How to Potty Train A Pitbull Puppy

By Britt Kascjak

Potty training is an essential step in bringing a young puppy home. But, it can also be a very frustrating one. The potty training process requires patience, consistency, and an established routine. The good news is that you can potty train your pitbull pup by committing to a few simple steps. 

How to Potty Train A Pitbull Puppy Step-By-Step

Adopting a pit bull puppy is an exciting time. But, there is some important training that you will need to do in the beginning to set you both up for success.

This includes teaching your puppy to go to the bathroom outside or on a designated potty spot.

At this stage, pitbull puppies are eager to learn. They are also learning their limits and accidents will happen occasionally.

Investing time into teaching basic obedience and puppy manners now will mean a well-behaved dog in the long run.

What  You Will Need

  • Dog crate
  • Puppy pads
  • High-value treats

Step One: Introduce Crate Training

Your dog’s crate is an important part of the puppy training process. It prevents him from getting into things that he shouldn’t, offers a “safe space”, and helps with training.

Crate training is also a great way to make sure your dog is comfortable in a crate. This is important for traveling, emergency situations, or even a stay at your vet’s office.

Make sure that your puppy’s crate is the right size. He should be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

A crate that is too large will welcome your dog to use one corner as a potty spot.

Set up your puppy’s place as a comfortable place to relax.  You can include a comfortable bed, a favorite blanket, or some toys to entertain him if he wakes up at night.

This is where your puppy should be kept overnight and anytime you are not around to supervise him.

Step Two: Select a Designated Potty Area

Determine where you want your dog to do his business. For many, this will be a yard space outside the home.

But, if you live in an apartment where getting outside is a challenge, you can set up an indoor area.

There are washable indoor potty trays that replicate an outdoor area. Not only does this keep the mess contained to one easy-to-clean spot, but it reinforces that the grass is the right spot.

This makes it easier to extend that training to be able to go to the bathroom on walks outdoors.

Step Three: Create and Stick to A Schedule

Puppies thrive on schedule and routine. Use this to help create good habits when it comes to potty training.

To do this, you need to include many set potty breaks in your schedule.

Important potty times include:

  • Right away when you wake up in the morning
  • Immediately after each meal
  • After any nap throughout the day
  • Following any intensive playtime
  • Immediately after drinking
  • After chewing on a toy or bone for a while
  • Before turning in for the night

You should also include breaks as needed to prevent your puppy from having to wait too long. The time that he can wait will get longer as he gets older.

At 2 months old, your dog should be taken out at least once every 2 hours. By 6 months old, this can slowly be extended to once every 6 hours.

Step Four: Reward for “Going” in the Right Spot

Anytime that you see your dog go to the bathroom in his designated potty spot, reward him.

This includes verbal praise, telling him that he’s a “good boy” in an excited tone. Also, offer pets and a high-value training treat.

Be consistent praising anytime he goes to the bathroom where he should.

In time, this will reinforce the fact that going to the bathroom there is a good thing. This will encourage him to embrace the idea and make it a habit.

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool.

Step Five: Be Consistent

The potty training process isn’t one that you are going to be able to finish in a single night. Instead, it requires ongoing effort.

To get the results you want, you need to stick to the potty training routine consistently.

Don’t allow “accidents” or minor setbacks to turn you off. Keep moving forward and focusing on the end goal.


What do I do if my puppy has an accident indoors?

The first thing to remember if your pitbull puppy has an accident is not to scold him. This may seem like a good response, but it isn’t going to help move your training forward.

If you catch your puppy going to the bathroom indoors, pick him up and immediately move him to his potty spot.

At that point, if he goes to the bathroom in the area that he is supposed to, be sure to praise him. If not (if he already finished indoors), don’t make a deal about it.

Clean up any mess thoroughly before allowing your puppy back into that area of the home again.

My puppy keeps having accidents in the same spot. Why?

The biggest reason that puppies go to the bathroom in the same spot repeatedly is the scent.

If they can pick up on the odor that the location has been used as a bathroom before, that encourages them to do it again. So, you need to fully remove any odors.

The best way to do this is to clean with an enzymatic cleaner designed to clean urine and feces.

What do I do if my puppy has accidents regularly in his crate?

If your puppy is going regularly in his crate overnight, you may need to reduce the time between potty breaks. Set an alarm to take him out once during the night.

Clean any bedding with enzymatic cleaners. You can also reduce the clean-up needed by lining the bottom of the crate under the bedding with potty pads.

My puppy has diarrhea, now what?

If your dog has diarrhea or loose stool, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Contact your veterinarian to rule out any health issues.

It could also be the result of the wrong diet.

When feeding your pitbull puppy, you want to provide high-quality nutrition. But, you also want to make sure that their food is formulated with a puppy’s needs in mind.

There are many great puppy foods including wet food, dry food, and fresh food available.

You may also need to reconsider your puppy’s feeding schedule. As their digestive systems are growing and maturing, they have a harder time handling large meals.

Try breaking their daily food intake down into three or more small meals throughout the day.

Conclusion: Potty Training for pit bulls

New pitbull owners need to realize that if they want to house train their pitty puppy it isn’t going to be a quick process, but it is relatively simple. Just stick to these five easy steps and you will start to see results.

But, be prepared for the fact that training always takes time (ask anyone who’s taught a nippy pitbull puppy not to bite).

You will see accidents along the way, and that’s okay. Keep them cleaned up and don’t let it put a damper on the training. Also keep in mind that your pit bull may regress in their potty training when they are teething.

Before you know it, your puppy will be potty trained confidently using his designated potty spot each time.

This will not only provide you with a well-behaved puppy today. But, it will also help to shape a well-behaved dog for years to come!

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.