Top Training Aids for Housebreaking and Potty Training

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No more soiled carpets. No more messy surprises. You’ve had your share, and you’re ready for a change.

Housebreaking and potty training a dog can feel like an uphill battle, but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be. Picture this – a world where your pup understands the rules, where your patience is rewarded, and where your home stays clean. Keep reading to find out how to make this world a reality.

For those who don’t want to read, here are the most helpful tools for housebreaking and potty training:

Training AidProduct Recommendation
Training PadsAmazonBasics Dog and Puppy Pads
ClickerKaren Pryor’s I-Click Original Clicker
Potty BellMighty Paw Smart Bell 2.0
Scent MarkersOUT! PetCare Go Here Attractant
Dog Litter BoxPetSafe Pet Loo Portable Dog Potty
Puppy Pee PadsSimple Solution Training Puppy Pads
Dog DiapersSimple Solution Disposable Dog Diapers
TreatsZuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats
Housebreaking and Potty Training Tools

brown dog lying on green textile

How Training Aids Help With Housebreaking or Potty Training

It’s time to bring science and strategy into your training approach.

You see, training aids are like translators. They help bridge the communication gap between you and your pup. They signal to your dog the correct places to relieve themselves, and just as importantly, where not to.

You might be thinking, “Why use training aids? Can’t I just train my dog without them?” Absolutely, but remember, we’re aiming to make this process smoother and quicker for both you and your furry friend.

Training aids are all about accelerating learning and reinforcing positive behavior. Think of them as your allies in this potty training journey.

What Makes a Good Housebreaking Training Aid?

Now that we’ve established the importance of training aids, what should you look for in a good housebreaking aid? Here’s a checklist for you:

  1. Effectiveness. This might sound obvious, but it’s crucial. A good housebreaking aid should deliver consistent results and help your dog understand where they should do their business.
  2. Safety. Ensure the training aid is non-toxic and safe for your pet. Remember, we’re all about caring for your pup’s wellbeing here.
  3. Easy to use. A housebreaking aid should be user-friendly. After all, the idea is to make your life easier, not add another complicated task to your list.
  4. Suitable for your dog’s age and size. Not all aids are suitable for all dogs. Make sure you choose one that fits your dog’s specific needs.

What Makes a Good Potty Training Aid?

When it comes to potty training aids, a few different factors come into play. Let’s take a look:

  1. Efficiency. A good potty training aid should help reduce the frequency of accidents and facilitate your dog’s understanding of correct potty behavior.
  2. Durability. Particularly if it’s a physical product like a training pad or potty bell, it should be able to withstand your puppy’s enthusiasm.
  3. Appropriateness for your living situation. Live in a high-rise apartment? You might want to consider indoor potty solutions. Have a backyard? Outdoor potty training aids could be your best bet.
  4. Easy to clean. Whether it’s a potty pad or an indoor toilet, choose an aid that doesn’t turn cleaning into a nightmare. The easier it is to clean, the more likely you are to use it consistently.

Best Training Aids for Housebreaking Your Dog

The Potty Bell: A Classic Signal

The potty bell can be a fun and effective way to give your dog a method to communicate their need to go outside. Hang it by the door, and each time you take your dog out for a potty break, nudge their nose or paw to ring the bell.

I’ve had great success with the Mighty Paw Smart Bell 2.0. It’s durable, easy to use, and dogs quickly associate it with going outside to potty.

In time, your dog will associate ringing the bell with going outside to potty.

Training Pads: Your Indoor Solution

If you live in an apartment or a house without a yard, training pads can be a lifesaver. They are especially helpful during those puppy days when your little friend is yet to receive their full set of vaccinations and going outside is a no-go.

For this, I recommend the AmazonBasics Dog and Puppy Training Pads. They are super absorbent, leak-proof, and are excellent for training your pup to do their business at a specific spot indoors.

The key here is consistency. Place the pad in the same spot and gradually move it closer to the door as your pup gets the hang of it.

Clicker Training: Timing is Everything

A clicker might not directly relate to housebreaking, but it plays a crucial role in the training process. The beauty of a clicker lies in its ability to communicate with your dog precisely when they’ve done something right. Used correctly, a clicker can help your dog understand that going potty in the right place is a behavior you want them to repeat.

Karen Pryor's Original i-click clicker

In my personal experience with Sam, my well-behaved German Shepherd, a clicker was instrumental in reinforcing his housebreaking habits. Specifically, the Karen Pryor’s I-Click Original Clicker was a game-changer. Its distinct sound, comfort in use, and effective training guide made the whole process much smoother.

The Magic of Scent Markers

Scent markers can be useful aids aid that capitalize on your dog’s natural instinct to eliminate in the same spot. The scent encourages your dog to revisit the marked area when it’s time to do their business.

One effective scent marker I’ve found useful is the OUT! PetCare Go Here Attractant. Its unique formula appeals to a dog’s natural instincts and can be easily applied to any designated area, making it a fantastic tool for potty training.

Please note: Reviews for scent markers are mixed, and their effectiveness varies greatly from dog to dog. Some pet owners report that with the right use – such as spraying liberally on puppy pads beneath a grass patch – these sprays can help direct their dogs to the appropriate spot. However, they certainly aren’t a miracle solution and should be used in conjunction with other potty training techniques, such as crate training and a consistent schedule.

Remember, every dog is unique. What worked for Charlie or Sam may not work for your pup. The key is patience, consistency, and finding the right training aid that suits your dog’s individual needs. Trust me, with the right approach, you’ll be on your way to a cleaner, stress-free home.

Recommended Potty Training Aids

Dog Litter Boxes: Not Just for Cats

Dog litter boxes are a convenient and efficient tool, especially for those who have a small dog breed or live in an apartment. They’re straightforward to use and can be cleaned easily, making them a great choice for indoor potty training.

The PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Dog Potty has proven to be a good option in this category. It’s designed to resemble real grass, making the transition easier for your pup, and the waste collection bin makes cleanup a breeze.

As a bonus, many dogs take to them quickly, as the sensation is similar to going outside.

Puppy Pee Pads: Simplicity is Key

While they were mentioned before, it’s worth reiterating the value of puppy pee pads for potty training. Over time, you can gradually move the pad closer to the door or the outdoor area where you want your dog to eventually go.

The Simple Solution Training Puppy Pads are super absorbent, tear-resistant, and neutralize odors, making them ideal for apartments or during the early training days.

My young Labrador retriever, Charlie, was a tough nut to crack when it came to potty training. His curious nature led him to explore every nook and cranny, leaving little “surprises” along the way. But when I introduced the Simple Solution pads, it was as if a switch had flipped. He was drawn to them and gradually understood that’s where he had to go.

One interesting detail about Charlie’s training was his affection for a particular corner of the living room, his designated “pee pad corner”. Even long after he was trained, he’d occasionally wander over there out of habit!

Dog Diapers: A Temporary Solution

Dog diapers aren’t a long-term solution but can be particularly helpful during the initial stages of potty training. They are also beneficial for female dogs in heat or older dogs struggling with incontinence.

The Simple Solution Disposable Dog Diapers are secure, absorbent, and comfortable for your pet to wear. They’re an excellent supportive tool during the transition period. The key is to use them sparingly as a support tool, not a replacement for proper potty training.

Reward System: Treats and Praise

Lastly, never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. A well-timed treat or a word of praise can work wonders during potty training. For this, I would suggest Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats. They are small, healthy, and dogs love them.

Remember, dogs want to please their owners. By rewarding the behavior you want to encourage, you’re communicating with them in a way they understand and appreciate.

These potty training aids all have one thing in common – they’re tools, not magic fixes. Consistency, patience, and persistence on your part are the real keys to successful potty training. Don’t expect overnight miracles, but with time, you and your furry friend will get there!

How to Use These Training Aids

Using these training aids effectively will depend on your dog’s individual personality, your schedule, and your commitment to the training process. However, here are some general steps and tips to keep in mind.

  1. Understand your dog’s schedule. Dogs, especially puppies, generally need to relieve themselves after meals, after nap time, and after playtime. Plan to use the training aids around these times.
  2. Consistency is key. Whether you’re using a crate, a litter box, or pee pads, ensure you’re directing your dog to the same place each time. Changing the location or type of aid too often can confuse your pet.
  3. Use rewards effectively. Positive reinforcement, such as praise or treats, should be given immediately after your dog uses the training aid correctly, not later. This helps them associate the positive behavior with the reward.
  4. Keep it clean. Make sure to clean the training aids regularly. Dogs prefer a clean space and may refuse to use a soiled pad or litter box, resulting in accidents elsewhere.
  5. Be patient. Remember, every dog is different. What works for one might not work for another. It’s all about finding the right balance and method that suits both of you.

Let me share a story about my dog, Charlie. Despite being a bundle of energy, Charlie was quite timid when it came to using the dog litter box for the first time. He’d circle around it, sniff it, but wouldn’t step inside. So, I decided to show him it’s okay.

I took his favorite toy, a squeaky rubber chicken he’d go berserk for, and gently tossed it into the litter box. His love for the toy won over his uncertainty. In no time, he was in and out of the box like a pro.

The lesson here? Sometimes, it’s not just about the training aids themselves but also about understanding your pet’s quirks and using them to your advantage.


Can older dogs benefit from these training aids?

Absolutely. While the saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” it’s not entirely accurate. Older dogs can definitely benefit from these training aids, but it may take a little more patience and consistency, as they have to unlearn their previous habits first.

Are there any DIY housebreaking training aids I can use?

Definitely! An example of a DIY training aid is a bell tied to a string hanging near the door. By teaching your dog to ring the bell whenever they need to go outside, you can effectively communicate and avoid accidents.

How long does it typically take to potty train a puppy using training aids?

The timeline varies depending on the individual dog and the consistency of training, but on average, it can take four to six months to fully potty train a puppy. Remember, some may grasp the concept earlier while others may take up to a year.

Can training aids help with marking behavior?

Yes, training aids can be used to manage and eventually correct marking behavior. Redirecting the dog to a designated spot like a litter box or a pee pad whenever they show signs of marking can help change this behavior.

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