Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Potty Train a Golden Retriever: 7 Proven Methods

Oliver Jones

By Oliver Jones

Golden Retriever puppy pooping

Vet approved

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Golden Retrievers are intelligent, social dogs that love being around people. If you’ve recently gotten a Golden puppy and are wondering how to potty train your pooch, this article will help!

Potty training a Golden Retriever puppy can be frustrating and messy, but with some consistency and patience, your dog can be taught how to appropriately handle his business. Just keep in mind that accidents will likely happen. However, if you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to get your newest family member on the right track to success.

Divider 3

Top 7 Methods for Potty Training a Golden Retriever

1. Establish a Routine

Puppies do well when learning how to keep a schedule that lets them know when it’s time to eat, play, and relieve themselves. A puppy can typically hold its bladder 1 hour for every month of age, which means a 3-month-old pup can control its bladder for 3 hours. If you don’t take your puppy outside often enough, he’s sure to have an accident, so always keep your puppy’s age in mind.

2. Pick a Designated Bathroom Spot Outdoors

Decide where you want your dog to eliminate outside that’s away from walkways and living areas. Once you pick a bathroom spot for your Golden, always take him to that spot on a leash. Use a specific word or phrase to remind your pup what to do, like, “Go potty.”

Golden retriever puppy getting ready to poop on green grass in the backyard
Image Credit: JulieK2, Shutterstock

3. Reward Your Puppy Every Time He Eliminates Outside

As soon as your Golden does his business outside in the designated area, reward him with praise or give him a yummy dog treat. Just remember to do this right after your dog finishes peeing or pooping so he’ll learn what’s expected of him when you take him to that special spot outside.

4. Crate Train Your Golden

A dog crate can come in very useful when potty training a puppy, as it allows you to watch for signs he needs to go out. It will also teach your dog how to hold it until you open the crate’s door and let him go outside. Just make sure the crate you use is big enough for your puppy to move around freely but small enough to stop him from using a corner as a pee and poop spot.

Because dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping quarters, crate training is a very effective way to potty train a Golden Retriever puppy. A crate will teach your dog that freedom is a privilege and that he’ll get more space as his potty-training skills improve.

When done correctly, crate training can teach your dog to enjoy spending time in his crate. If you’re unsure how to properly crate train a pup, consult with a trainer or ask your veterinarian.

Golden retriever puppy in crate
Image Credit: Parilov, Shutterstock

5. Clean Up After All Accidents

Dogs have the habit of eliminating in the same places over and over again. This is why you should clean up after any previous accidents your Golden pup has had. Use an effective enzymatic cleaner that will do a good job of cleaning up and removing the smell of pee and poop.

6. Don’t Punish Your Pup for Having Accidents

When you punish a dog for having an accident, he will learn to fear you. Instead of yelling at your dog when you catch him peeing or pooping in an inappropriate place, simply clap your hands so he knows he’s done something wrong, then take him outdoors to finish doing his business. Never rub your Golden’s nose in any pee or poop you find, as this is inappropriate and will not solve the problem.

Golden retriever puppy looking guilty from his punishment
Image Credit: Olimpik, Shutterstock

7. Set Up a Regular Feeding Schedule

It’s wise to put your puppy on a feeding schedule to make it more likely that he’ll pee and poop at consistent times.

When food is offered at the same times each day, potty training your Golden Retriever will be easier for you and your pup. It’s also a good idea to pick up your Golden’s water dish a couple of hours before bedtime to reduce the chances of him needing to pee during the night.

If your pup does awaken you during the night, take him out to his designated bathroom spot so he can relieve himself, but don’t make a fuss over it. Simply tell him he’s a good boy then go back to bed so he doesn’t think it’s time to romp and play.

Divider 3


Potty training a Golden Retriever is not all that difficult to do if you follow these helpful tips and tricks. Just remember to be consistent and patient as your dog is learning what’s expected of him. Before you know it, your Golden will be potty trained, so you don’t have to worry about indoor accidents.

Featured Image Credit: Atiger, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database