November 19, 2021

How Long Does it Take to Potty Train a Puppy

Potty training a puppy can be a challenging but rewarding task. We won't lie and say it isn't difficult. Puppies are adorable and fun, but they are also young, don't listen, and have tiny bladders. This puppy behavior makes potty training challenging, but it is vital to puppy handling and overall dog care. Your puppy's age, breed, attention span, and environment will affect how long it takes to potty train them. As well as your schedule, training, and diligence will also affect how long it takes. The good news is that if you can put in the work - you can have a fully potty-trained puppy in 2 - 8 weeks. It sounds daunting, but you and your home will be thankful for fewer accidents and creating positive puppy behavior overall! Now that you know how long you can expect to have a fully potty-trained puppy, let's get into some helpful tips and ways to start training your puppy!

Create a Plan

Before we start the actual puppy training, let's take note of you and your puppy's environment. Are you raising a puppy in an apartment? Do you have a backyard, or will you have to take them in the elevator to go outside? Are you raising a puppy while working full time? Will they stay in their crate during the day? Does your home have carpet or hardwood floors? Are you raising a puppy and kitten together? Do you have to teach them that their bathroom is not the same as the cat's bathroom? We could go on. 

The bottom line is that you have to take a look around your home and your life. Puppy training and specifically, potty training, takes time, repetition, and keeping a schedule. So the first step is to create a plan based on your lifestyle and how you can best train your puppy. To create a schedule, you will need to plan on taking your puppy to their designated bathroom after every meal. It is also helpful to take your puppy outside multiple times a day, depending on their age. Plan for positive reinforcement and take the time to be patient. Once you have made a plan, stick to it. 

Puppies respond best to consistency and repetition. You will want to focus on this throughout the potty training process. 

Teach Your Puppy Where To Go

Once you have established your plan, you should know where you want your puppy to use the bathroom. Are you planning on going outside on the grass? Do you live in the city, and your dog will go on the sidewalk? Are you planning to use puppy pads? 

Whatever you decide, make sure to go to this spot with your puppy after every meal. We recommend taking them outside every hour for the first couple of days or until your puppy can hold their bladder longer. Taking them to their "bathroom" will help them learn where they can go. Every time you take your puppy to their spot, if they use the bathroom during this time, use positive reinforcement to celebrate using the bathroom in the right area! Puppies respond best to the celebration (and lots of treats, of course). 

Be patient with your puppy. They have small bladders and are learning a lot in these first couple of months. Be sure to avoid scolding your puppy for accidents and focus on positive reinforcement and celebration. There is an art to raising a puppy, and it's not always easy. Celebrate you and your puppy's success!

Learn The Signs

As the weeks go on and you stick to your schedule, create a routine, celebrate success, and work on puppy behavior training, you will start to learn the signs that your puppy needs to use the bathroom. This will help in potty training and understanding your puppy's habits and needs. There are some telltale signs your puppy has to use the bathroom.

 They may be sniffing one area, walking in a circle, walking around the door, whining at the door, ringing a bell, or nudging you. If your puppy is making it obvious that they have to use the bathroom, this is a very positive sign. They know they shouldn't use the bathroom inside, but they have to go. Make sure to act on these signs right away and take your puppy outside and give them lots of positive reinforcement! At this point, your puppy is almost fully potty trained. 

Since they are still a puppy and may have that bad puppy behavior, it won't be perfect. There will still be accidents and mishaps, but you are at the point where you can start to master potty training fully! 

We know potty training a puppy is difficult and feels like a long process, but 2 - 8 weeks will go by quickly, and you will be grateful for the work you put into creating a positive puppy behavior! 

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