House-train Guide for Beginners: How to Potty Train A Puppy!

How many times did you enter your home to find out a stack of poop waiting to be cleaned? Adopting a dog is easier and more fun in imagination but it’s a full-time job! One always wonders how to potty train a puppy in their early days but it seems a lot of work. Which it is. But let me tell you a true story.  A few years back, I interacted with a pet groomer, who had a young 12-week old Beagle. He jumped at every opportunity to relieve himself 

But here’s the thing… The puppy had no house-training at all. Even for a pet groomer, it proved to be a futile task. 

So this brings forth the main question. 

How Early can you Potty Train a Puppy?

You may feel your puppy is too young. But once he gains the ability to control his bladder, you can begin the potty training by the age of 12-weeks. This is the average age for a puppy. The usual break is 4 hours at a time. 

A standard full house training takes up to 3 to 4 months depending on the dog breed you have. Some are easy to train due to their natural instincts while some take the hard road.

Once a puppy reaches 3 to 4 weeks of age, he starts to control the bladder movements. Until then usually, their parents stimulate them to relieve themselves because the bowel and bladder control is still developing. 

So once your dog reaches 12 or 16 weeks of age, you need to plan the potty training schedule for your puppy

How Long does it take to Potty Train a Puppy?

The question is rhetorical. The answer varies according to the age and number of times a puppy needs to relieve himself. 

Young puppies often eliminate more as compared to adult dogs. If it’s a newborn pup, they have to go after every meal. An older dog can hold their bladder for hours after a meal. 

When we say we need to house train a puppy the pup needs to know;

  • When to inform you 
  • When to go out 
  • When to go to his toilet seat 

Before you start training remember all dogs are different. So the way they react to the potty training schedule can either be short or long. So to answer the most common question (which I already have in the beginning), on average it takes 4-8 weeks to potty train a large breed puppy. 

For a small breed puppy, it may even take up to a year. Size also plays an important role in the training. 

Potty Train a Puppy Indoors in Different Scenarios for New Parents

a) In The House Method

This is the most common type of house training, to begin with. Now if you want to know how to potty train a puppy in the house then here are few steps you need to follow; 

1- Start with a Routine

Just like you do with the babies. You need to establish a routine. A regular schedule will help your puppy to learn faster. Since puppies can control their bladder for one hour for every month of age, if you time it perfectly just like with the puppy feeding chart, you can create a puppy house training chart

  • Take your puppy outside frequently when they wake up when they are playing and after meals. 
  • Pick a bathroom spot for your puppy too. Use commands while the puppy is relieving themselves so that they will attune to it. 
  • Do not forget to reward your puppy when they do it the right way. 
  • The puppy feeding chart can be used to plan the in-house training. According to the puppy’s age, it can be 3-4 times a day and so on. 

2- Supervision is Crucial

Never give your dog the opportunity to soil the house. You have to keep an eye on them. So here’s what you need to do. 

  • Tether your puppy. Always be on the lookout for the signs that giveaway that your dog is about to go again like squatting or restlessness. When you see the signs take them outside right away if they eliminate praise and reward them. 
  • Don’t get-go of the leash during your house-training. Do give some freedom with the leash but with a 6-feet only. 
  • Even when playing, pause, let your dog pee in the regular bathroom spot, and resume. Make it a habit.

3- Crate Training

If you live in a high-rise building then what?

How to potty train a puppy in the apartment? This is the most crucial task because the nearer the time comes the antsy the pet becomes. When you are unable to supervise your puppy, you need to kick in the smart training rule – the crate training. It may sound unfortunate but really, it’s a smart choice if you want to potty train your puppy the right way. 

When you confine your dog inside a crate, the confined place restricts them to eliminate it. But with the crate potty training you need to remember that; 

  • It should be big enough that a dog can stand, sit or lie down. 
  • If your puppy is already used to confinement in the crate then it will fasten the potty training schedule days ahead of the schedule. 

4- Appraisal

Yes, even your puppy needs positive reinforcement on peeing the right way. If your pup soils the house it’s because he still is undergoing the training process. So keep your calm. 

Scolding a puppy won’t just do! 

Some old methods of punishment are so bizarre that it’s hard to imagine those to work. So skip that. What you need to do is praise your pup for doing his best. Act natural with your dog. Cheer, clap, throw a bone or chew toy just because he “got it the right way”. You’d be surprised how quick dogs react to such rewards. 

b) The Outdoor Method 

In case you don’t have a yard or have limited space outside, potty training can become tricky. Although it’s best to begin the potty training indoors you need to transition your pet for the outdoors too.

How to Potty Train a Puppy on Pads

You can always begin by choosing the confined area of your choice – like a bathroom or a laundry space. The floor space must be easy to clean. 

Then cover the floor with pee pads. You need to place the dog’s bed nearby too. Here are some steps you need to follow. 

  • Always put a small piece of the soled pad on top of the clean one. But keep changing the pee pads frequently. The reason is that the scent reminds the puppy that it’s the “bathroom” stop. 
  • Always remove the pee pad closer to the dog’s bed after he is done peeing. 
  • Remove most of the pee pads except for one or two. Leave them to avoid any accidents that may happen. 

Once you stick with the schedule, you are ready to teach your puppy a potty cue so that they can relieve themselves. 

Potty training takes time, so be patient with your puppy and don’t lose hope. Also, buy potty training supplies like stain removers and odor removers. Good cleaning products are always an essential help. 

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Summra is a dog enthusiast fully committed to helping train fellow dog owners. She enlightens them to solve their furry friend’s behavioral issues and to focus on the dog’s needs in optimistic ways.