12 Easiest Small Dogs to Potty Train - Healthy Homemade Dog Treats (2023)

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Housebreaking a dog can be a frustrating and daunting experience. For many pet owners, this always seems to be a cycle of taking one step forward and two backwards.

Without patience and understanding, it is easy to give up altogether.

The most challenging thing with potty training is that some dog breeds are better at it than others.

While it is not a good idea to pick a dog because of the ease of potty training alone, having one that will not drive you crazy during the process is a major plus.

So, which small dogs are easy to potty train?

Well, here is our list of the top 12 easiest small dogs to potty train:

1. Papillon

12 Easiest Small Dogs to Potty Train - Healthy Homemade Dog Treats (1)

With only 4-9 pounds of body weight and affection for everyone, the papillon is a charming lap dog. Not only is he friendly to his owners but strangers as well.

If you live in an apartment, this dog is perfect. He’s tiny, has minimal shedding, and is a great watchdog.

Most importantly, getting him to use the potty is quite easy. Papillons are obedient and eager to please their owners. They also love picking up new habits.

These traits will fasten the potty train process and make it less stressful for you.

2. Maltese

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This is yet another breed that makes housebreaking manageable and speedy.

For one, Maltese dogs are clean. This definitely contributes to their desire to eliminate in specific locations on a permanent basis.

They are also very cooperative and focused than other toy spaniels.

Simply pick up a training schedule and stick with it until your pup masters the skill.

This should take a few days or weeks depending on the actual dog and your dedication to training.

3. Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzus are known for being a tad stubborn but they are actually some of the most obedient dogs to the right owners.

(Video) The Best Homemade Dog Training Treats

Generally, they love to please their owners except for a few unpleasant moments when they go rogue.

The trick is to begin potty training early enough. The recommended age is between two and three months.

At this stage, most Shih Tzus have the capacity to understand the whole idea behind potty training.

As with any other breed, this requires patience and persistence on your part.

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4. Miniature Schnauzer

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Cuddly, cute, and easy to train – these are some of the reasons the Miniature Schnauzer is a popular breed in many homes.

They are big on obedience, which means their response to your commands is rather impressive.

If you know what to do, you can potty train your pup in less than two weeks. Some actually come from the breeder when they are fully house-trained.

Having said that, no two Miniature Schnauzers respond to housebreaking similarly.

Be open-minded and firm, offer treats, and tackle the task one day at a time.

In no time, your dog will not be leaving messes all over the house.

5. Shiba Inu

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When it comes to obedience training, the Shiba Inu dog breed doesn’t do too well. He can come off as stubborn and willful to most people meaning potty training them is a hard nut to crack.

While this may be true, Shiba Inus are neat and tidy. They don’t really enjoy making a mess in their living quarters.

For this reason, they find it easy to adopt a training method if it means they’ll maintain their neatness.

(Video) Top 15 Easiest Dogs To Potty Train - Surprisingly Easy Dogs To House Train

Whether it is a litter box, a pee pad, crate training, or even going outside, this little fox will cooperate quite well.

When you run into a few episodes where your dog doesn’t do as you tell him to, don’t take it personally.

6. Boston Terrier

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Terriers, in general, were developed to be ferocious fighters.

Over time, some of the breeds in this family have converted and become gentle and well-mannered pets in the world.

One of them is Boston Terrier. This intelligent dog may show his stubborn side from time to time but he’s obedient for the most part.

Since he can pick up the tone in your voice, you may want to go slow on punishment as it can be counterproductive.

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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If you’d love to own this thick-coated tail wager, you will be happy to know that training him to use the potty is an easy undertaking as well.

This is because like other dogs on this list, he is a very intelligent dog who enjoys putting a smile on your face.

The only challenge is muscle control. If you notice that he has a letdown before you arrive at the destination, don’t panic.

Instead, increase the frequency of the bathroom breaks until he can hold his bladder better.

Related Post: How Long Can a Small Dog Hold Its Bladder Overnight?

8. Coton de Tulear

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Cotons are famous for having the whitest and softest coats among all dog breeds.

Cuddling with this toy breed can go on forever. He also has an expressive face and beautiful eyes that scream “I love you” when he looks at you.

To make the deal even sweeter, this breed can be potty trained with relative ease compared to others.

As long as you start the process as soon as you bring him home and stick to a regular training schedule, you should be done with it in a week or two.

9. Havanese

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Havanese dogs are smart, cooperative, and trainable.

(Video) TRUTH ABOUT POTTY PADS 🤯 How to potty train indoors, FAST

Ultimately, house training is a fast and easy process if you do it right.

Many pet owners choose crate training to teach their fur babies to go to the toilet.

Whichever method you use, ensure it is both comfortable and safe for your pup.

This breed is also big on rewards. Don’t refrain from playing a game of fetch or letting him have a treat when he manages to use the potty.

10. Tibetan Spaniel

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Bred as guard dogs for Tibetan monasteries, Tibetan Spaniels (or Tibbies) are brave and loyal.

In a family setting, they will find time to create strong bonds with their owners.

They are intelligent and enjoy learning new things quickly. As a result, housebreaking a Tibbie is not only fast but can be enjoyable as well.

For the best results, offer treats to motivate him to work even harder.

11. Toy Poodle

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Poodles are smart dogs that really enjoy pleasing their owners.

They are good scorers when it comes to obedience training and have an easy time noticing and adapting to patterns. This really plays out very well during potty training.

If you show your dog when and where to relieve himself, he won’t have a problem going there.

A toy poodle has a smaller bladder which means you will need to commit to taking him outside after meals and as soon as he wakes up.

Related Post: Bearded Collie/Poodle Mix: Facts First-Time Owners Should Know

12. Cockapoo

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The Cockapoo is an adorable designer dog developed in the 1960s.

It is not as famous as other toy breeds but it is rapidly becoming a favorite in many families of the world.

He is intelligent and loves to learn new skills. As a result, he is one of the easiest small dogs to potty train.

(Video) STOP throwing $ AWAY!! Easy HOMEMADE dog training TREATS!

Positive reinforcement works great with cockapoos.

During potty training, consider giving him treats, his favorite toys, and patting him in the back as a reward for a good job done.

Final Thoughts

There it is: a list of 12 small dogs that are easy to housebreak.

When all is said and done, potty training is a game of consistency, supervision, and repetition.

Even if things get rough, don’t quit. In a couple of weeks or months, you shall reap a great reward for your labor.

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12 Easiest Small Dogs to Potty Train - Healthy Homemade Dog Treats (13)

Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.


What small breed dog is easiest to housebreak? ›

4 Easiest Small Dogs to Housetrain
  • Shiba Inu.
  • Maltese.
  • Miniature Schnauzer.
  • Shih Tzu.
Apr 21, 2022

What is the most obedient small dog? ›

Small Dogs Who Are Easy To Train
  • Manchester Terrier.
  • Miniature Schnauzer.
  • Norfolk Terrier.
  • Papillon.
  • Poodle (Toy & Miniature)
  • Schnoodle (Toy & Miniature)
  • Silky Terrier.
  • Tibetan Spaniel.

What is the easiest small dog to keep? ›

6 popular small dog breeds that are fairly low-maintenance
  1. Dachshund. This small dog breed is known first for bravery, and second for stubbornness. ...
  2. Boston Terrier. ...
  3. French Bulldog. ...
  4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. ...
  5. Maltese. ...
  6. Short-coat chihuahua.
Feb 1, 2023

Can you potty train a dog with treats? ›

It's a good idea to stash some treats in a screw-top jar near the toilet area so you'll have them close at hand. Offer one treat for going anywhere outside, two treats for going within five yards of the exact area you want the dog to use, three treats for within two yards, and five treats for a bull's eye.

What is the number 1 easiest dog to train? ›

Top 9 easiest dogs to train
  • #1: Border collie. No couch potatoes, border collies are athletes bred to work. ...
  • #2: German shepherd. ...
  • #3: Labrador retriever. ...
  • #4: Golden retriever. ...
  • #5: Australian shepherd. ...
  • #6: Standard poodle. ...
  • #7: Doberman pinscher. ...
  • #8: Papillon.

What is the happiest small dog? ›

"Bichon Frise is a small dog with big and happy personality. Despite their cuddly looks, Bichons are lively and outgoing dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners. Their friendly personality and affection they show to their owners, made them into a popular show dog as well as a family companion."

What is the best small dog for seniors? ›

Best Small Dogs for Seniors in Apartments
  • Shih Tzu.
  • Pomeranian.
  • Pug.
  • Golden Retriever.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
  • Bichon Frise.
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
  • Goldendoodle.
Nov 17, 2020

What is the cleanest indoor dog? ›

The Chow Chow combines many “clean” dog characteristics, and according to the AKC, owners report that Chow Chows “are the cleanest of dogs: they housebreak easily, have very little doggy odor, and generally are as fastidious as cats.” At certain times of the year, however, Chow Chows shed… a lot!

Which small dogs have the least health problems? ›

Small Dogs Who Are The Healthiest
  • Lakeland Terrier.
  • Manchester Terrier.
  • Norfolk Terrier.
  • Norwich Terrier.
  • Schnoodle (Toy & Miniature)
  • Scottish Terrier.
  • Shiba Inu.
  • Welsh Terrier.

What are high value treats for potty training? ›

What Are "High Value" Dog Treats? High-value treats tend to be moist or freeze-dried, extra smelly, and something your dog doesn't get very often (if at all) outside of training sessions. Think tiny pieces of chicken, liverwurst, tripe, or even peanut butter (make sure it's xylitol-free) smeared on a spoon.

What are the best treats for potty training? ›

To make the snack a reward for potty training, choose a food item that they don't usually get – small candy like M&Ms or Skittles, small suckers, or bite-sized cookies are all popular choices when potty training.

What do professional dog trainers use for treats? ›

#1 Zuke's Mini Naturals [Best Overall Training Treats]: Tiny, tasty, and made in the USA, Zuke's Mini Naturals are some of the most popular treats with trainers and dogs alike.

What is the most loyal small dog? ›

Shih Tzus are lap dogs through and through–they practically ooze loyalty! It might surprise you, but a Chihuahua can be one of the most devoted family dogs. Beagles are adaptive, upbeat, and always ready to tag along on your next adventure. Who doesn't love the devoted, doting Dachshund as a lap dog?

What breed is the calmest dog? ›

These adorable and lovable calm dog breeds fit right in with singles, couples, or families who are looking for a mellow and chill furry family member.
  • The calmest dog breeds you'll want to bring home. ...
  • English cocker spaniel. ...
  • Whippet. ...
  • Golden retriever. ...
  • Tibetan spaniel. ...
  • St. Bernard. ...
  • Pug. ...
  • Newfoundland.
Feb 17, 2022

What breed of dog is smart and easy to train? ›

1. Border Collie. Prized for its instincts and working ability, the Border Collie is thought to be the most intelligent and easy to train dog. They have a lot of energy and love to work so they need owners who can keep them busy and provide a good amount of exercise and stimulation!

What is the best dog for an elderly woman? ›

The 6 Best Dogs for Seniors: Top Low-Maintenance Fur Friends
  • Pomeranian. Small dogs are ideal for apartment living. ...
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. One of the best breeds of dog for seniors is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. ...
  • Pug. ...
  • Shih Tzu. ...
  • Bichon Frise. ...
  • West Highland White Terrier.

What small dog has the most health problems? ›

Some of the most commonly affected breeds are miniature poodles, Chihuahuas, Boston and Yorkshire terriers and Pomeranians.

What breed of dog can be left alone during the day? ›

Dog breeds that do well alone
  • Basset Hound.
  • French Bulldog.
  • Chihuahua.
  • Shar Pei.
  • Pugs.
  • Bull terrier.
  • Chow Chow.
  • Akita Inu.
Nov 22, 2021

What is the softest small dog? ›

One of the smaller of the softest dogs, the Coton de Tulear is an endearing charmer. Their wavy double coat feels more like cotton candy than fur. This playful breed gets along well with children, strangers, and other pets.

What age are small dogs seniors? ›

Canine senior status varies, too. Small dogs are considered senior citizens of the canine community when they reach 11-12 years of age. Their medium-sized friends become seniors at 10 years of age. Their larger-sized colleagues are seniors at 8 years of age.

Should a 75 year old get a dog? ›

They Make You Healthier

Studies show that dog-owning seniors have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol than their petless peers. Having a dog also reduces the risk of heart attack — and boosts your chances of long-term survival if you have one.

What dog doesn't shed or smell? ›

Poodle. A poodle may have an impressive head of hair, but believe it or not, this breed does not shed or smell. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes so you can get one that's short, tall, black, white, gray or even apricot. They are intelligent and easily trained making them great show dogs.

What dog breeds don't lick a lot? ›

Similarly, some breeds tend to kiss less than others. Khuly said that Arctic breeds, like Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds and American Eskimos, don't lick much by nature (though they can learn the behavior).

What dog has no health issues? ›

9 Dog Breeds With The Least Health Issues
  • GERMAN PINSCHER. The OG of pinscher breeds is high energy, high IQ, and relatively healthy in contrast to other breeds. ...

What dogs do vets not recommend? ›

The No. 1 dog on the list isn't just one breed, but basically "any one flat-faced or brachycephalic dog breed," such as a French bulldog, bulldog, or pug. (Singer Lady Gaga owns two French bulldogs, who were dognapped and returned unharmed in 2021.)

What are 5 tips for successful potty training? ›

Real Potty Training Tips from Real Parents
  • Put the potty in the bathroom early. ...
  • Make sure your child is really ready. ...
  • Get on a schedule right away. ...
  • Use a sticker chart to allow your child to track going to the potty! ...
  • Put some thought into what rewards you're going to use. ...
  • Stock up on supplies.

What do breeders use for potty training? ›

Good breeders will set their whelping area up in a way that designates a clean nest area and a potty area. As the puppies eyes open and they are able to walk, breeders may use a litter box to teach the puppies that it's ok to go in a designated area, but not just anywhere they like.

What treats do dog handlers use? ›

The handler is also the keeper of the treats.

It isn't as weird as it seems, because the treats are things like hot dogs, cheese, cooked chicken, or steak. The theory is that by keeping treats (also called “bait”) in their mouth, the handler is focusing the dog's attention on their face.

Can you potty train a dog without treats? ›

Using play and toys as training rewards is a great way to motivate dogs that aren't interested in treats, and isn't hard once you learn how to do it right. Read "How to Use Toys as Rewards in Dog Training" for tips on introducing toys and play to your dog's training.

How do you train a dog to hold poop and pee? ›

If the dog begins to poop/pee inside:
  1. Immediately interrupt him by clapping and saying “Ah ah!” Get the dog outside as soon as possible (carry him whenever possible and put the leash on the dog as you head to the door). ...
  2. Once you are outside, take the dog right to the area where you want him to “go.”
Jul 8, 2022

How do I reinforce my dog for potty training? ›

Positive reinforcement is the key to successful potty training. Positive reinforcement will teach your puppy that they get rewarded for going to the bathroom outside. Each time your puppy eliminates outside, immediately reward them with verbal praise, treats, or a favorite toy.

What treats do dogs like the most? ›

What Are the Best Treats for Dogs?
  • #3: RAWHIDE BONES. ...
  • #5: DOG JERKY TREATS. ...

What human foods do dogs like? ›

8 safe human foods dogs love as treats
  • Peanut Butter. When it comes to human foods that dogs love, peanut butter tends to top the list. ...
  • Pumpkin. Pumpkin is another easy dog treat that you can use to make your own dog treats. ...
  • White Rice. ...
  • Baby Carrots. ...
  • Salmon. ...
  • Chicken. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Cheese.
Sep 16, 2020

How many training treats a day for a dog? ›

The 10% Rule of Dog Treats

Treats should make up no more than about 10% of your dog's daily calories. For example, if your dog needs 400 calories per day (check out the resting rate calorie counter below), they should have no more than 40 calories from treats, with the other 360 coming from their normal food.

What breed of dog is hardest to housebreak? ›

12 Dog Breeds That Are Hard AF To Potty Train
  • Dalmatian. ...
  • Chow Chow. ...
  • Beagle. ...
  • Basset Hound. ...
  • Pomeranian. ...
  • Bulldog. ...
  • Basenji. ...
  • Jack Russell Terrier. Jack Russell terriers are known to be a challenging breed, to say the least.
Feb 9, 2022

Are Smaller dogs easier to potty train? ›

As a dog trainer, I have found that smaller dogs can be harder to house train. Not due to them being vastly different dogs, but because we often give little dogs a bit of a pass. Their elimination is much smaller and much easier to pick up. If they go in the house once or twice, it's not a big sacrifice.

What is the sweetest small dog? ›

Maltese. The gentle, charming and glamorous Maltese dog weighs less than seven pounds and is part of the toy group. The AKC describes this most companionable of dog breeds as "typically very sweet and super affectionate with family."

What is the most disobedient dog breed? ›

#1 – Afghan Hound

These days, those traits are displayed as being aloof and independent. They make up for their lack of obedience by being extremely affectionate and loyal.

What is the easiest going dog? ›

Top 10 Easiest Dog Breeds to Train
  • Golden Retriever. ...
  • Labrador Retriever. ...
  • German Shepherd Dogs. ...
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi. ...
  • Papillon. ...
  • Shetland Sheepdog. ...
  • Swedish Vallhund. This breed is similar to a Corgi. ...
  • Border Terrier. This breed has some naturally-stubborn qualities, but they are affectionate dogs.
Jan 14, 2019

What is the best method of housebreaking a dog? ›

To potty train your puppy, establish a routine
  • Take your puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—and immediately after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking.
  • Pick a bathroom spot outside, and always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot.

Are boy or girl puppies easier to potty train? ›

Female dogs are often said to be easier to house train than male dogs. "Many pet owners report that female dogs are easier to house train and are more attentive to their owners than male dogs, with male dogs being more aloof," Johanna Reel, registered vet technician for NHV Natural Pet, told INSIDER.

At what age should a small dog be potty trained? ›

Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when they are between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, they have enough control of their bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.

How long does it take to potty train small dogs? ›

With all that being said, when potty training is done well a puppy can be house trained in as little as 4 months. But, some puppies will take 6, 8, even up to a full year until they're fully potty trained.


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