It’s always exciting to welcome a new addition into your family especially, puppies. Puppies are so much fun to be around, and their energy is so infectious and has good vibes. But, with a pet comes challenges particularly, when it comes to potty training them. We often get messages like, “How to potty train a puppy?” or, “How long does it take to potty train a puppy?” I know getting your puppy to go outside for potty can be difficult but not something im-Paw-ssible. PATIENCE YOU MUST HAVE, MY FRIEND!
P.S EVERY PUPPY IS DIFFERENT, AND THEY ALL LEARN DIFFERENTLY. SOME MAY LEARN FAST, WHILE OTHERS WILL TAKE THEIR TIME TO GRASP THE CONNECTION (WHERE AND WHEN TO POOP &PEE).
With that, let’s get back to the million-dollar query.
How Long Does It Take To Potty Train a Puppy?
There is no such thing as magic or pre-defined time it will take to potty train your pup – it takes longer than some pet parents realize. Usually, it takes around 4 to 6 months to completely house-train or potty train (whatever you call it) a puppy. But, a puppy’s age, attention span, and physical readiness are some of the crucial factors determining the time it will take to house train your pet.
Furthermore, it all boils down to consistency, patience, and persistence. These are the three most essential pillars of house-training your pup. With these pillars, you can get the newest addition of your family on the right path!
PRO TIP: IF YOUR PUPPY IS TAKING LONGER THAN THE EXPECTED TIME, IT’S TIME YOU NEED TO TAKE A TRIP TO YOUR DOCTOR. SOMETIMES UTI (URINARY TRACT INFECTION) OR OTHER HEALTH ISSUES ARE COMING IN THE WAY OF YOUR FULLY POTTY TRAINED PUPPY.
When Should You Begin Potty Training Your Puppy?
According to the experts, you can begin house/potty training your puppy when they are between 12 to 16 weeks old because, by this time, they have enough control over their bowel movements and bladder.
However, if your puppy is older than twelve weeks when you bring her/him home and have been eliminating in a carte (probably eating waste too), potty training your puppy might take a bit longer. How to go about it? Try re-shaping the behavior of your puppy either by rewarding or encouragement. One thing to keep in mind is that potty training your puppy takes kindness and patience.
What Steps should be taken to Potty Train a Puppy?
Potty training isn’t very hard. You can achieve the goal by establishing a routine to follow and sticking to it. Stay consistent and you will surely see the result down the road. I know it’s easier said than done but fret not. Here are the top 7 hacks that will help you get started.
Hack #1: Make a Routine
Establishing a routine and adhering to it will make house training your puppy a cinch. With time, your puppy will pick up on the routine such as when or where your puppy should and should not eliminate, etc.
All that being said, you will have to take more frequent potty breaks when your puppy is young because they don’t have enough control over their bladder. Taking frequent potty breaks helps in minimizing the accidents in the house.
Here is a breakdown of the most basic house training schedule that helps you plan your day and serves as a soft reminder that it’s time to take your pup out!
When You Wake Up
What’s the first thing you do when the alarm clock goes off? Check emails or brush your teeth or make some coffee? This is what you are doing wrong and perhaps one of the reasons for accidents happening in the house. As soon as you wake up in the morning, take your puppy out of the crate and bring them outside so they can do their business.
Remember, your puppy has been holding it for the whole night – that’s a lot for the puppy to wait this long. So, taking them outside to the same designated spot reduces the chance your puppy has an accident in the house.
QUICK TIP: ALWAYS HEAD TO THE SAME AREA AND TAKE THE SAME PATH. THIS WILL ESTABLISH RULES FOR YOUR PUPPY AND HELP THEM UNDERSTAND IT’S TIME TO ELIMINATE.
After taking your puppy out for the potty, your pup will be ready for the first meal of the day. Try to schedule the mealtime at the same time each day, this, in turn, helps in regulating elimination, and you can set potty time on your watch.
You should take your puppy out after every meal because the younger the puppy is, the sooner they will have to go out to eliminate it. Waiting for too long will end up undoing all the hard work you have been doing. As they age, they will gain bladder control and eventually learn to hold it for a long time.
PRO TIP: YOU SHOULD BE WAITING BETWEEN 5 TO 3O MINUTES AFTER EVERY MEAL TO TAKE YOUR PUPPY OUT.
When Your Puppy Wakes Up After a Nap
There will be times when you need to take your puppy out for a potty. So, just like you do in the morning, you should take your young puppy out right after they wake up from naps – reducing the risk of sudden accidents.
During playtime, your puppy might forget that they need to go out to eliminate. So, to avoid the mess, it’s always best to bring your puppy outside. Whether your puppy eliminates or not, you should give them the opportunity.
Moreover, if you find your puppy sniffing the carpet or floor, running to the door, and wandering away from the family, it’s time you should take your puppy out.
Are you still not sure how long your puppy can go without needing to go out for potty? We have listed the puppy house training chart for your ease.
|Puppy’s Age||Max Time Between Potty Breaks|
|2 months||3 hours.|
|3 months||4 hours.|
|4 months||5 hours|
|5 months||6 hours.|
Before Going to the Bed
Right before hitting the bed, take your puppy on another trip outside for a potty break. This not only helps in preventing night accidents but will get your puppy in the routine of having a final potty break every night.
Hack #2: Always Take Your Puppy to the Same and Distraction-Free Spot
Are you successful in bringing your puppy outside to eliminate? But is your puppy doing what he/she is supposed to do? Your puppy may not understand that why you have brought him/her outside. What can you do to make your puppy understand it isn’t playtime but eliminate time? Here’s what you can do:
- Try taking your puppy to a distraction-free place.
- Stick to the same designated spot.
- Try not to play or pay attention to them -limiting distractions will help them eliminate.
- Do not yell at them for not doing what you want them to do.
What if your puppy doesn’t go outside? Stay calm and keep trying. This isn’t the end of the world. If there is no success, give some time to yourself and your puppy. Go back inside and try again later.
Hack #3: Use a Crate When Not Home
Crate and puppy pads are some of the potty training tools helping you get closer to your goal of a potty-trained puppy. Who doesn’t love being home? However, it isn’t possible to be at home at all times so, using a crate will give your puppy a space that is just for them. Crate training plays with the instinct of your puppy to keep their space clean.
DISCLAIMER: IT ISN’T A MAGICAL SOLUTION TO IT. BOWEL MOVEMENT AND BLADDER OF YOUR PUPPY WON’T DEFY LOGIC WHEN IN A KENNEL OR CRATE, SO TRY TO BE AT HOME AND TAKE YOUR PUPPY OUT AT REGULAR INTERVALS.
Hack #4: Reward Your Puppy
Don’t forget to reward your puppy for eliminating in the right spot. Positive reactions indeed reinforce good attitude/behavior. Furthermore, always shower your puppy with praise upon reaching a single milestone in the house training process. Many puppies are highly motivated when you give them treats (chew puppy toys or chew treats) or praise them.
Moreover, you should praise or give them treats right after they have finished doing their business, or else they won’t be able to associate your positive reaction with their actions.
Hack #5: Avoid Punishments for Accidents
Do not punish or scold your puppy if there is an accident in the house. Your puppy won’t comprehend that they are supposed to go outside for potty but, it will only frighten them. So, in case you catch your puppy going inside for potty, try making a sharp sound to startle and stop him/her from going to the washroom and take your puppy outside.
Hack #6: Set Up a Queue
Can your puppy tell you that they need to go out and relieve themselves? Yes, they can by showing potty cues. Setting up potty queues helps teach your puppy how to signal they want to go out for their business. Usually, pets are taught to sit by the door, or bark, or ring a bell when they need to go out to eliminate.
Hack #7: Supervise Your Puppy
Supervising your puppy plays a vital role. It helps in reducing indoor accidents and helps in developing healthy interaction with objects and other people. Albeit there is nothing wrong with giving freedom to your puppy, it’s always best to give freedom only after they become potty-trained.
Your puppy communicates with you in several different ways. It’s your job to recognize the signals. Failing to interpret their signs is perhaps one of the most common reasons why your puppy is going to the wrong spot for potty. Following are the signs that your puppy needs to go outside to relieve themselves:
- Walking or pacing in circles.
- Barking or whining.
- Scratching at the door.
- Sitting by the door.
Paying attention to their behavior and body language helps avoid potty accidents in the house. Upon noticing any pre-potty signs get your puppy to their spot ASAP and praise them for successful elimination.
What Are the Don’ts of Potty Training Your Puppy?
Here is a list of some of the don’ts you should keep in mind while potty training your puppy:
Mixing Crate Training With Puppy Pads
Try not to allow your puppy to eliminate on puppy pads because they are still learning which areas are right and which aren’t. This may slow down the process of potty training.
Keeping Inconsistent Routine
Not sticking to the routine confuses your puppy and increases the chances of potty accidents in the house. Furthermore, it’s your responsibility to develop and maintain a schedule. Besides that, the more opportunities your puppy has to eliminate successfully outside, the faster will be the process of potty training.
Don’t Stop Training Too Soon
Pet parents often make the mistake of relaxing the rules once they see their puppy starts to get the hang of things. Nonetheless, one should keep up with their schedule for a few months until it is ingrained in the puppy’s mind. If your puppy is doing good and there isn’t a single accident in the house for months, Congratulations! Your puppy is fully house-trained.
Potty training a puppy takes both patience and commitment, DO NOT LOSE PATIENCE. House training your puppy will help him/her live comfortably inside your home and other people’s places. By making a schedule, setting time for meals, playtime, naps, and other activities, you are moving a little closer to your goal of having a FULLY HOUSE-TRAINED PUPPY. Don’t rush, be patient and stay consistent – your hard work will pay off. Remember puppies are puppies, give them patience and some time, and you will always be in for a lifetime of tails wags.