where they're supposed to go, calmly praise them. And then when they're done, then you can throw the big praise party and give them a bunch of treats. 



Step 4. Keep them constrained

Puppies need to be monitored 24/7. If you can't have eyes on them, then they need to be in a crate, in a playpen, or tethered to you with a leash. Let's say you're cooking dinner. You're really focused on not burning the chicken and not overcooking the veggies and letting them get soggy so you're not looking at your puppy. Here are some things that could go wrong. 


  • They could go potty in the house and hurt your potty training efforts. 
  • They could chew up your nice shoes and now you have to spend a hundred bucks on new shoes. 
  • They could swallow a sock and now you need to get it surgically removed. 
  • Or even worse, they could get into a box of raisins or some grapes and die. 


Clearly, the consequences of letting your puppy run around unsupervised or unrestrained can be pretty serious, so don't take this lightly. Crate training is great for puppies because they usually don't like to potty where they sleep. 


When you're not playing with them or watching them, put them in the crate where they're not likely to go. Then when you take them out, take them straight outside where they're supposed to go, let them do their business, and then praise them for doing a great job.  



Step 5. Handle accidents properly

Accidents will definitely happen when you're training your golden retriever puppy, but it's important that you handle them properly. First off, don't swat your puppy or punish them or shove their nose in it. They don't understand what you're trying to tell them, and you could really hurt your relationship with them. 


If you catch them in the act, now is the time to startle them by saying, no, thank you, or something along those lines, and then run over and grab them. Bring them outside, take them to the same spot where they're supposed to go, and then when they finish, praise them like normal so that they know, okay, I'm not supposed to go here in the house, but this is where I'm supposed to go. 


Step 6. Clean the Potty with an enzymatic cleaner

Now, the last step in handling accidents properly is to clean it up with an enzymatic cleaner. Remember, puppies like to go where they smell pee before. So if your puppy does have an accident, make sure to use an enzymatic cleaner to clean it up. 


So we just went through the 6 steps to potty train your puppy. And if you do all the 6 steps perfectly, how long should it take for your puppy to be potty trained? All puppies are different, and it can take about two weeks on the short side to a couple months on the long side for your puppy to be fully potty trained. 


This can depend on factors such as did your puppy have a lot of accidents in the house? Did you take them to the same spot every time? Did you appraise them for going outside? And did you clean up the accidents properly? Of course, if you never allow your puppy to go in the house, and you reward them when they go outside, it's going to be a lot quicker and a lot easier for you. 


When You Should Take Your Golden Retriever Puppy Outside

Now let's talk about when to take your puppy outside. You should be taking your puppy often, but there are a few times when puppies typically need to go and therefore you should take them outside. 

  • After drinking
  • After eating
  • After playing
  • After chewing a toy
  • After a nap
  • As soon as they come out of the crate, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. 


And speaking of the last thing at night, your puppy will most likely wake you up in the middle of the night to go. When you first bring them home, they can only hold it for about two or three hours, so of course they're going to wake you up in the middle of the night. 


That's totally normal, and pretend like you're just taking them out for a regular potty break, take them to the same spot, and praise them for going there. And just like potty training during the day, this can last for a couple weeks to a couple months. 



5 signs that your puppy might need to go potty

Alright, so you know the sort of standard times that your puppy will need to go potty, but those aren't the only times they're going to need to go. They're going to need to go other times, but they won't really tell you, so you've got to look out for signs. 


Here are five signs that your puppy might need to go potty. 

  • Circling
  • Sniffing the ground more than normal
  • Whining
  • Barking /Biting /Pawing /Asking for more attention than normal
  • Sitting at the front door. 


I mentioned earlier that it can take as quick as two weeks for your puppy to be potty trained, but that's only if you really stay on top of things. Potty training is a big learning time for both you and your puppy. It can be a long and tough process, but if you avoid these common mistakes, it'll be a lot easier and a lot quicker. 


  1. Punishing their puppy for going inside. 
  2. Not taking their puppy outside often enough. 
  3. Not praising them for going where they're supposed to go
  4. Not recognizing the signs that their puppy needs to go 
  5. Not using an enzymatic cleaner
  6. Trying to push their puppy's limits. 


Wrapping Up

So we just covered a lot about how to potty train your golden retriever puppy, but if you want a cheat sheet to help quickly remind you what to do and what not to do, then you can download the potty training cheat sheet by CLICKING HERE. 


If this post was helpful, make sure to share it with your friends so that more people can learn how to potty train their golden retriever puppy. 

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